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 Centre for Mountain Studies Latest News 


CMS recruiting a Research Assistant/Conference Support team member

February 2015


We are currently looking to recruit a Research Assistant/Conference Support on a full-time/fixed term basis from April 2015 to March 2017. The advertised post is to fill a key need in the team working at the Centre, working on all aspects of project development and delivery, including the organisation and delivery of a major international conference in October 2015. Excellent communication skills and a strong interest in knowledge exchange are important. Read more.


Sustainable Deer Management course to run again in 2015

November 2014


Following three successful runs, UHI’s postgraduate module in Sustainable Deer Management will run again in early 2015. The module will once again be available through the existing UHI MSc in Sustainable Mountain Development, as well as being available as a standalone module for those wishing to take the course as part of their continuing professional development (CPD). Read more


Centre for Mountain Studies MSc research published

August 2014


Elena Ferrario, who graduated with the MSc in Sustainable Mountain Development, has had the results of her MSc thesis 'Comelico - staying or leaving?' published in the Journal of Alpine Research/Revue de géographie alpine. The article, entitled 'Should I stay or should I go? Alpine brain drain and brain gain: the reasons behind the choices of young mountain people' was co-authored with Martin Price and can be accessed here.


In 2012, Elena was awarded one of the Alpine Convention's Young Scientist Awards, for her MSc thesis.


The full citation: Ferrario, E. and Price, M. (2014). 'Should I stay or should I go? Alpine brain drain and brain gain: the reasons behind the choices of young mountain people'. Journal of Alpine Research/Revue de géographie alpine [online]: http://rga.revues.org/2381 ; DOI : 10.4000/rga.2381


CMS E-Newsletter

May 2014


Read our May 2014 e-newsletter here


If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please email info.cms@perth.uhi.ac.uk


MSc Sustainable Mountain Development student wins Postgraduate Dissertation Prize


Jonathan Carruthers-Jones, a student on the MSc Sustainable Mountain Development who works as a mountain guide in the French Pyrenees, has won the 2013 Postgraduate Dissertation Prize of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s Planning and Environment Research Group.  The title of his dissertation is ‘The Selection, Evaluation and Testing of Methods for the Identification of Priority Connectivity in Conservation Areas: A Case Study of the Pyrenees’.


‘Mountain Geography: Physical and Human Dimensions’ published

Mountain Geography book cover


This undergraduate textbook has been developed over the past decade by a team of international authors; the lead editor is Prof Martin Price of the Centre for Mountain Studies. Published by University of California Press, it is a comprehensive resource that gives readers an in-depth understanding of the geographical processes that occur in the world’s mountains and the impact of these regions on culture and society. 
For further details, please click here.



‘Lairds, Land and Sustainability’ published August 2013



A wide-ranging study of how different landownership models deliver sustainability in Scotland’s upland areas has been published by Edinburgh University Press, concluding the ‘Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century’ project.


Editors of this topical book include Dr Jayne Glass and Prof Martin Price here at the Centre for Mountain Studies.    


Professor Chris Smout of St. Andrews University has described this as "a book for everyone seriously concerned about the future of the Highlands”


For further details, please click here.   


MSc Sustainable Mountain Development student awarded dissertation prize 


Elena Ferrario receives her award


Elena Ferrario, who graduated last year with the MSc in Sustainable Mountain Development, has been awarded one of the Alpine Convention's Young Scientist Awards, for her MSc thesis 'Comelico - staying or leaving?' Elena received her €1000 award at the Bolzano/Bozen Alpine Spring Festival in Italy this week.

Elena, who grew up in a small village in the Italian Alps, says “mountains have always been her passion.” She decided to return to study after ten years of work so she could expand her knowledge of mountain areas. She took up a Master’s degree in sustainable mountain development with the Centre for Mountain Studies so she could study online on a part-time basis and retain her job in France where she works on an EU-funded territorial co-operation programme.

Elena’s thesis investigated the factors which influence young mountain people to return to their valleys of origin after they left to complete higher education studies. The research also looked into policies and instruments which may attract residents to mountain areas. Elena found that job opportunities, quality of life and sense of belonging are the main reasons young people decide to return the mountains. It is hoped the results will help to inform policy in the Alpine region and could be relevant to similar regions across Europe.


Read more on the Alpine Convention website.


Mountain Foods research leads to new European policy


EuroMARCFollowing on from the 2006-2008 Euro-MARC Mountain Foods project, the Centre for Mountain Studies partnered with ISARA Lyon and Euromontana to deliver a second mountain foods study for the European Commission (Institute of Prospective Technological Studies) in 2012.


This research involved a review of the labelling of agricultural and food products of mountain farming, including an exploration of the options for regulating the use of the 'mountain product' term. The final report from this work was completed in November 2012, with the European Commission publishing their own report based on this work (and wider commissioned research) in February 2013.


