SYMP 8 - Integrating Ecological Science into Policy and Management for Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Keys to Success

Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Portland Blrm 252, Oregon Convention Center
Bruce A. Byers, Bruce Byers Consulting
Frank W. Davis, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Frank W. Davis, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Understanding the relationships between species diversity and ecosystem functioning is an active topic of academic research, and significant results are already emerging. Ecosystem functions provide ecosystem services and other benefits essential to human well-being, including pollination, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and hydrological services. Conservation biologists and natural resource managers are eager to apply cutting-edge knowledge about the relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and ecosystem services, but there is often a bottleneck or gap in the flow of research results to applications in policy and management. How could the flow of information from basic research to application be improved? What are the incentives for academic ecologists to become involved in applying and integrating their science in the public policy realm? Does the current model for training ecologists provide them with the background needed for careers in applied ecology outside of the academic world? This symposium features case studies by a diverse group of ecologists with experience integrating their science into policies or management actions for conserving ecosystem services. The speakers will present a range of examples from different scales (international, national, regional, local) and which involve a number of different ecosystem services. International examples will highlight links between biodiversity and hydrological services in forests of southern Malawi, and carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling in mangrove ecosystems in Central America and Southeast Asia. Examples from the national, state, and regional levels feature research relevant to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Case studies will describe how the U.S. Forest Service is integrating ecosystem services conservation into its policies and operations, new remote-sensing tools for studying forest carbon sequestration and hydrology at the landscape scale, the role of ecosystem services in resilience to drought, and how research is informing the restoration of functioning estuaries. Through these diverse cases, the symposium aims to illustrate a range of opportunities for applying ecological science in conserving biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides, and to highlight common challenges and identify successful approaches across a range of scales. A goal of the symposium is to inspire ecologists doing basic research on these topics to work more closely with natural resource managers and policy makers, and vice versa, by featuring speakers who have tried to bridge this gap in their own work.
2:30 PM
 Integrating ecosystem services into U.S. Forest Service policy and management
Nikola M. Smith, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service
3:00 PM
3:40 PM
 A framework for prioritizing ecosystem services in the context of ecological drought
Molly S. Cross, Wildlife Conservation Society; Aaron R. Ramirez, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis; Nejem Raheem, Emerson College; Steve Colt, Alaska Pacific University
4:10 PM
 Restoring ecological functions in the Salmon River estuary, Oregon
Rebecca L. Flitcroft, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service
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