Steward T.A. Pickett's talk will probe key features of ecological science as a “transdiscipline” for these two important intellectual and practical realms. The conversation will be organized around the conundrum about pluralizing ecology. The term “ecologies” often evokes different reactions among natural scientists, compared to design professionals, scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and activists. The presentation will examine the contrasting structure and use of science implied by the plural and singular, relate those to the core and interdisciplinary margins of urban ecology, and exemplify how useful social-ecological models can emerge from the plural stance. Contrasting ecologies can be understood as resulting from different kinds and scales of co-production relevant both within science and beyond. Finding common ground between “ecology” and “ecologies” is important for transdisciplinary success.
Steward T. A. Pickett is an ecologist and Distinguished Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in Millbrook, New York. He was awarded the PhD from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1977. He specializes in urban and landscape ecology, and was founding director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-Term Ecological Research project. He employs a social-ecological research approach to the structure and dynamics of urban areas and complex regional landscapes. Recent urban ecology research focuses on the equity of green stormwater infrastructure, and the ecology of segregation. He has worked in diverse systems, ranging from primary forests and post-agricultural oldfields in the eastern United States, riparian woodlands in South Africa, and the changing peri-urban zone in China. He has produced books on natural disturbance, ecological heterogeneity, humans as components of ecosystems, conservation, bridging ecology and urban design, philosophy of ecology, and linking ecology and ethics. He seeks to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of ecological science, and is active in the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and the American Institute of Biological Sciences to this end. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Ecological Society of America. He is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is a 2022 recipient of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation, and the ESA’s Eminent Ecologist for 2022.
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