Natural and Behavioral Sciences, University of Maine Fort Kent - Madison
Fort Kent, ME, USA
The special session at the 2020 Ecological Society of America (ESA) annual meeting titled “Cultivating a culture of community engagement at ESA” highlighted a need for stronger partnerships between ecologists and activists to address wicked problems such as climate change. Recognizing that alliances between ecologists and activists are a vital connection enabling translation of ecological theory into practice, we are organizing a workshop that fosters interactive conversations between these groups of people. These conversations will explore innovative strategies for building and maintaining relationships that amplify communication, interpretation, creation, defense, and delivery of ecological knowledge. ESA members participating in this workshop will 1) learn about the goals, strategies, and systems of climate activism; 2) develop skills for building and managing partnerships grounded in the principles of respect, relationship, reciprocity and responsibility; and 3) partner with climate activists to develop a plan for mutually-beneficial interpretation, creation, defense, or delivery of ecological knowledge. Broadly, these activities will help build long-term alliances among ecologists and climate activists, and empower ESA members to develop relationships, navigate complex conversations among diverse stakeholders, accommodate differential power dynamics, manage conflicts, avoid conflicts of interest, expand their professional service, and increase their role in managing global change threats.