SS 2
Ecological Concepts: Of What Value, and for Whom?

Monday, August 11, 2014: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
203, Sacramento Convention Center
William Reiners
Jeffrey A. Lockwood , Steven D. Prager and Juliana C. Mulroy
Ecology texts and courses are laden with many concepts, but how useful are they in our practice of ecology? How valuable are they in understanding nature, framing particular issues, and solving actual environmental problems? As we plan for ESA’s Centennial meeting, we seek to learn more from practicing ecologists about actual application of ecological concepts.

This session offers an opportunity for participants to explore their own attitudes about ecological concepts by rating the utility of 100 concepts in their own practices. The results of this session will also inform the ecological community of which concepts are actually useful. Following an explanation of the list, participants will rate these concepts through a brief internet-based survey using their own internet-accessing devices. Concept ratings will be projected on screen as soon as the last inputs are made. Results will illustrate which concepts are, in fact, useful to session participants, whether more highly rated concepts tend to be more or less abstract, and whether concepts related to different ecological domains (population through biosphere foci) tend to be more useful. The moderator will solicit discussion from those present as to why they made the choices they did in the context of their particular practices.

For those participants without internet accessing devices, a paper version of the survey will be provided as an alternative mode of participation. A summary of results and discussion from this session will be incorporated into Reiners' poster in OPS 3-6.

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