OOS 42
Putting Agroecology to Work: From Science to Practice and Policy

Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
328, Baltimore Convention Center
Marcia S. DeLonge, Union of Concerned Scientists
Doug Gurian-Sherman, Center for Food Safety; Mari-Vaughn V. Johnson, USDA-NRCS; John E. Quinn, Furman University; and Esteli Jimenez-Soto, U. of California, Santa Cruz
Ricardo Salvador, Union of Concerned Scientists
Agroecology integrates the relationships among ecosystems, our economy, and society to address the needs of people and the planet today and in the future. The scope of agroecological research continues to grow and evolve as scientists, farmers, ranchers, policy makers, and others identify solutions to environmental and agricultural challenges, but run up against social and economic barriers. As we move into the next centennial, science suggests that cutting-edge agroecological research will continue to be a critical source of solutions to problems related to climate change, ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, population growth, and food security. For example, agroecological practices can help us to grow the food that we need in the face of a burgeoning population in conjunction with increasing drought, flooding, and temperature extremes. It is noteworthy that agroecological research has demonstrated great promise despite being significantly underfunded and maintaining a low profile; private investment unsurprisingly tends to go towards research leading to economic returns (seeds, chemicals, services) while institutions capable of conducting high risk research in the public interest have experienced significant budget cuts (typically government research programs and public agricultural research institutions). Considering both the constraints and potential, it is clear that the long-term success of agroecological solutions will rely heavily on the transfer of scientific research into practice via continued - and ideally enhanced - public support; engagement with farmers, ranchers, and land managers; and implementation of effective practices and policies. The objective of this session is to bring together a range of ecologists, policy advocates, and other stakeholders to share knowledge and ideas that can help to pave the way towards a sustainable future. The session will feature both established and early-career scientists working in urban and rural, and national and international environments. Compelling new research will highlight working models for collaborative and solutions-oriented agroecological research. Case studies will be used as a platform to discuss obstacles related to this genre of research, including available funding sources, cultural constraints, and existing policies that are prohibiting the expansion of agroecological practices. The session will be moderated to ensure that each talk speaks to both the challenges and opportunities in expanding agroecological research and practice.
8:00 AM
 USDA investments in sustainable agriculture and agroecology research: Setting the benchmark
Marcia S. DeLonge, Union of Concerned Scientists; Liz Carlisle, University of California, Berkeley; Albie Miles, University of Hawai'i, West O'ahu
8:20 AM
 How do yields from agroecological systems actually compare to conventional practices?
Lauren Ponisio, University of California; Claire Kremen, University of California, Berkeley
8:40 AM
 Linking above and below-ground interactions in agro-ecosystems: An ecological network approach
Peter D. Orrell, University of Hull; Alison E. Bennett, The James Hutton Institute; Darren M. Evans, University of Hull; Maria Nijnik, The James Hutton Institute
9:00 AM
 The new "three-legged stool": Agroecology, food sovereignty, and food justice
M. Jahi Chappell, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Mindi Schneider, International Institute of Social Studies
9:20 AM
 Agroecology, food sovereignty, and food security: Lessons from Malawi
Rachel Bezner Kerr, Cornell University; Sieglinde Snapp, Michigan State University; Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Organization, Ekwendeni Hospital; Mangani Katundu, Chancellor College, University of Malawi
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
 Greening the African green revolution: Exploring agroecological transitions in East Africa
Katherine Tully, University of Maryland; Tess Russo, Pennsylvania State University; Christopher Neill, Marine Biological Laboratory; Cheryl Palm, Agriculture and Food Security Center, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
10:10 AM
 Can biochar reduce nitrogen pollution from poultry manure? Assessing biochar’s biogeochemical fate and policy opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Rebecca Ryals, Brown University; Jianwu Tang, Marine Biological Laboratory; Meredith G. Hastings, Brown University; Dawn King, Brown University; Amy Teller, Brown University; Maya Almaraz, Brown University; Tom Sims, University of Delaware; Curtis J. Dell, USDA-ARS; Stephen Porder, Brown University; Mahalia Clark, Brown University; Elizabeth Castner, University of Virginia