Ecological Society of America

About the SEKP

ESA has launched the Southeast Regional Knowledge Partnership as a pilot project to complement the Society's national-level environmental education, policy, and science activities with regionally focused initiatives that will bring together scientists, policy makers, business and community leaders to share ecological information and attempt to impact decisions in the earliest possible stages.

The initial focus on the southeast lies in the history of the region. ESA recognizes its Southeastern Chapter (SE-ESA) as the oldest regional chapter and the one with the largest membership. Accordingly, it has targeted SE-ESA, and its affiliation with the Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB), as a logical, effective place to start in establishing dialogue toward implementing the SEKP. The Southeastern U.S. has been at the agricultural heart of the nation since our founding. That agrarian legacy still surrounds the Southeast Region’s focus on the land, the waters that nourish its fertile soil and the forests that cover the Appalachian slopes. The land and all that it contains from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi Delta is at the heart of the dynamic and ecologically diverse Southeastern Region.

By creating a series of forums and networks in which ecological information is made available and usable by individuals in local communities, government, business and industry, the Partnership hopes that future decision making will be based on accurate, up-to-date scientific information. In these collaborative forums, managers will be invited to identify what kinds of ecological knowledge they rely on in making decisions, what their needs are for better knowledge (or better access to that knowledge), and how they would like to receive the information. Ecologists will be asked to describe important scientific concerns and to identify available knowledge that may not currently be used in decision making. Both managers and ecologists will be invited to respond to the comments from each other, that is – to have a conversation.

In addition to the benefit of exchanging information and opening lines of communication, participants in these forums will have the opportunity to publish their conversation and its outcomes in ESA venues such as this web site and our journals. Other products that may be developed include educational materials for local and regional decision-makers, K-12 classrooms, and informal education centers.

This web site will also serve as a resource, providing links to environmental information sources throughout the region. Readers are invited to submit suggestions for additions to the Resources page to ESA by emailing us.

The ESA governing Board will consider establishing additional regional partnerships in the future.


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