Monday, August 3, 2009: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Blrm C, Albuquerque Convention Center
OOS 7 - Pulse of the Planet: Ecologists' Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations for Global Sustainability - Public Policy Implications
During the past century, ecologists have described the increasing destruction or impairment of a wide variety of ecosystems in all continents. Public debate now centers on changes in the global climate that could have severe and irreversible effects on not only endangered species but on all life systems. Reports from multidisciplinary agencies such as the IPCC and Millenium Ecosystem Assessment as well as individual scientists and university research programs increasingly indicate dire consequences for human society if the current trajectory of ecosystem destruction continues. Observers from various scientific disciplines have identified human activity at various scales as a causative or exacerbating effect of these changes. The first of these is rapid, uncontrolled growth of the human population; the second is invasion, occupation, and destruction of previously undisturbed ecosystems; a third is colonization of all ecosystems on the planet by human beings. Humans have become a principal agent of ecosystem change at the local, regional, and planetary level. Human communities, especially urban agglomerations of up to 35 million people, now contain more than 50% of the human population and have become, at the macroscopic level, increasingly undifferentiated in appearance and function. In addition, human communities excrete wastes and metabolites that are toxic to other organisms and adjacent ecosystems. These characteristics of the human species – rapid, uncontrolled growth, invasion and destruction of adjacent ecosystems, distant colonization (metastasis), de-differentiation, and excretion of toxic metabolites – are all characteristics of a malignant process. But is this the diagnosis? What do ecologists think? What is an alternative diagnosis? Is the idea of a global “diagnosis” appropriate or mistaken? The purpose of raising these questions is to develop a hypothesis that explains the relationship of the human species to the global ecosystem and predicts events that will follow from this diagnosis. It is one thing to have a list of ecological disasters that are documented and fill the daily headlines, but it is another thing to identify the process underlying these phenomena. This symposium addresses the process underlying the multiscale global phenomena. It also discusses the policy implications of this process in terms of what is meant by a “sustainable society.” The symposium invites ecologists from a variety of disciplines to make a global ecological diagnosis, and it invites those who deal with the policy implications of ecological knowledge.
Organizer:Warren M. Hern, University of Colorado
Moderator:Jane Lancaster, University of New Mexico
1:30 PMPulse of the planet: An epidemiologist's global ecological diagnosis
Warren M. Hern, University of Colorado
1:50 PMWe  did it, we can undo it.  How ecological knowledge can help save the global ecosystem
Thomas Lovejoy, Heinz Center
2:10 PMAnthropogenic biomes in the global ecosystem
Erle Ellis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
2:30 PMMediated modeling to scope for sustainable pathways
Marjan van den Belt, New Zealand Centre for Ecological Economics
2:50 PMThe human eco-footprint, biophysical limits, and the really inconvenient truth about sustainability
William E. Rees, University of British Columbia
3:10 PMBreak
3:20 PMMyopic man: Human self-deception of risk as a factor in global climate change
Marc Pratarelli, Colorado State University – Pueblo
3:40 PMLemur disease ecology: Linking health, ecosystem viability, and conservation in Madagascar
Meredith A. Barrett, Duke University, Randall E. Junge, Saint Louis Zoological Park
4:00 PMHow human activities affect macroelement fluxes at the household level: A study of 3100 households
Cinzia Fissore, University of Minnesota, Lawrence A Baker, University of Minnesota, Sarah E. Hobbie, University of Minnesota, Jennifer Y. King, University of California, Santa Barbara, Joseph A. McFadden, University of California, Santa Barbara, Kristen C Nelson, University of Minnesota, Ina Jakosdottir, University of Minnesota
4:20 PMProjected responses of black-capped vireo populations to spatial and temporal variability in human disturbances
Chad B. Wilsey, University of Washington, Betsy A. Bancroft, University of Washington, Joshua J. Lawler, University of Washington
4:40 PMGroundwater extraction, fire, and desertification: A case study in Owens Valley, CA
Daniel W. Pritchett, Bristlecone Chapter, California Native Plant Society, Sara J. Manning, Bristlecone Chapter, California Native Plant Society
5:00 PMDiscussion with Timothy E. Wirth (invited)

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See more of The 94th ESA Annual Meeting (August 2 -- 7, 2009)