Sunday, August 7, 2016: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
223, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Winslow D. Hansen, ESA Student Section Chair
Joshua P. Scholl, University of Arizona;
Kristin K. Michels, Secretary, ESA Student Section; and
Kelsey E. Fisher, University of Delaware
Entering ESA’s 101st
year calls for reflection. Ecological research has a rich history of resolving complex questions about our natural world. Yet, as Earth enters the Anthropocene, 21st
-century ecologists will likely contend with novel ecological realities, emerging career challenges, and an uncertain funding environment. To stimulate thought about the future of ecology as a career and how ecology can support responsible environmental decision making in the 21st
century, the Student Section is launching the EcoFutures initiative, a graduate student led horizon scanning exercise addressing the following questions: What are the 50 key challenges that ecologists will face in the 21st century and what are the 50 most promising opportunities for innovation in ecological science?
As part of the horizon scanning exercise, we propose a full day workshop at the 2016 Annual Meeting. At the workshop, we will discuss and prioritize submissions of challenges and opportunities from an earlier wide census of ecology graduate students. Through a series of break out groups and plenary discussions, we hope to leave the workshop with a thematically organized list of major challenges and promising opportunities for innovation in 21st
century ecology. Results from the workshop will be summarized in a paper and presented at ESA 2017. We expect additional products will develop organically from the exercise. Ecology students today will be the leaders of tomorrow. We are the ones who will steward ecology in the 21st
century. This workshop will provide students with opportunities to begin anticipating this future.