Neil Korostoff, associate professor of landscape architecture, Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Penn State, has been awarded a Fulbright Grant for 2011–2012 to develop a new geographic information system (GIS) to aid participatory resource management in a Turkish national park. Professor Korostoff will collaborate with Turkish partners Dr. Nedim Kemer (Bilgi University) and Dr. Selcuk Sayan (Akdeniz University) to develop the GIS, which will be used in Köprülü Kanyon National Park (KKNP), one of Turkey’s oldest (1973) and most important national parks. His host institution will be Istanbul Technical University.
Located on the southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey’s Mediterranean region, KKNP was nominated as a World Biosphere Reserve in 1979. However, effective management of the park has been stymied by continuing conflicts among stakeholders. GIS will be used to record and visualize geospatial data and analyze management strategies and ecological and recreational carrying capacities. GIS will be available to facilitate discussions among stakeholders—park managers, resident villagers, concessionaires and visitors—about conflicted resource management issues. Korostoff said he hopes that a new model of stakeholder-based, participatory resource management will emerge as a model for Turkey and other nations in the region.
Korostoff met Sayan in early 2009, while Sayan was a visiting research professor at Penn State. That summer, Korostoff traveled to Akdeniz University, in Antayla, Turkey, to collaborate with him on the report and proposal, "Akdeniz University Botanical Garden Ecological and Archaeological Park: A Proposal for International Research and Collaboration." Korostoff’s summer 2009 travel was funded by the College of Arts and Architecture’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies. He returned to Turkey in May 2010 to visit Köprülü Kanyon National Park with Sayan and Kemer, and his research during that trip formed the core of his Fulbright proposal. Korostoff lectured on contemporary sustainable design and the history of regional planning in the United States at several Turkish universities during fall 2010. At the end of the spring 2011 semester, he will return to Istanbul to present a paper at the Higher Education Congress 2011 (travel funded by the Department of Landscape Architecture) and to do research on cemeteries as urban open space, an inquiry funded by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State.