Bridging the Gap between Basic and Applied Science: How Scientists Can Advance Ecology and Solve Environmental Problems at the Same Time
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
101C, Minneapolis Convention Center
Sarah M. Swope
Many ecologists enter the field out of concern for the environment and a desire to reverse or mitigate habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, and global change. However, some subsequently find that academia favors basic research that seeks to understand the phenomena underlying these problems, over applied research that seeks to solve them. In this session, we highlight success stories from researchers who have managed to advance the science of ecology through basic research, while providing useful information or guidance to managers and practitioners. Our speakers bridge the gap between the basic and applied by crossing the boundary between academia and the public sphere, as they cooperate with environmental NGOs, government agencies, private landowners, and other stakeholders. We draw from a variety of disciplines in ecology and include management topics related to biological invaders, fisheries, endangered species, ecosystem services, agricultural sustainability, and more. Our speakers will give personal perspectives on the risks and rewards of combining basic and applied research, describe how they made their research relevant to society, and share tips for doing good science while doing good.