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

OOS 36 - The Evolving Role of Ecologists in the Development of Environmental Public Policy

Wednesday, August 4, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
401-402, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Carmen Cid
N. S. Nicholas
N.S. Nicholas
At its 2010 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, the Ecological Society of America will “place global warming at center stage to draw a critical combination of scientists, policy makers, and concerned citizens to understand further its causes and consequences and to elucidate a clear scenario for addressing what is perhaps the most serious environmental threat facing the biosphere”. Ecologists and other scientists in America and across the global have been actively engaged in research pertaining to the effects of climate change at every level for quite some time. However, the ecologists’ role in the development or advocacy for public policy to address climate change is far less understood or recognized. The purpose of the session is to highlight the work that ecologists have done and are now doing to enhance the development of environmental public policy, in light of changing environmental conditions associated with global warming and regional climate change. The session is organized to showcase the involvement of ecologists on national and regional environmental policy issues, through testimony at legal hearings, development of comprehensive strategic planning documents, and dialogue with diverse audiences. The focus of the session’s research relates to three areas: climate change, fire and water management policies and conservation of endangered species. This session will enlighten the membership of ESA in how ecologists are influencing environmental policy and help them become more engaged in the process. Ecological research is affected by public policy. The development of public policy needs to be informed by valid scientific research that engages the public in implementing effective ways of preserving biodiversity in response to environmental certainties and uncertainties associated with global warming and climate change. To engage those from various fields attending the 2010 Annual Meeting in the purpose of this session, organizers have opted to illuminate and support the work of ecologists in the development of public policy about climate change through telling the story of their current research and public advocacy. These presenters reflect the diversity of the ESA—university researchers and educators; professionals with the National Park Service, NASA, US Fisheries and Wildlife Service, South Florida Water Quality Management District, and other settings. The relationship between research and public policy advocacy will be a defining theme of these presentations.
1:50 PM
Biodiversity conservation under climate change: Ecological principles underpin a national approach in Australia
Patricia A. Werner, Australian National University; Will Steffen, Australian National University
2:10 PM
Discovering rare plant species ahead of climate change: What to do with the knowledge?
Alison E.L. Colwell, Yosemite National Park; N. S. Nicholas, Yosemite National Park
3:10 PM
3:40 PM
Influences of ecological research on policy and management of Glacier National Park, Montana
Daniel B. Fagre, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center; Erich H. Peitzsch, Glacier National Park
4:20 PM
Conserving wildlife and wild lands in conflict zones: Afghanistan
Peter D. Smallwood, University of Richmond; David Lawson, Wildlife Conservation Society; Peter Zahler, Wildlife Conservation Society
See more of: Organized Oral Session