Ecological Design and Planning for Ecologists: Applying Earth Stewardship
Friday, August 15, 2014: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Magnolia, Sheraton Hotel
Alexander J. Felson, Yale University
Ecology is undergoing a transformation from a field historically disengaged from the human built environment to one that can provide insight into the understanding, design, and management of urbanized land. Environmental solutions to urban needs can be longer lasting and less costly than engineered solutions, and protection, restoration, and reconstruction of ecosystem services can improve human quality of life while enhancing ecological functions such as biodiversity and nutrient cycling. This reorientation has catalyzed action-oriented initiatives within the ecological disciplines. Ecologists are considering new applications of ecological knowledge that can contribute to shaping human environments in the face of complex problems. As ecologists further understand coupled human natural systems, many are calling for cultural and methodological progression towards a stewardship role. Earth Stewardship argues that ecologists must ‘shape’ trajectories of socio-ecological change. It calls for a proactive strategy whereby ecological research is integrated with drivers that structure human environments. A key challenge is operationalizing this strategy.
This symposium will present ecological design and ecosystem-based management strategies for large scale green infrastructure and engineering projects. Our goal is to craft a process of engagement to illustrate ways for ecologists to: (1) operationalize Earth Stewardship and educate the next generation; (2) establish a voice in the planning process that guides the sustainable cities of the future; and (3) expand urban ecology to include studying and shaping urban systems. This session will also complement an ecological design project to be launched at the Sacramento meeting, which will incorporate ecological science into landscape and urban design and will serve as a tool for positioning ecologists as active participants in shaping urban development.
This symposium is part of the 2014 Earth Stewardship Initiative. For more information visit www.EarthStewardshipESA2014.com