Department or Program

Environmental Studies


How can individual landowners ensure that their land is not transferred over to the power of developers in their lifetime and the lifetimes that follow? Carbon credit programs are presented as an up-and-coming solution to this dilemma. However, what some consider a solution, others may see as a downfall. Through a collaborative, community-based approach with Kathy Shaw and the Auburn Natural Products and Agriculture Working Group, this study explores the tradeoffs of carbon credit programs and whether these programs could benefit intergenerational conservation in Auburn, Maine. Data were collected using participant observation methods and semi-structured interviews. These methods offered insight into a range of perspectives including: carbon expert, carbon credit program representative, local government, forestry educator, and landowner. Interview transcripts were analyzed and visualized using qualitative coding in NVivo and an informational pamphlet was created as a public-facing deliverable for local landowners within rural areas of Auburn. The main goal of this deliverable was to provide accessible decision making information surrounding the options for land conservation strategies for local landowners. Interviewees identified a relatively even amount of drawbacks and benefits of carbon credit programs. The carbon credit program representative was the only interviewee to identify more benefits than drawbacks. The aim of this study is not to argue for or against carbon credit programs, but to provide landowners with an educational resource which can allow them to make a more informed decision based on their individual values and goals for their land.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Jamie Haverkamp

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Community Engagement



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.