SYMP 13 - A Natural History Initiative for Ecology, Stewardship, and Sustainability

Wednesday, August 10, 2011: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Joshua J. Tewksbury
Co-organizers: Stephen C. Trombulak and Kirsten Rowell
Moderator: Stephen C. Trombulak
Natural History – the description of nature - is the grist for the creation of both ecological and evolutionary theory and the backbone of effective global stewardship. In the next 30 years, there will be nine billion people living on this planet. Our ability to be effective stewards for the species, communities and ecosystems with which we live will depend both on our knowledge of where they are and how they function and on our society’s willingness to prioritize their protection. In other words, we need good maps of the territory, and we need a strong public natural history ethic. And yet in the last 75 years, we have seen a steady loss in the practice of natural history. This is true in society, in research support, and in education. In this symposium, we will document this decline and chart a roadmap for a re-emergence of natural history. This symposium will be the culmination of a year-long workshop series called the “Natural History Initiative: From Decline to Rebirth”, in which over 100 ecologists, nature psychologists, policy makers, education, NGO, and outdoor business leaders, poets and natural history writers are coming together in a series of 4 workshops ( focused on the role and rebirth of natural history in society, education, research and natural resource management. These workshops are forward-looking, and the symposium will be similarly solution-centered and interactive, reflecting the rapport developed during these workshops. We will begin with an overview and introduction featuring audio-visual clips taken from the workshops themselves, and then move directly into three mini-panels reflecting the content of the three working groups: Society, Education, and Research and Natural Resource Management. Each mini-panel will be composed of 4 panelists and moderated by a different co-organizer. All panelists, as well as the moderator, will have attended the workshop in which the ideas were developed, and thus each mini-panel will reflect a conversation in progress among the participants, with the explicit objective of broadening the conversation to the whole of ESA. This action-oriented reporting-back process will be interactive, as each mini-panel concludes with a 15-minute section for audience Q and A of the panelists and the moderator.
Natural History Section, Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section
1:30 PM
The Natural History Initiative: An introduction
Joshua J. Tewksbury, Future Earth
1:45 PM
2:00 PM
Incorporating natural history into models of occupancy and connectivity
Erica Fleishman, University of California, Davis; Brett Dickson, Northern Arizona University; Jim Thomson, School of Biological Sciences; Eric C. Hansen, Eric C. Hansen Consulting; David S. Dobkin, High Desert Ecological Research Institute and Greater Hart-Sheldon Conservation Fund
2:15 PM
Stewardship, youth, and nature
Nathaniel Hawley, Department of the Interior
2:30 PM
Natural history, ecopsychology and perception
Laura Sewall, Bates College
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
Valuing natural and cultural history in earth stewardship
Mimi E. Lam, University of British Columbia
4:05 PM
4:20 PM
Why we are naturalists: Capturing the passion of natural history through conversation
Kirsten Rowell, University of Washington; Anne K. Salomon, Simon Fraser University
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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.