Ecological Society of America

Plenary Sessions--Open to the Public

Opening Plenary Session, Sunday, August 5, 5-6:30 pm
San Jose Civic Auditorium, Main Hall

Welcome and Greetings: Katherine S. McCarter, ESA Executive Director

Mary Kay LeFevour, SER Executive Director

Restoration in a Changing World: Keith Bowers, SER Chair

Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Alan Covich, ESA President

Keynote: Don Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief of Science

Now that the reality of climate change has achieved full-bore political momentum, it is driving a whole portfolio of proposed responses -- mitigation strategies, alternative energy sources, and geoengineering solutions. If we're too eager for a solution, we may not give careful examination to the externalities of each proposal. Don Kennedy will run through a few examples.(Click here to listen to the mp3 - plenary session)


Opening Plenary, Awards Ceremony, and MacArthur Lecture, Monday, August 6, 8-10:30 am
San Jose Civic Auditorium, Main Hall

Welcome and Greetings: Katherine S. McCarter, ESA Executive Director

Presider: Alan Covich, ESA President

State of the Society Address: Looking Toward Our 100th Anniversary: ESA in 2015 and the Age of Globalization—Alan Covich, ESA President

Presentation of 2007 ESA Awards: Sandy Tartowski

2007 ESA MacArthur Lecturer: Time: The New Frontier in Ecology—Alan Hastings

The Robert H. MacArthur Award is given biannually to an established ecologist in mid-career for meritorious contributions to ecology, in the expectation of continued outstanding ecological research. Nominees may be from any country and need not be ESA members. The recipient is invited to prepare an address for presentation at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America and for publication in Ecology.

Award Recipient

Alan Hastings, University of California at Davis

Alan Hastings of the University of California at Davis is one of the most respected theoretical ecologists working today. He has been a leading force in this field for two decades. He is distinguished both for his research and for his commitment to advancing the basic ecological sciences and their management implications. He has published fundamental papers in population genetics and ecology, made important contributions in metapopulation theory and conservation biology, and brought the full power of sophisticated advances to bear on the solution of applied problems.

His work, from the start, has sought to integrate ecology and evolutionary biology. His contributions to making space and time explicit in metapopulation and dispersal models have launched new research subfields, not only in theoretical ecology but in conservation(Click here to listen) biology and resource management. Dr. Hastings is distinguished not only for the breadth, quality, and impact of his work, but for his productivity, with more than 170 peer-reviewed papers, many which have become classics. Dr. Hastings has also written a successful textbook ( Population Biology: Concepts and Models ). Indeed, his nominators describe his writing in research papers as “both rigorous and pedagogical.”

After receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1977, Dr. Hastings began his professional career at Washington State University in the Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics. Since 1979, he has been at the University of California at Davis, where he is now Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, which he chaired from 1992 to 1998.

As a mentor, Dr. Hastings has trained 16 doctoral students and 22 postdocs, and is beloved by those who have worked with him. His contributions to the wider community include service to the Society for Mathematical Biology as President and to the ESA as Chair of the Theoretical Ecology Section. Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of the new journal Theoretical Ecology , the Theoretical Ecology Series for Academic Press, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Mathematical Biology , and serves on the Editorial Board of Mathematical Biosciences . In the past, he has served on the Board of Editors for Ecology and Ecological Monographs and as Associate Editor for Evolution, Oecologia. and Theoretical Population Biology.


Time: The next frontier in ecology

Ecologists have increasingly recognized the importance of time and time scales in understanding ecological processes and the factors that determine the abundance and diversity of species. Issues ranging from regime shifts in lakes, response to global climate change, explaining regular and irregular outbreaks of insects, understanding widespread synchrony in small mammal cycles or flowering of trees to the dynamics of restoration all require explicit consideration of time scales. Yet, ecological models and theory have typically focused on long time behavior (albeit with some notable exceptions), or possibly on very short term behavior, while ignoring the more ecologically relevant intermediate time scales. At intermediate time scales, density dependence and species interactions can lead to behavior that will be an essential part of dealing with all the issues mentioned above. In this talk I will examine how time can and should be explicitly included in the study of a variety of ecological questions, why this is so important, and explain how this can change views of what regulates populations and produces coexistence on ecologically relevant time scales. I will also focus on how issues of time scales are important when focusing on applied issues ranging from management of renewable resources to biodiversity conservation with a special emphasis on restoration.

