Thursday, August 11, 2016: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
301, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Heidi W. Weiskel
The impact of our scientific legacy outside the university has become increasingly important to society, to funders, and to ourselves. Many of us work in habitats that are affected by climate change, degraded by development, or otherwise anthropogenically altered. For some of us, these changes are the focus of our work. But for others, making the connection between our understanding of ecological systems and playing a role in their protection remains elusive. If you have wanted to find a meaningful way to engage in ecologically-based protection of ecosystems, this workshop is for you. The session leader will present examples where ecological information has been key in legal decisions around the world and present some of the rewards and challenges of being involved in the law as a public interest scientist. Then the workshop will be opened for a moderated discussion on strategies for engagement by the ecological community. Discussion will be organized around three elements of impact: 1) knowing your science; 2) knowing your audience, and 3) anticipating the ramifications of your actions. The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) is an international network of public interest attorneys working in their respective countries to strengthen environmental laws and enhance protection for ecosystems and the communities dependent upon them. These lawyers rely on scientists to help assess and articulate the value of ecosystems in jeopardy, as well as the potential consequences of habitat and species loss. This session will provide information for ecologists wishing to engage their expertise in this context.