Plenaries

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Restoration And Reciprocity: Indigenous Knowledge In Ecological Restoration

By Dr. Robin W. Kimmerer, Professor and Director, Center for Native Peoples and College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York.

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of indigenous peoples is increasingly being recognized by scientists and policy makers as a potential source of ideas for emerging models of sustainability, conservation biology, and ecological restoration. TEK has value not only for the wealth of ecological information it contains, but for the cultural framework of respect, reciprocity, and responsibility in which it is embedded. This talk will explore how TEK and the indigenous philosphies of reciprocity might guide the science of sustainability. The indigenous concept of the “honorable harvest” provides a framework for expressing reciprocity between land and people. Ecological restoration is a vital element in the exercise of reciprocity in which humans actively participate in the well-being of the land. Finding common ground between indigenous and scientific principles of restoration can couple the wisdom of TEK and the power of environmental science for shared goals of sustainability.

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Reaching Beyond The Choir" And Other Career Lessons From The History Of Conservation Biology

By Dr. Malcolm L. Hunter, Jr., Libra Professor of Conservation Biology, Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine.

Conservation biology is a relatively young discipline, making it quite easy to review some of its highlights with a view toward extracting a few insights about how young conservation professionals can be more effective. For example, we have learned that applied science cannot end with publication in scientific journals and talks at professional conferences; wider communication is essential. The importance of striving for creativity and being willing to challenge conventional wisdom is also apparent from a review of conservation biology. Thinking about moving from research to application reveals the need for being willing to take action but without compromising objectivity. Lastly, one cannot overlook personal considerations such as maintaining balance and hope in one’s life.