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Ecological Themes

To move this project forward, the core team is developing six themes that will form the basis of a collective learning process during the conference. The collective learning approach provides a framework to guide local to international policy makers and experts, along with ESA members, visitors, and students to explore the application of ecological science including; experimentation, hypothesis driven research, adaptive management, and social-ecological research. The themes will guide our exploration of how best to realign biological communities with urbanization patterns and urban form so as to improve both human well-being and environmental services.

Resilient Communities Through Public Health, Access, Education, and Recreation

Explore how park networks and citywide greening efforts offer opportunities to integrate landscape ecology and design with community outreach and public health goals that promote environmental justice, access to green spaces, recreation, and education.

Vacant Lots, Degraded Sites, and Restored Ecosystems

Approach degraded sites as opportunities for social, recreational, and ecosystem regeneration. Foster resilient communities through grass-root initiatives for greening projects of vacant lots and degraded sites. Topics include directed succession and controlling invasive species.

Anthropogenic Soils, Landscape Maintenance, and Performance

Understanding how anthropogenic soils function and how to improve on biogeochemistry (EPA soil taxonomy and infiltration) and landscape performance, in particular to promote sustainable urban food production on many potential sites throughout the city, including community gardens.

Watersheds, Hydrology, and Aquatic Habitats

Fellows will focus on projects at two municipalities aimed at protecting and restoring the urban watershed. In collaboration with the Baltimore city officials, stakeholders, and community-based groups enhance the role of ecologists in clean water initiatives and community-led revitalization efforts. 

Biodiversity and Managed Populations

Focus on urban biodiversity and managed populations including deer populations, lack of regeneration, invasive species management, tree planting campaigns, and forest health.

Design and Planning for Climate Change

Spatial planning to manage the effects of climate change on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Incorporating ideas generated from the other research themes to generate a climate change synopsis with an emphasis on policy and planning.

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