Special Events

Sunday Opening Plenary and Welcome Mixer

Sunday, August 1, 5:15 – 6:30 PM, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Environmental disasters in the US: exploring our reactive mode

Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, Burmese Python and Asian Carp invasions, catastrophic forest fires in the West, wetland loss and Hurricane Katrina—human decisions have figured into how all of these disasters have played out. A panel of experts will offer several case studies from prominent environmental disasters—including the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig accident—and will explore the ways in which society assesses risk, and why we so often find ourselves reacting instead of proactively taking steps to minimize or avoid grave outcomes. ESA Vice President for Public Affairs Laura Huenneke (Northern Arizona University) will moderate.

Panelists include Robert Twilley, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science and Director, Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute at Louisiana State University; David Lodge, Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame; David Dzombak, Walter J. Blenko, Sr. Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University; and Baruch Fischhoff, Howard Heinz University Professor in the departments of Social and Decision Sciences and of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Twilley is an expert in wetlands and wetlands management on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. He will highlight how wetland degradation exacerbated the impact of hurricanes in the region and will also discuss the recent oil disaster in the Gulf. Dr. Lodge is an invasive species expert, who will showcase past invasions and discuss the risk of similar disasters in the future, such as the spread of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes. Dr. Dzombak, who directs the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research at Carnegie Mellon, studies water quality engineering and contaminated site remediation. He will discuss the deposition of contaminated sediment in the neighborhoods of New Orleans from the flooding induced by Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Fischhoff is an expert in risk analysis and decision science, whose research focuses on the communication of risk between experts and non-experts, particularly in areas such as human health, climate change and the environment, and national security.

David LodgeRobert Twilley David Dzombak Baruch FischhoffLaura Huenneke

Scientific Plenary & ESA Awards Session

Monday, Augst 2, 8 AM—10AM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Blrm B/C

Steve RunningKeynote: Steve Running

Forest ecologist Steve Running develops computer models of global and regional ecosystems to study Earth’s changing climate. Dr. Running is a professor at the University of Montana and a team member of the NASA Earth Observing System. He is on the board of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was a chapter lead author for the 4th Assessment of the IPCC report. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. 

Grand Opening of the ESA Exhibits

Monday, August 2, 11:30 AM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A

Join us for the ESA exhibits kick-off event.  Visit booths and displays and see what is new and exciting in the world of ecology.  Enjoy a complimentary lunch as you wander throughout the exhibit hall, but come early as refreshments will be offered only while supplies last.

Undergraduate Student Orientation

Monday, August 2, 12 PM - 1 PM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Room 323

If you are an undergraduate students (including one who has recently graduated), you are invited to attend this event. You will be welcomed by the ESA Leadership and will be given information about the ESA, student events, and awards, as well as hints about how to best enjoy and use the meetings. This event also provides a great opportunity for you to meet some of your peers from across the country and make new friends who you may see at ESA meetings for years to come – all while enjoying light refreshments.

ESA Student Mixer

Monday, August 2, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Point Park University, Lawrence Hall Lobbies, 313 Blvd of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA

Ticket $20

This mixer offers students an ideal opportunity to get to know their peers and form lasting friendships. The State of Pennsylvania has liquor laws that prohibit the University from selling alcohol. Therefore, you will only be given one FREE beer at dinner and no possibility to purchase a second one at the mixer. However, the ESA Student Section will organize a night-out in downtown Pittsburgh immediately after the mixer, so stick around for more fun that night! Come to the Mixer and enjoy good conversation and food, and have a good time.

Student Choice Awards

Tuesday, August 3, 11:30 AM – 1:15 PM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Room 323

The Student Choice Awards is designed to honor outstanding student contributions to ecological science through film, poetry and writing.

ESA Graduate Students and Post-Doc Roundtable with ESA Leadership

Tuesday, August 3, 7 AM - 8 AM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Room 413

Ticket $7

Graduate students and post-doctoral candidates are invited to join members of the ESA Leadership for informal conversation over a breakfast of bagels and coffee.

Sunrise 5K Fun Run/Walk in Pittsburgh

Wednesday, August 4, 5:30 AM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, meet at the East 10th St. taxi lanes

Ticket $15

Rise and shine early to enjoy this always popular morning event. Check-in will begin at 5:30 AM and take a short walk from the Center to the Allegheny River front, where you will warm up for an estimated 6 AM run/walk start. The course will follow the river, a lovely stretch of river front property.  Numerous prizes will be awarded and everyone who participates will receive an event souvenir. Participants must sign an Accident Waiver and Liability Release Form before the event.

