Meet NWALT Board Member Jami Lockhart
Updated: May 23
Our board members are critical to the success of the Land Trust and we are thankful for their expertise and leadership! This series is all about introducing these difference -makers who are helping ensure NWA will always be defined by clean water, fresh air, native habit, a growing supply of locally grown fruits and vegetables, and access to outdoor recreation, all while expanding economic opportunities.
Get to know Jami Lockhart...
Jami (Ph.D. Arkansas) directs geophysical remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) research for the Arkansas Archeological Survey. He serves as research faculty in the UA Department of Anthropology and cooperating faculty for the Environmental Dynamics Ph.D. program. His work integrates geophysical remote sensing, high-accuracy mapping, aerial photo interpretation, image processing, LiDAR analysis, and GIS data development for archeological research and cultural landscape studies through time.
How did you get involved with NWALT? Having grown up in Northwest Arkansas, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the land and the people that live here. My educational background in land planning, geography, and environmental dynamics have been useful to me in decades of work with Arkansas Archeological Survey, where I study the interactions between people and their environment over time. My wife, Dot Neely, has served in various capacities for several organizations devoted to environmental conservation, so discussions about related topics are frequent at my house. Former NWALT Director, Terri Lane, once mentioned the possibility of board membership. Friend and longtime NWALT board member, Tom Oppenheim, approached me about serving. Conversations with Tom and NWALT Director Grady Spann helped me understand the ways I could contribute. I’m grateful to other NWALT board members and staff for their welcoming support. I consider this to be an important responsibility and a real privilege
Who are your environmental heroes? Like many, I’m awed and encouraged by heroes contributing to global environmental research and policy. I’m also continually reminded of great work being done close to home. Many of my environmental heroes are making a difference locally at entities like NWALT, Beaver Water District, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Illinois River Watershed Partnership, Northwest Arkansas Open Space Plan, Ozark Natural Science Center, Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, Northwest, Arkansas African American Heritage Association, Watershed Conservation Resource Center, Osage, Caddo and Quapaw Nations, state and national parks and forests, NWA cities, as well as concerned citizens and landowners in our area. I’m also honored to know Mr. Frank Sharp.
How do you want to impact Northwest Arkansas Land Trust? I’m grateful to be involved in support of land conservation in our magnificent and rapidly evolving region. Northwest Arkansas has been a cultural landscape for thousands of years, and that process continues and accelerates. I hope to contribute to NWALT’s essential work and guiding principles by sharing available information about people – past, present, and future -- and their relationship and responsibility to the natural landscape.
What may younger generations not understand about your generation’s concerns about the environment? What generational perspectives are missing in today’s conservation movement? Our landscape is a combination of the natural and cultural – both vitally important, and each dependent on the other. People need nature – simple to say, but existential in importance. I believe we are inherently interested in the past, and the way people have lived on the land. History is an integral (and natural) part of land conservation and preservation. Part of our mission is to communicate the importance and urgency of preserving the best of what makes our region consistently one of the top-10 best places to live in the United States.