South Mountain Partnership- Regional Capacity Building Initiative

Project Title: South Mountain Partnership- Regional Capacity Building Initiative
Timeline: January 2016 – present
Funding Source: Chesapeake Bay Trust


The South Mountain Region connects portions of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties in south central Pennsylvania. It covers approximately half a million acres from a forested upland ridgeline to fertile agricultural valleys. The South Mountain Partnership is a regional, landscape-scale conservation project in one of seven Conservation Landscapes identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

The Chesapeake Bay Trust recently selected the South Mountain Region to participate in a capacity building program. The 12 Core Partners below are working to decide on the group’s goals and priorities and create a governance structure in order to apply for funding over the next 2-3 years of this project.

  • Audubon Pennsylvania
  • Cumberland Area Economic Development/Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau
  • Capital Resource Conservation & Development
  • Cumberland County Planning Department
  • Dickinson College
  • Franklin County Planning Department
  • Franklin County Visitors Bureau
  • Partnership For Better Health
  • Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Wilson College
  • York County Planning Commission

2017 Minigrant Awards

The CLUS was awarded two minigrants from the South Mountain Partnership in 2017:

Michaux State Forest Archaeological Predictive Model project: This project will attempt to use field and remote sensing data to predict the locations of prehistoric archaeological sites (primarily rhyolite tool-making quarries) in Michaux State Forest.

Visualizing regional investments: A story map of South Mountain Mini-grants: This is a GIS project to develop an on-line map that tells the story of the projects that have been funded by the South Mountain Partnership since 2009.

Affiliated Scientists:

Claire Jantz, Ph.D. – Director

Professor, Department of Geography-Earth Science

Project Lead: Delaware River Basin

B.A. in College Scholars from University of Tennessee
M.A. in Geography from University of Maryland
Ph.D. in Geography from University of Maryland

Dr. Claire Jantz is the Director of the CLUS. She has extensive expertise in land use and land cover change analysis and modeling, and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Jantz has particular expertise within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the Delaware River Basin, and the Delmarva Peninsula. She has participated in several collaborative research efforts funded by NASA, Maryland SeaGrant, NPS, and the William Penn Foundation.

Paul Marr, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Geography-Earth Science

B.A. in Anthropology from University of North Texas
M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of North Texas
Ph.D. in Geography from University of Denver

My interests include: transportation analyses focused primarily on trucking and warehousing, statistical techniques for spatial sciences, and spatial analyses of historical geography. Additionally, I have archaeological and field equipment (e.g. surveying, GPR/EM, GPS) training.

Joshua Barth

Graduate Student Fellow

Joshua earned an A.S. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Burlington County College and a B.S. in Geology from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies at Shippensburg University. Joshua enjoys teaching through nature walks and other outdoor activities and works as an environmental educator at Palmyra Cove Nature Park.

Projects: Delaware River Basin Project, Poconos-Kittatinny Cluster Consulting, Rhyolite Project

Patricia Newdeck

Graduate Student Fellow

B.S. in Geosciences from Penn State University

Trish Newdeck has over 10 years of experience as an environmental consultant where she executed site investigation and remedial action plans for chemical and petroleum clients.  Currently, Trish is earning her M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies from Shippensburg with the intent to pursue a land use planning or conservation career.  Currently, she interns with The Nature Conservancy, works as a graduate assistant and a CLUS student fellow.  She dedicates her spare time to adventuring on land and water with her teenage sons.

Projects: Various projects under the South Mountain Partnership