Guide to Environmental Justice at ESA 2013


Below is a list of events at the 98th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America that involve environmental justice…

Environmental Justice section events:

ESA Applied Ecology, Agroecology, Urban Ecosystems, Human Ecology, and Environmental Justice Joint Mixer
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM
200D, Minneapolis Convention Center

ESA Environmental Justice Business Meeting
Wednesday, August 7, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Director’s 4, Hilton Minneapolis
All are welcome to share ideas and get involved in section activities!

Workshops and Special Sessions:

SS 4: Generating a Historical Time Line of ‘Earth Stewards’ to Inspire Our Future
Monday, August 5, 2013: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
101E, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Robert A. Dyball

WK 41: Developing Action Plans for Incorporating Environmental Justice (EJ) in Ecological Research and Education: Learning from Diverse EJ Practitioners How to Shape Future Community Sustainability
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
L100B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Carmen R. Cid

WK 51: Launching A Scientists’ Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice Communities
Thursday, August 8, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Director’s 2, Hilton Minneapolis
Organizer: Gregory E. Hitzhusen

Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice
Friday, August 9, 2013: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN
Organizer: Megan Gregory

Symposia and Organized Oral Sessions:

OOS 7: Doing Justice Through Your Research: Following Your Passion and Creating a Just Society as an Ecologist
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
101B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Leanne M. Jablonski

SYMP 13: Can Ethics and Justice Pave a Sustainable Pathway for Human Ecosystems?
Wednesday, August 7, 2013: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
M100EF, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Mimi E. Lam

Other Talks:

COS 49-10: The University of St. Thomas Stewardship Garden: Combining biodiversity research and community service in an urban agriculture setting
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 4:40 PM
M101A, Minneapolis Convention Center
Ashela A. Richardson, Biology, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN
Quinn A. Wrenholt, Biology, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN
Adam D. Kay, Biology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

IGN 9-7: Urban Climate and Social Inequities
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
101H, Minneapolis Convention Center
William G. Wilson, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC

ESA MN 2013 workshop: Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice

“Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice”

Friday, August 9     ●     12 – 5 pm (lunch available at 11:30 am)    

University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN

Do you work with a community-based organization focusing on environmental justice issues in the Minneapolis, MN area?  Would you like to share the story of one of your projects, learn from other organizations doing similar work, and strengthen partnerships with ecologists? 

If so, please contact us to learn more about participating in this workshop on “Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice,” to be held on Friday, August 9 from 12-5 pm in Minneapolis, MN.


One of the goals of the Environmental Justice Section of the Ecological Society of America is to promote partnerships between community organizations and ecologists that contribute to healthy, sustainable communities.  In 2013, we received a planning grant from the ESA Governing Board to support a workshop, “Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice” following ESA’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis.  This workshop will engage EJ organizations and ESA members in sharing, learning from, and supporting community-led EJ work that includes research and education partnerships with ecologists.

 Workshop Goals:

  • Share and learn from stories of community-ecologist partnerships: We will provide a forum for EJ organizations to share stories of specific projects involving community-based ecological research.  From these, we will identify lessons and further work to enhance community-ecologist partnerships.
  • Lay the foundation for a community of practice (CoP): We will explore the potential for an ongoing CoP dedicated to supporting and enhancing community-ecologist partnerships for EJ.  We will consider:
    • Structures and technologies for ongoing communication
    • Potential functions and activities of a CoP
  • Outline resources we could develop to provide guidance to community organizations and ecologists seeking to collaborate.  We will consider:
    • A guidebook/summary of best practices
    • A collection of multimedia practice stories
    • An annotated guide to resources on community-ecologist partnerships and participatory research in general.

Workshop Approach & Agenda: Sharing and learning from practice stories

  • We will develop the final workshop agenda in collaboration with participating community organizations, but our tentative plan is to begin with each organization sharing the story of a specific project involving community-based ecological research.  Each organization is encouraged to be creative in choosing the format and media that best portrays your hopes, activities, successes, and struggles in a specific effort.
  • We will use these stories as a starting point for discussing the types of relationships and resources that would support useful research and education partnerships with ecologists – and then lay the foundation for creating those relationships and resources together.

Faith Community Outreach: Reverend Bob Murphy

“If you want environmental peace, work for environmental justice.”

Bob-Murphy-newRev. Bob Murphy uses these words to explain his environmental justice ministry. During the 1990s, Rev. Murphy was a circuit rider on the coast of North Carolina. He served as a Red Cross volunteer during six hurricanes. He worked with the NAACP and migrant farm workers.

In the year 2000, Murphy moved to the coast of Massachusetts to continue his ministry. He serves as the pastor for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowswhip of Falmouth, Massachusetts, and he’s active in a variety of projects and programs that bring social justice and environmental protection concerns together. In 2011, he received a Special Service Award from the national Sierra Club. This year, we was honored for his Red Cross work on Cape Cod. Murphy is active in the environmental justice movement in New England. He was an organizer for the first New England summit meeting on environmental justice in 2012.

“It’s difficult to talk about global warming, or about polar bears, when a family is worried about paying for food and energy-efficient housing,” notes Murphy. “On Cape Cod, advocates for environmental justice start with immediate problems and we give a lot of attention to low-income people.”

Murphy’s Cape Cod congregation focuses its attention on three areas of special concern. With energy issues, the congregation emphasizes the importance of energy justice. The goal is to provide all families with an adequate source of energy that is safe, affordable and sustainable. In responding to climate change, the first concern is health and safety. Church volunteers train with organizations like the Red Cross and the Medical Reserve Corps. The Falmouth fellowship supports local food production that is safe and sustainable. Fresh produce is raised for community food pantries. In the fall, the congregation sponsors its annual Rachel Carson Harvest Dinner, to celebrate organic gardening and to raise money to help feed the hungry.