CFP – Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

Call for Research Proposals Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

The U.S. National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) and two German national research centers—the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the Synthesis Centre (sDiv) within the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena- Leipzig—are pleased to announce an international opportunity for socio-environmental synthesis research on “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.”

Participants are expected to spend time at each of the three centers (SESYNC in Annapolis, MD, USA; UFZ and sDiv in Leipzig, Germany) working with their synthesis team. Each team should generally have no more than five members; however, larger-sized teams will be considered if justified. UFZ and sDiv have many faculty on-site, and applicants may wish to take advantage of their expertise. Funding decisions will be based on external peer review by an international panel.  Proposals are due no later than October 9, 2013, and decisions will be made no later than November 15, 2013.

A description of the projects including background on SESYNC and detailed submission instructions can be found HERE.

VIDEOCAST – “Regreso a la Madriguera,” Biocultural Conservation at the Southern Tip of the Americas

I came out of the University of North Texas.   One of the many great many things about the Environmental Philosophy program at UNT is its practice of interdisciplinarity in the field.  A particularly illustrative example is their Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program headed up by Ricardo Rozzi.  The program is a long-term biocultural research, education and conservation initiative coordinated by the University of North Texas in the United States, the University of Magallanes and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity in Chile.  It is based at the southernmost end of the Americas, in the sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion at the Omora Ethnobotanical Park in Puerto Williams, the capital of the Antarctic province of Chile.  Since 1999, the SBC program addresses global environmental change challenges to link the conservation of biological and cultural diversity with socio-ecological well-being by working at multiple, nested scales: (i) locally, it manages the transdisciplinary, sub-Antarctic research center of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve; (ii) nationally, it co-founded the Chilean network of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research sites; (iii) internationally, the SBC program develops collaborative courses, publication series, and research that integrate ecological sciences and environmental philosophy into biocultural conservation.

Enjoy this video about the program and trips to the Omora Ethnobotanical Park in Chile.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainability: A Call to Stewardship

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. November 8-10, 2012

This symposium is devoted to exploring the interdisciplinary dimensions of environmental stewardship in literature and the arts, law, philosophy, science, and religion.  We seek papers that critique, develop, and enhance conceptions of stewardship that are grounded in current scientific and cultural understanding of environmental problems.  We encourage explorations such problems as climate change, species extinction, human/animal relationships, food production, land and water use, air quality, and other environmental and resource problems of national and
international consequence.  We especially welcome presentations that also develop the underlying moral, ethical, cultural, or theological dimensions of such problems.  In other words, we seek papers that will provide guidelines for solutions and the justifications and methods for motivating conservation, restoration, and the goal of long-term sustainability.  Moreover, we expect papers that reflect various religious, philosophical, and cultural perspectives.

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Margaret Palmer (Director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and University of Maryland),
  • Jonathan Foley (Institute on the Environment at the University of the Minnesota),
  • and J. Baird Callicott (University of North Texas and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy).

This symposium will address questions about:

  • Stewardship: What are the advantages and limitations of the idea of stewardship?  To which texts, stories, cosmologies, and artistic traditions can we turn for inspiration? What are the underlying values and moral limits of environmental laws?  What obstacles and opportunities are there for science to interface effectively with religion, public policy, and culture to promote better stewardship?
  • Conservation: What are the fundamental principles of conservation biology?  What are the crises of conservation we face?  How can we translate conservation biology and other relevant sciences more effectively into the languages of culture and religion, into human values?
  • Restoration: What are the challenges of ecological restoration?  How do we know when restoration is necessary?  What successes can we point to?  With the need of ecological restoration in mind, what kind of economy is a moral and efficacious one?  What is religion’s relevance to restoration?
  • Sustainability: What are the fundamental principles of sustainability?  What are the principles of intergenerational as well as intra-generational fairness?  How can we meet the needs of present and future populations?  What are the limits of resources we face and what role might faith, innovation, or modesty play in living within them?

Please send proposals for individual papers or for panels to by June 1, 2012.  Proposals for papers should be no more than 200 words and should include a CV.  Proposals for panels should include a description of the panel’s objectives and a paper proposal and a CV for each participant.

This symposium is hosted by the Environmental Ethics Initiative at Brigham Young University (BYU) and sponsored by generous funds from The Nature Conservancy and from BYU’s David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies and the Colleges of Life Sciences and of Humanities.

FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS – Workshop on History and Values in Ecological Restoration

–June 7-9, 2012 at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

–Sponsored in part by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation

This workshop focuses on restoration in landscapes with complex histories, shaped by the ongoing interaction between humans and nature.  These “hybrid landscapes” challenge traditional frameworks for ecological restoration, which focus on restoration of ecosystems to conditions existing prior to a discrete anthropogenic disturbance. Hybrid landscapes, by contrast, are characterized by blended natural and cultural histories, which challenge the identification of pre-disturbance “reference conditions.”  The aim of this workshop is to explore history and values in hybrid landscapes, and how they interact in the identification of restoration goals.  The workshop will give particular attention to the restoration and re-naturalization of former military sites in the United States now managed as National Wildlife Refuges.

Key questions for the workshop include: To what extent, if any, are the concepts of “authenticity” and “historical fidelity” relevant to restoration in hybrid landscapes? Are there new ways of conceiving authenticity and historical fidelity that are more appropriate for landscapes with complex socio-ecological histories, or are these categories simply irrelevant?  If authenticity and historical fidelity are no longer relevant, then what values should guide restoration?  To what extent should restored landscapes and their interpretation take account of and make visible a site’s history?

We welcome papers from history, philosophy, geography, sociology, restoration ecology, and other relevant disciplines that address the above questions and themes.  This workshop has a unique format: we are inviting land managers from several military-to-wildlife conversion refuges to participate, and the workshop will include a field trip to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, a former chemical weapons manufacturing facility.  Presenters should tailor their papers for accessibility and relevance to both managers and academics. Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, we will cover lodging and food for all workshop presenters.  

Please submit 300-word abstracts to Marion Hourdequin by February 20, 2012.  Early submissions are welcome.  Questions about the workshop can be directed to the organizers, Marion Hourdequin (Colorado College) and David Havlick (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs).