Use-Inspired Ecological Research That Moves Knowledge to Action
Friday, August 15, 2014: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
313, Sacramento Convention Center
Jensen Montambault, The Nature Conservancy
Heather M. Leslie, Brown University; and
Deb Wojcik, Stanford University
Aaron L. Strong, Stanford University
Understanding the dynamics of the land and seascape scale systems such as those that span “mountains to oceans” requires integrative approaches to ecological research that incorporate the human dimension. Often termed sustainability science, this use-inspired, interdisciplinary field focuses on the interactions between natural and social systems, and how those interactions affect the challenge of sustainability: meeting the needs of present and future generations while substantially reducing poverty and conserving the planet's life support systems. Sustainability science has strong roots in ESA, through the 1991 Biosphere Initiative and the ongoing Earth Stewardship Initiative. Use-inspired research requires ecologists to operate at the boundary between multiple institutions and often, multiple disciplines. As important as effective science communication is, use-inspired research can demand a much longer-term and more active engagement of ecologists in specific decision-making contexts. Potential users, including local communities, policy makers or other decision makers may contribute to research design or implementation, as well as the analysis and interpretation of the results. In this session, we invite leading ecologists engaged in sustainability science and practice to share their research and reflections on how ecologists can successfully translate ecological knowledge into action.