Wednesday, August 5, 2009: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Aztec, Albuquerque Convention Center
Emilie K. Stander
The theme of this proposed symposium is the role of ecological knowledge and practice in reducing the impact of built and natural systems and improving quality of life in urban systems. Session goals are to: (1) explore approaches to advancing the application of ecological knowledge in the design of sustainable urban structures; (2) identify areas in which ecological research can provide valuable information on the function of these structures across scales in urban systems; and (3) discuss opportunities for collaborations with practitioners from other disciplines involved in sustainable urban design. This symposium aims to present examples of ecologists who are actively engaged in research on sustainable structures while also identifying the gaps in knowledge that ecologists are uniquely positioned to fill. The experiences of collaborative teams and the roles of ecologists in these teams will be presented by colleagues in other disciplines, including landscape architecture, hydrology, and engineering. We will pose specific questions to our speakers to make the session cohesive, such as: (1) In what ways can urban design benefit from more ecological knowledge? (2) How well do sustainable design elements perform? Do they meet stated ecological and environmental goals? and (3) What is the effectiveness of sustainable design elements when looked at from a citywide or regional perspective? The symposium will consist of an introductory talk by session co-organizer Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman (15 minutes) and seven additional speakers representing academia and government agencies. Most speakers are ecologists, but several other disciplines – including landscape architecture, hydrology, and engineering – are represented. The benefits of incorporating ecological research into the design of urban forests will be presented by a landscape architect with ecological training (Felson); McPherson will explore the economics and ecology of urban forests. The ecological dimensions of green buildings will be presented by Orr or Matthews. Ecological research on rain garden effectiveness at the watershed scale (Shuster) and performance at the scale of the individual structure (Stander) will present two facets of active research on sustainable stormwater management solutions at the US Environmental Protection Agency. These two presentations will also touch on gaps in current knowledge and multidisciplinary, collaborative work. Engineering and modeling perspectives will be explored by Montalto, and Carter will finish with green roof systems. Speaking slots (other than the introductory slot) will be set at 20 minutes. Remaining session time will be devoted to a panel discussion (approximately 30 minutes) and a break (10 minutes).