AESS 2013 to be held
June 19-22, 2013 at Duquesne University
in Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks to all who participated in June!
The 2012 AESS Conference was held Thursday June 21 to Sunday June 24 on the beautiful grounds of Santa Clara University (www.scu.edu) in Santa Clara, California.
This year’s theme was “Preparing for our Environmental Future.” The framework allowed AESS to showcase its interdisciplinary strengths on a vitally important topic:
In terms of knowledge:
- What questions should the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences be asking now give the dramatic environmental and social changes of coming decades?
- How can creative interdisciplinary linkages—such as coupled human-natural systems— help us address both the causes and consequences of environmental change?
- When events like weather catastrophes, food disruptions, heat-related deaths, coastal flooding, pollution,water shortages, migrations, disease, an
d other forms of environmentally-mediated social and political unrest intensify, what can AESS do to provide leadership in understanding and dealing with these problems?
- What do historical lessons offer us?
- In light of potentially rapid and large changes, is it time to reconsider the ways we frame problems and solutions? For instance, are there ways to create more effective partnerships among academia,government, and practitioners?
- How do we address these things at the local, regional, and global scales?
- What’s the role of sustainability, our energy future, adaptation and resilience?
In terms of teaching and education:
- What should the dialog with our students and the general public look like?
- What are our greatest needs and concerns when it comes to education?
In terms of practical application:
- How can we partner with communities, governments, NGOs, the media, to generate more effective frameworks and solutions to problems? Can we showcase innovative case studies and partnerships to highlight what’s working—and importantly—what’s not working?
To achieve these goals, we extended our investigations across many scales, from local to global, from students to late-career professionals, from all regions of the world, and across communities representing the full scope of perspectives on environmental issues. We need to generate knowledge, create ethics, and devise solutions. In short, preparing for our environmental future means not only addressing the technical problems that face our natural systems, but also facing the social problems that often challenge our ability to address environmental problems.