Recent Advances Lecture: Multiple feedbacks link changes in climate and ecosystems
Wednesday, August 8, 8-10 pm,

San Jose Convention Center, A 1&8

The 2007 ESA /SER Joint Meeting will feature the first “Recent Advances” lecture. With the rapid expansion of our discipline, it becomes ever more challenging to stay abreast of what's exciting and current across the field of ecology. No one can track the full primary literature of ecology, yet most of us would like to have some sense of what is current and important in areas outside our own particular expertise. The Recent Advances talks are designed to address this need by providing current, high-level synopses of timely issues, precisely for the broad community of professional ecologists. Topics will be different each year, and speakers will be selected for their capacity to offer a synthetic and up-to-date perspective for their colleagues.

Guest Lecturer
F. Stuart Chapin, III, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

F. Stuart Chapin, III is Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biology and Wildlife at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where he directs the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program and an interdisciplinary (IGERT) program in Resilience and Adaptation.

He received a BA in biology from Swarthmore College and a PhD in Biology from Stanford University. Chapin’s research focuses on ecosystem ecology and on the resilience of social-ecological systems. His ecological research addresses the consequences of plant traits for ecosystem and global processes, and focuses particularly on vegetation-mediated feedbacks to high-latitude climate warming. His research on social-ecological systems emphasizes the resilience of northern regions to recent changes in climate and(Click here to listen) fire regime, and resulting effects on ecosystem services, wages, cultural integrity, and the effects of local opinions about fire. Chapin has served on many national and international advisory boards and committees and received wide recognition for his research in both pure and applied ecology. He is an author of over 300 peer-reviewed research publications and several books, including an influential textbook in ecosystem ecology. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004.


Multiple feedbacks link changes in climate and ecosystems
Authors: F. Stuart Chapin, III, James Randerson, Jon Foley, and David McGuire

Changes in climate are linked with changes in ecosystems through multiple feedbacks. Climatic change affects ecosystems primarily through changes in availability of soil resources and in disturbance regime, with multiple indirect effects that propagate through food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Changes in ecosystems, in turn, affect the climate system through changes in fluxes of trace gases, which are globally dispersed, and of water and energy, which affect climate more locally. The net effect of these multiple feedbacks often differs from effects expected from studies of a single process such as carbon exchange. For example, water-logged conditions that reduce CO2 emissions from soils enhance methane and nitrous oxide emissions; fire can increase CO2 release but alter vegetation structure in ways that reduce heat transfer to the atmosphere. When the long-term net effect of all climate feedbacks is considered, ecosystem changes that augment carbon storage do not necessarily reduce the warming potential of the atmosphere, and we cannot assume that ecosystems will “fix the problems” caused by fossil-fuel emissions. Ecosystems and the climate system are most tightly coupled through changes in water and energy exchange because of the local nature of this coupling. Frequently, changes in vegetation alter the climate system in ways that stabilize the altered vegetation, making these changes less reversible than might be expected from studies of competitive interactions. Consequently, large-scale changes in land-cover may be less amenable to reclamation than plot-scale studies would suggest. Attention to long-term net effects of multiple climate feedbacks provides a more informed basis for assessing both positive and negative consequences of large-scale changes in land cover and land use.

Closing Plenary Brunch: Reflections by Distinguished Ecologists Friday, August 10, 11:30 am-1 pm
San Jose Marriott Salom II

The Closing Plenary Brunch is an informally structured opportunity 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. All who attend will be invited to share questions, comments, and table talk.

Planelists include: Ann Bartuska, Deputy Chief for Research and Development, U.S. Forest Service; Norm Christensen, Duke University, incoming ESA President; George Gann, Chairman of Board of SERI; Joy Zedler, Univ Wisconsin; Aldo Lepold Chair in Restoration Ecology ; and Carolyn Kurle, winner 2006 Buell Award.

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