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.

DEADLINE TOMORROW – 9th Meeting on Environmental Philosophy, June 12-15, 2012

International Society for Environmental Ethics cordially invites you to the 9th Annual Meeting on Environmental Philosophy in Allenspark, Colorado, USA, June 12-15, 2012.

The registration deadline is tomorrow, May 18th, 2012.
Please visit the conference main page

JOB – Princeton Environmental Institute

Princeton University seeks to appoint one or more distinguished humanists whose work is related to the environment.  The position(s) will provide salary plus benefits for a semester long visit or the duration of a full academic year, depending on the negotiated length of the visit and available funding.  The funds may be used to supplement a sabbatical leave.

The position is supported by the Princeton Environmental Institute – the interdisciplinary center of environmental research, education,  and outreach at Princeton University.  Persons appointed will hold the title of the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and Humanities.

Applicants should be accomplished scholars on leave from their home institution, who have exceptional records of publication and teaching and whose interests lie at the intersection of environmental issues and the humanities. Of particular interest are scholars with expertise and interests related to key environmental concerns including conservation, biodiversity, global change, energy, sustainable development, global health, clean air and water, wilderness preservation, and environmental justice.  Backgrounds in religion and ecology, environmental history, American Studies, environmental criticism, and creative expression are particularly of interest.

The visitor(s) will have a shared appointment in the Princeton Environmental Institute and a supporting department at Princeton University.  The incumbent Barron Visitor(s) will be expected to contribute to the life of this vibrant academic center and to cultivate dialogue at the intersection of the humanities and the environment at Princeton.  He/she will be expected to teach one or more courses subject to sufficient enrollment and approval by the Dean of the Faculty and to mentor/advise two to three students on independent projects.  Other activities may include the organization of University/public lectures and forums on related topics.  Remaining duty time may be devoted to research and writing.

The incumbent’s annual salary will be determined based upon his/her salary at the home institution, not to exceed the level established for an equivalent rank of associate or full professor in the supporting department.

Applications should include (1) a cover letter; (2) for scholars on sabbatical leave, an indication of and justification for the level of support requested; (3) a brief description of any previous experience in interdisciplinary and/or collaborative research; (4) a statement of research and teaching plans at the intersection of environment and humanities; and (5) a current curriculum vitae.

To apply, please link to, position requisition number 1200121; Questions about the application process for these positions may be directed to Frances Juhasz at

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).

CALL FOR PAPERS – Old Land-New Practices? The Changing Face of Land & Conservation in Postcolonial Africa

Panel and paper proposals are due on or before March 30,  2012 and should be e-mailed to with the words ‘panel’ (and/or) ‘proposal submission’ in the subject line.  Download Abstract submission form.

The conference will take place September 11th – 14th, 2012, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and is being organised by Georgina Barrett (Rhodes University), Nqobile Zulu (University of Witwatersrand), Jenny Josefsson and Shirley Brooks (University of the Free State).

The ‘land issue’ is omnipresent across post-colonial Africa. It is a highly contentious and contested topic, which at times has proven explosive (Zimbabwe, Kenya), or else a persistent focus of identity politics (Tanzania, Sudan), or central to historically rooted struggles for equality and restitution (South Africa, Botswana). Yet, the legacy of colonial land use management from which these struggles are borne, continues to inform contemporary conservation policy practices. They are also conceptualised and legitimated by a fusion of international environmental and neoliberal market agendas and regional and national policy exigencies, framed by diverse socio-economic development challenges. One of many ‘solutions’ borne of this conjuncture has been the spread of conservation and environmental protection strategies which promise to ‘deliver’ on the requisite national economic and environmental priorities in adherence to broader international and regional prerogatives. Such promises are bound to the success of market orientated strategies for the preservation of Africa’s biodiversity. Furthermore, they are tied to the commoditization of wildlife and wild spaces, and the ‘mass production’ thereof in a range of state-owned, private or joint partnership ventures, including parks, farms and conservancies. The results are not yet fully comprehensible, but it is evident that the post-colonial echoes the colonial, and in this continuity conservation and environmental protection strategies may perpetuate historical insecurities through the alienation of local communities from land ownership and management practices.

This conference was inspired by conversations amongst attendees of the
Nature Inc. conference held at the Institute for Social Sciences (ISS) at The Hague in June 2011 interested in the complex issues surrounding land, conservation, and ‘security’ within an African context. It therefore aims to contribute to the development and sharing of knowledge and expertise with an explicitly pan-African focus. Specifically, it seeks to critically engage with the nexus between post-colonial land use changes and the development of conservation initiatives across the continent at both the theoretical and practical level with cognisance of their historical precedence.

The conference will be organised around the following themes:
• Conservation as a post-colonial land use option
• Historical and contemporary ecological imperialism
• Land use and identity politics
• Gender dynamics and conservation land use strategies
• Alienation, (in)security and conflict
• State and private environmental/conservation agendas
• Community-based natural resource management
• Market driven environmentalism and conservation in Africa
• Continuities and divergences in colonial (and apartheid) and post-colonial
• Theoretical debates and practical realities- never the twain shall meet?

For more information about registration, paper and panel submissions, guest speakers, field trips and the opportunity to publish papers in a special edition of
Journal of Contemporary African Studies, amongst others, go to the conference
website HERE.