This work represents the culmination of nearly a decade of research on mountain food products in Europe and considerable lobbying effort on the part of Euromontana, the European Association of Mountain Regions. Since the completion of this study, the European Commission has formally protected the 'mountain product' term through a new Quality Regulation which entered into force on the 3rd of January 2013. These developments are representative of increased recognition of the importance of distinguishing mountain products on the market place to ensure that mountain producers receive adequate compensation for the positive externalities their products and modes of production deliver and recognition of the constraints they face.


The newly established quality regulation establishes the conditions for the use of the term 'mountain product' and empowers the Commission to develop related criteria i.e. the extent to which animal feedstuffs can originate from outside of mountain areas.

To find out more about mountain foods and the recent legislation, visit the European Commission website


Mountain Studies Director keynote speaker in Swedish Parliament 


Professor Martin Price, Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies at Perth College UHI, gave a presentation on 'Changing land uses in Europe's mountains areas' to an audience of 200 in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm on 12 December.
The presentation was one of four keynotes in an international seminar on 'Sustainable land use in a changing world', organised by the Swedish All-Party Committee on Environmental Objectives.  The audience included MPs, ministers and state secretaries, researchers and representatives from ministries and agencies, industry and NGOs.


Professor Martin Price awarded the King Albert Mountain Award



Prof Martin Price wins King Albert Mountain AwardOn 1 September, Professor Martin Price, Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies, was awarded a gold medal by the King Albert I Memorial Foundation.  The Foundation was established in 1993 in memory of King Albert I of Belgium, a keen mountaineer.  Its aim is to honour persons and institutions that have made exceptional contributions to the mountain world. 

The citation for the award commends Martin’s work with international organisations, and his role as the organiser of international mountain conferences over the last two decades. It also praises his wide knowledge and editorial competence, describing this as a vital role for the mountains of the world: ‘His global interactions and contributions have been a major force in mountain research and development.’

Martin holds the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development, and has written and edited many books contributing to the knowledge and sustainable development of mountain areas, on topics including forests, tourism, global change and interdisciplinary research.


For more information about the 2012 awards, please click here.


First CMS E-Newsletter

June 2012


The Centre for Mountain Studies has published its first e-newsletter. These will from now on replace the printed Annual Report.

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please email info.cms@perth.uhi.ac.uk  


Global Change and the World's Mountains 2010 Special Issue of Mountain Research and Development


The Journal Mountain Research and Development published an issue dedicated exclusively to the Perth 2010 Conference. It contains keynotes, synthesis, and policy papers. The full texts are accessible here.


mountain.TRIP final conference: 17 November 2011, Scotland House, Bruxelles, 2011


During the two years of mountain.TRIP, we have identified EU-funded mountain research and developed and tested various communication products which can serve a better knowledge exchange between science and practice in European mountains. The final conference will present our main findings and lessons learned. The event will also feature a multimedia fair, where practical examples of how research results can be transformed to better reach their target audience will be presented. The conferece is open to scientists, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of sustainable mountain development. For more information and to register please see www.mountaintrip.eu


Global Change and the World's Mountains 2010: Extended abstracts now available online


All extended abstracts from the Global Change and the World's Mountains 2010 conference  are now available for download (pdf format). Singe-file pdfs are available on the conference CD. If you would like to receive a copy of this CD please contact us at info.cms@perth.uhi.ac.uk.


ECRR Climate Connections: Climate Change Research in Scotland, Friday 13 May 2011, Battleby, Perth


 Call for Speakers and Poster Presentations

 A one-day seminar for researchers and climate change professionals, with workshops, posters and networking.

 The aim is to improve co-ordination of research and highlight research outputs to policy makers and other professionals.

 Speakers are invited for any of the following four themes in climate change research:


  • Drivers and Pressures
  • State of the Environment and Impacts
  • Responses
  • Communicating Research.


Managing Alpine Future II: “Inspire and drive sustainable mountain regions”


The second international conference, “Managing Alpine Future II”, will be organised by alpS in Innsbruck (21-23 November 2011) and will be co-hosted by the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Mountain Research: Man and Environment of the Austrian Academy of Science.

Successful adaptation to the challenges of global climate change and its effect on complex human-environment systems in mountain regions necessitates effective cooperation and exchange of international scientists, experts and practitioners. MAF II will again provide an ideal platform of global span and interdisciplinary scope.

For further information, registration and submission of abstracts please go to www.alpinefuture.com


Centre for Mountain Studies staff awarded £5000 for research 


Jayne Glass and Rob Mc Morran (Centre for Mountain Studies) have been

awarded a £5000 Innovation Voucher by the Scottish Funding Council to carry out a sustainability assessment of four community-owned estates in the Highlands and Islands. 


