Tuesday, August 7, 2007: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
A3&6, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
SYMP 6 - Ecological foundations of sustainability in a constantly changing world
This symposium will address key, cross-cutting issues of basic ecology that underlie the broader topic of social and environmental sustainability. The core message is that advances in ecological science since 1991, the year ESA announced its Sustainable Biosphere Initiative, have changed ecologists’ perspectives on what exactly is meant by “sustainability” and a “Sustainable Biosphere.” Some of these advances are the product of traditional ecological research, and some are the result of a growing collaboration with social scientists. The Sustainable Biosphere Initiative: An Ecological Research Agenda (Lubchenco et al. 1991, Ecology 72(2)) sought to define the ecological science needed to address the challenge of sustainability and launched ESA’s SBI Office, now the Science Programs Office, in 1992. The premise was that fundamental ecological knowledge and theory were essential to the solution of environmental problems and to achievement of a Sustainable Biosphere. The primary aim was to stimulate ecologists to set clear priorities in basic research and to develop its applications to solution of human problems. In the last 15 years, great progress has been made in defining “Sustainable Biosphere” and in sorting out the essential dimensions of the problem of environmental sustainability and vulnerability. Major developments in basic ecological science have also occurred, including real paradigm shifts that affect how current ecological theory is applied and interpreted. A summary and update of these advances, 15 years after the start of the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative, is timely and appropriate and will help to reinvigorate sustainability science as a long term core activity of ESA. This proposed symposium is particularly appropriate to the theme of the 2007 meeting, “Ecology-based Restoration in a Changing World,” because the goals of restoration are tightly linked to perceptions of the meaning of sustainability and to the intellectual framework in which ecological restoration is judged.
Organizer:Gaius Shaver, MBL
Co-organizers:Terry Chapin, University of Alaska
Cliff Duke, ESA
Ann Kinzig, Arizona State University
Debra Peters, New Mexico State University
Osvaldo Sala, Brown University
Moderator:Gaius Shaver, MBL
8:00 AMEcology: The integral science
Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University
8:15 AMEcological robustness and multiple scales
Simon Levin, Princeton University
8:40 AMSpatial pattern and temporal dynamics: The importance of heterogeneity for regulating ecosystems and maintaining ecosystem services
Monica Turner, University of Wisconsin
9:05 AMResilience, renewal, and the hope for sustainability
Steve Carpenter, University of Wisconsin
9:30 AMBreak
9:50 AMIs sustainable development feasible in an age of mass extinction? Biodiversity conservation as the critical foundation for a sustainable future
Shahid Naeem, Columbia University
10:15 AMSustainability in a social-ecological context: Integrating the dynamics of social and ecological systems
Terry Chapin, University of Alaska, Ann Kinzig, Arizona State University
10:40 AMSustainability in coupled social-ecological systems: Integrating ecological and economic science for the management of global change
Charles Perrings, Arizona State University
11:05 AMPanel Discussion

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See more of The ESA/SER Joint Meeting (August 5 -- August 10, 2007)