WK 27 - Ecologists and Religious Organizations – Partnering for Earth Stewardship--FREE

Monday, August 8, 2011: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
18C, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Leanne M. Jablonski
Co-organizers: Jessica R. Miesel , Megan M. Gregory , Charles H. Nilon and Gregory E. Hitzhusen
Though they traditionally work in different audiences, ecological and religious organizations (RO) share the goal of earth stewardship. While perceived barriers have historically limited fruitful partnerships, ROs need sound, understandable science from ecologists, while ROs can highlight moral dimensions to diverse audiences. Environmental justice (EJ), developed from the involvement of the civil rights movement and ROs, is a common link for ecologists and local communities impacted by environmental degradation. ROs are also major global community partners that have developed resources from their cultural traditions, including ethical motivations to address earth stewardship. Major initiatives include: the scholarship of religion and ecology (http://fore.research.yale.edu/), education and advocacy for climate change and energy sustainability (www.nrpe.org and www.theregenerationproject.org), as well as concerns focusing on biodiversity, clean water and food/agriculture. Since the majority of the population identifies with a RO, and RO members are diverse politically and culturally, partnerships have broad impact. Partnerships that address areas of mutual concern could increase the access to relevant science and effective implementation by ROs. Ecologists, increasingly called upon as experts, must recognize and understand organizational culture for effective education. Scientists who are members of both ESA and RO could particularly assist. In this session, ecologists experienced in RO outreach and presenters from justice and RO will explore: How can we more effectively work together and address barriers? What opportunities exist for collaboration? What ESA initiatives (such as a speaker’s bureau) and future meeting events could promote partnerships and ultimately broader contributions of sound science to the general public?
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