95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

SYMP 19 - Socioecological Adaptations to Climate Change.

Thursday, August 5, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Blrm A, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Robert Dyball
Erle Ellis and Amy Freitag
Amy Freitag
Within a coherent framework of Human Ecology, this symposium provides an interdisciplinary view of climate change forcing on human ecosystems and some of the consequences of the adaptations human societies might make in response. Climate change is introduced as a key “planetary boundary” that current anthropogenic activity is transgressing (introduced by Rockstrom et al in Nature 24/09/09). If humanity does cross the threshold of such planetary boundaries, then it risks perturbing the stability domain that has dominated during the Holocene, rendering the socio-economic and bio-physical foundations of complex societies highly vulnerable. Responding to this scene-setting introduction, speakers will discuss how these pressures may act on different aspects of human society and their ecosystems and how different social adaptations might feedback further change processes. In presenting, speakers will integrate their research more broadly in order to show how the changes they are discussing will influence change in other dimensions, so placing their material in a larger context. Responding papers will discuss an integrated study of the vulnerability of the interconnected food systems of Tokyo, Copenhagen and Canberra; changes to the capacity of ecosystems to provision for food or bio-fuels, and the consequence of different options for carbon fluxes; and the effects on human health and wellbeing. Talks following the break will be on how climate and the planet can be understood as comprising an integrated biophysical system. On a local scale, interdisciplinary studies of indigenous groups can track key socio-ecological changes across history in place, revealing principles that others can learn from. Such principles are relevant in the management and preservation of the ecological and conservation value of the newly emerged and novel human-influenced ecosystems of the 21st century. These examples demonstrate that policy makers, citizens, environmental managers and others need to collaborate with ecologists and other disciplines within communities of practice in order to understand and manage wicked problems in coupled human-environment systems The final speaker will wrap the symposium up by referring back to the concept of “planetary boundaries” and the thresholds that they place on humanity’s safe operating space. These planetary boundaries require redefining human relationships to the planet within a new framework of “planetary stewardship”. Ecologists have a key role to play within interdisciplinary partnerships to help frame policy and community engagement for a future of planetary stewardship. The session will then open for discussion from the floor, with all speakers convened as a panel.
ESA Human Ecology Section, ESA Agroecology Section
1:40 PM
Planetary boundaries: Estimating a safe operating space for humanity
Will Steffen, Australian National University
2:00 PM
Security and sovereignty of food and land in Canberra, Copenhagen and Tokyo
John Porter, University of Copenhagen; Jennifer Riem, Ecological Society of America; Jennifer Riem, Australian National University; Robert Dyball, Australian National University; Jennifer Riem, University of Tokyo
2:20 PM
Food, climate and biofuels
David Pimentel, Cornell University
2:40 PM
Sustainable well-being and health
Chiho Watanabe, University of Tokyo; Koji Arizono, Prefectural University of Kumamoto; Masahiro Umezaki, University of Tokyo
3:00 PM
Cause and effect: Discerning the roles of the aleut through 4500 years of changing north Pacific ecosystems
Nicole Misarti, Idaho State University; Bruce Finney, Idaho State University; Nancy Huntly, Idaho State University; James Jordan, Antioch University; Herbert Maschner, Idaho State University; Katherine Reedy-Maschner, Idaho State University; Spencer A. Wood, University of Washington
3:20 PM
3:30 PM
Ecology in the Anthropocene
Erle Ellis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
3:50 PM
Environmental optimism and realism in the 21st century
Richard J. Hobbs, The University of Western Australia
4:10 PM
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