Loch Assynt



Working in partnership with the North Harris Trust, the Knoydart Foundation, the Assynt Foundation and Stòras Uibhist over the next few months, the two researchers will provide the four estates with robust evidence on how the management of these estates contributes to wider sustainability goals.


The sustainability assessment will be carried out using the ‘Opportunities for Sustainable Estates Toolkit’, which was developed by land management stakeholders between 2008 and 2010, and facilitated by Jayne Glass as part of her PhD research at the Centre for Mountain Studies.


The research forms part of the wider ‘Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century’ project, which has been studying a range of topics concerning estate management in Scotland’s uplands.


10th Anniversary Celebration of the Centre for Mountain Studies at Perth College UHI 


Colin Prior, one of the world’s leading outdoor photographers, is presenting 'Mountains of Inspiration’ at Perth Concert Hall on Wednesday 19 January at 7.30pm. Colin has established an international reputation as a freelance professional photographer, with his critically acclaimed images including many panoramic scenes from mountain ranges around the world.


Other speakers at the event include Perth College UHI Principal, Dr Thomas Moore, and Dr John Francis, Vice Chair of the UK National Commission for UNESCO Scotland. Tickets cost £8 (£5 for Perth College UHI staff and students and Royal Scottish Geographical Society members), and are available from Horsecross. Call 01738 621031 or visit www.horsecross.co.uk.


Please click here for the anniversary poster.


Post Legislative Scrutiny of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

In April 2010 the Centre for Mountain Studies, in partnership with the UHI Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, Rural Analysis Associates and Derek Flyn, was commissioned to evaluate implementation of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 on behalf of the Scottish Parliament's Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. 
The project, led by Dr Calum Macleod, the Centre's Deputy Director, focussed on the access rights, community right to buy and crofting community right to buy contained in the Act.  The final report and executive summary of the research have now been published on the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee's webpages and can be accessed here.  


Europe's ecological backbone: recognising the true value of our mountains


In 2003/2004, Prof Martin Price - Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies -  was the scientific coordinator of the first major integrated study on Europe's mountains, commissioned by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional Policy.


Since then, there has been a considerable increase in the availability of European-level data which can be analysed to present the current situation in the continent's mountain areas. In this context, from 2008 to 2010, he coordinated an integrated assessment of Europe's mountains for the European Environment Agency in cooperation with the European Topic Centre for Land Use and Spatial Information (ETC-LUSI).


The report, "Europe's ecological backbone: recognising the true value of our mountains" provides a comprehensive integrated assessment of the current status of, and trends relating to, the environment and sustainable development of the mountains of Europe, in order to inform the implementation and development of relevant policies. 


The report can be found here.


International conference: ‘Global Change and the World's Mountains’. Perth, Scotland, 26-30 September 2010


The international conference  organised by the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development at the Centre for Mountain Studies at Perth College UHI, in collaboration with the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), a joint project of the International Human Dimensions of Global Change Programme (IHDP) and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation is expecting 460 participants from 59 countries.


The conference aims to bring together leading scientists and others working in, and concerned with, mountain areas around the world in order to:

  • - present, evaluate and synthesise progress in our understanding of global change in mountain regions since 2005;


  • - evaluate progress with regard to the implementation and impacts of the GLOCHAMORE Research Strategy;
  • - work proactively on a global agenda for research and action relating to global change and mountain regions, taking into consideration global assessment and policy processes, such as those relating to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as the consideration of mountains by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in 2012, 20 years after the Rio Earth Summit.


Jayne Glass - Research Student of the Year at UHI


CMS PhD student Jayne Glass has been named the research student of the year at UHI, the prospective University of the Highlands and Islands.


For more details about Jayne and her work please click here.


Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority started at CMS




The CMS has started a short Knowledge Transfer Partnership in collaboration with the Cairngorms National Park and with support from the Scottish Government.  


The main goal of the Partnership is to engage recent and ongoing research with practitioners, communities, landowners and other stakeholders in the Park Area and set up a process for knowledge transfer from knowledge providers (researchers) to users on the ground. We are planning to achieve this through setting up a web-presence for knowledge transfer, improve available materials (on web) on research activities, active institutions, stakeholders, organise a public event to engage and link research and practice in the Park and support the Park Authority in preparing their new Management Plan.


For more information on this project and how you can participate please click here or contact our Knowledge Exchange Associate, Catalina Munteanu.


Professor Martin Price wins teaching award for Most Innovative Lecturer



CMS Director, Martin Price has been voted  most innovative lecturer by UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands) students for teaching the MSc online Module Managing Sustainable Mountain Development on environmental and societal issues in mountain areas.