Kurz, David J., Arthur D. Middleton, Melissa S. Chapman, Bruce R. Huber, Alex McInturff, Jeremy Sorgen, Kyle S. Van Houtan, Christine E. Wilkinson, Lauren Withey, and Justin S. Brashares. "Including Rural America in academic conservation science." Accepted, Frontiers in Conservation Science.
Conservation has made great strides by embracing DEIJ efforts, but these efforts can improve the science and practice of conservation further by attending to rural populations. Here we offer strategies for strengthening inclusion of rural Americans in conservation science and practice. We suggest three pathways toward this goal: (i) emphasize knowledge co - production and partnerships that resonate with rural lifestyles and values; (ii) recruit and train rural students in conservation science degree programs; and (iii) reshape academic advancement criteria to promote rural engagement. We suggest that investments in academic - rural collaboration hold potential to build knowledge, trust, inclusion, and justice in the United States.