Recent Advances Lecture

Wednesday, August 4, 12:15-1:15 pm

David L Lawrence Convention Center, Blrm B/C

Presider: Frank Gilliam, ESA Program Chair

John P. HoldrenKeynote Speaker: John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology in the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

Energy, the Environment, and the Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, he was the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, and Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, at Harvard University. Concurrently, from 2005, he served as Director of the Woods Hole Research Center and, from 2002, as co-chair of the independent, bipartisan National Commission on Energy Policy.

Dr. Holdren holds degrees in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics from MIT and Stanford and is the author of some 350 publications on global environmental change, energy technology and policy, nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, and science and technology policy. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign relations, as well as a foreign member of the Royal Society of London. He is also a former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; former Chairman of the Federation of American Scientists; and one of the first recipients, in 1981, of a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 1995 he gave the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance lecture on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an international arms-control and scientificcooperation organization in which he held leadership positions from 1982 to 1997.

From 1994 to 2001, Dr. Holdren served as a member of President Clinton's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST); from 1994 through 2004 he chaired the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academy of Sciences; and from 1991 to 2005 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. At the beginning of his career he held positions at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Environmental Quality Laboratory and Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, and from 1973 until 1996 he was the founding core faculty member and co-director of the campus-wide, interdisciplinary, graduate-degree-granting Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

He has been married for 43 years to Dr. Cheryl E. Holdren, a biologist; they have two grown children and five grandchildren ages 3 to 18. Holdren was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and grew up in San Mateo, California, where he attended public schools: Beresford Elementary, Borel Junior High, and Hillsdale High School.

Diversity Mixer

Wednesday, August 4, 6:30 PM - 8 PM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Blrm A

Ticket $9

Celebrate diversity with SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Development, and Sustainability) program participants at this popular mixer. This event offers an opportunity to learn more about the SEEDS program and its successes while enjoying good food before the Wednesday evening sessions.

WK 30: An Evening of Music: Live Performance by ESA Musicians

Wednesday, August 4, 7 PM - 10 PM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Room 406

Be a part of ESA’s Annual Meeting tradition be participating in the “Music and Ecology” session, featuring performances by meeting attendees. If you are interested in sharing your talents at this year’s session, join us on Wednesday evening. 

ESA Diversity Luncheon: SEEDing planetary stewardship to turn the world around

President,  Mary Power, and our President-Elect, Terry Chapin Thursday, August 5, 11:30 AM - 1:15 PM, David L Lawrence Convention Center, Westin, Pennsylvania Blrm

Ticket $25

Join us for the 6th ESA Diversity Luncheon and be inspired by our President Mary Power and our President-Elect Terry Chapin.

Play Ball!! A night at PNC Park with ESA, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Colorado Rockies

Thursday, August 5, 7:05 PM, PNC Ball Park at North Shore, 115 Federal Street

Ticket $32

Join ESA staff and annual meeting attendees at a night out at the ball park.  See the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Colorado Rockies at 7:05 PM at PNC Ball Park.  The Park will be open at 5:30 PM. It is only a short walk from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, over the Roberto Clemente Bridge to PNC Park.  The ESA tickets will be in the All You Can Eat section, which is undercover.  This allows you all the hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, salads, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream, and soda you can handle.  (There are no vegetarian hot dogs or hamburgers available.  The Ball Park does have the Hall of Fame restaurant, which has vegetarian selections, but these options are not available in the All You Can Eat section and that food is not covered in the ticket price.)  If the game is cancelled due to bad weather, you will be allowed to exchange your ticket for the next available game. 

Closing Plenary Lunch: Summary of Meeting by Senior Ecologists

Friday, August 6, 11:30 AM - 1 PM, Westin, Somerset East/West

Ticket $27

Mary Power, Maria Uriarte, Rob Salguero-Gomez, and Tom Lovejoy

The Closing Plenary Lunch will provide an informally structured opportunity for attendees to hear the perspectives of a panel of distinguished ecologists on the meeting just past, and their more general reflections on the history and future of the Society's meetings.