Abstracts – Early Career Scientists Symposium

Abstracts

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Steward T.A. Pickett

An ecology of segregation: what does race have to do with ecology? What does ecology have to do with race?

Steward Pickett worked for 25 years on the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. Image: Chris Boone

Abstract
Ecology is a science of dynamics and of difference. Much of that difference is spatially organized, reflecting ecology’s concern with “pattern and process.” I will present examples of racial segregation as environmentally relevant pattern, and illustrate how socially created racialized status supports segregation as process. I will show how the concept of adaptive resilience can be used to explain persistent environmental and social hazard in segregated places, and how it relates to the ongoing adjustments made to maintain a system of racialized status and exclusion. The growing focus of ecology on the feedbacks between environmental degradation and racialized and class-based segregation is globally relevant, and can support an understanding of how ecology itself can contribute to an anti-racist agenda.

Nicholas J. Reo

Dr. Reo will lead the ECSS 2022 Anti-racism Panel Discussion

Kanaka Maoli and Anishinaabe land and language warriors visit and exchange knowledge at Hale O Kuhio, a structure erected in 2018 to assert the unfulfilled mandate of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920. Image: Nick Reo

About the panel discussion
This will be an interactive virtual event where participants connect with each other and with a panel of early career scientists led by senior scientist Dr. Nicholas Reo. This event will offer an opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, and think imaginatively about the future of research in EEB.

EARLY CAREER PRESENTERS

Karen Bailey

Centering our humanity in ecology and environmental studies to support inclusion, justice and equity

Household data collection helps to understand adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Image: Joel Hartter

Abstract
In this talk, Dr. Bailey will reflect on her experiences in moving from being an ecologist to being an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist. She will highlight some of her research touching on the experiences of people from underrepresented backgrounds in conservation and ecology fields and how these findings driver her efforts to diversify environmental fields today. She will discuss her experiences conducting research in landscapes where communities were disproportionality experiencing the burdens of climate change that have led her to shift her research focus to more interdisciplinary topics. She will end with a discussion of how she infuses humanity, people, lived experiences and communities into her environmental research to support more equitable and just conservation, ecology, and natural resource management.

Robin Michigiizhigookwe Clark

Dr. Clark will participate in the ECSS 2022 Anti-racism Panel Discussion led by Dr. Nicholas Reo

Winter hare and wildlife trail in a northern conifer swamp
Winter hare and wildlife trail in a northern conifer swamp. Image: Robin Clark

About the panel discussion
This will be an interactive virtual event where participants connect with each other and with a panel of early career scientists led by senior scientist Dr. Nicholas Reo. This event will offer an opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, and think imaginatively about the future of research in EEB.

Nicolas Gauthier

Putting people in the Earth system

Global map of anthropogenic biomes in the year 2017
Global map of anthropogenic biomes in the year 2017. Image: Nicolas Gauthier

Abstract
Researchers and policy makers urgently require insights into how societies have adapted to—or failed to adapt to—climate change across diverse regions, cultures, and time periods. Archaeological and paleoenvironmental data are crucial for expanding our view of 20th century Western experience to the full scope of human history, yet they are largely inaccessible to those working on contemporary climate challenges. I show how state-of-the-art computational methods from geography, ecology, and climatology can help synthesize legacy cultural and natural history data and reveal our species’ long-term role in the dynamic Earth system.

Fushcia-Ann Hoover

Green infrastructure planning for justice; myth, mystery or the future?

Green infrastructure (GI) has become a panacea for cities working to enhance sustainability and resilience. Building on a novel dataset of 119 planning documents from 19 U.S. cities, I examined justice implications of criteria used in the siting of GI projects. We find that justice is rarely explicitly discussed, yet the dominant technical siting criteria that focus on stormwater and economic considerations have justice implications. When compared to the rationale for GI, distinctions are also evident, leaving questions of how, for whom, and to what extent GI delivers ecosystem services equitably. [photo forthcoming]

Katie Kamelamela

Dr. Kamelamela will participate in the ECSS 2022 Anti-racism Panel Discussion led by Dr. Nicholas Reo

Hula research. Image: Katie Kamelamela.

About the panel discussion
This will be an interactive virtual event where participants connect with each other and with a panel of early career scientists led by senior scientist Dr. Nicholas Reo. This event will offer an opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, and think imaginatively about the future of research in EEB.

Alex Moore

Holistic restoration: incorporating science and culture into conservation

Image of coastal region in Pago Pago on Tutuila, American Samoa. Several boats moored in a lagoon along the American Samoa coastline with forested mountains in the background.
Image of coastal region in Pago Pago on Tutuila, American Samoa. Several boats moored in a lagoon along the American Samoa coastline with forested mountains in the background. Image: Alex Moore

Abstract
Coastal wetlands are among the most valuable and threatened ecosystems across the globe. Given their threatened status, significant effort has been devoted to the conservation and restoration of these dynamic coastal landscapes. However, traditional conservation practices are conducted under an historical paradigm that focuses on but a few components of wetland ecosystems with little consideration of how other ecological factors or local cultural values and uses may influence conservation and restoration outcomes. Therefore, this talk describes research that challenges our traditional understanding of how wetlands are maintained, providing insight on new directions in wetland conservation and restoration practice.

Sabrina Shirazi

Ecological research on stolen Indigenous land

Vista view along the coast of unneeded Chumash land, presently the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve.
Vista view along the coast of unneeded Chumash land, presently the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve. Image: Sabrina Shirazi

Abstract
Ecology and evolution research in the Americas often takes place on unceded, or stolen, Indigenous land. Identifying the Indigenous and/or descendant communities of an area can often be complicated by histories of erasure and selectivity of federally recognized tribes. In other fields such as archaeology, it is common to engage with the Indigenous and descendants communities at the onset of new research and preferably in the research design process. While this is less common in ecology and evolution, engagement with Indigenous communities can lead to fruitful collaborations. My ongoing research on the historical ecology of The Nature Conservancy’s Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve takes place on unceded Chumash land whose descendants are known and trace back to particular village sites on the Preserve. I am collaborating with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians (SYBCI) to explore the use of non-invasive techniques such as environmental DNA and stable isotopes to learn about the ecology- past and present of the area. Drawing from my experience integrating archaeological and biological approaches, I will discuss these collaborations, the importance of boundaries, trust and transparency, and co-designing research in light of the ongoing discussions of antiracist research in ecology and evolution.

Lynette Renae Strickland

Morphological and developmental basis of olfactory evolution: evidence from museum-collected iodine-stained bat specimens and embryos

Field work to collect my study system in Chucanti, Panama
Field work to collect my study system in Chucanti, Panama. Image: Julia Wilson

Abstract
The importance of inclusion in STEM fields is often neglected when compared with diversity metrics. Difficulties in assessing inclusive departments or institutions, as well as the academic inclination to generate reporting measures, likely contribute to the focus on diversity for practices aimed at producing institutions that accurately reflect society. As the field of EEB moves from diversity metrics to inclusive practices, and justice and equity-oriented solutions, allowing different perspectives to influence the questions we address will be critical. Far too often, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color are doubted in their research questions, and hypotheses, and often actively hindered from pursuing work that addresses concerns within science and society or based on unique perspectives. However, the power to address societal needs will be the result of a diverse and multitude of perspectives in science. Black, Indigenous, and scientists of color must be welcomed for the ways that our perspectives and backgrounds shape our research, because it impacts the questions and hypotheses that are pursued in science, and ultimately serves in preparing us to address the steadily-growing challenges facing society.

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