Dr. F. Stuart “Terry” Chapin, III, delivered the fall 2015 CICR Eminent Scholar Lecture on Thursday, December 3, 2015 in the UGA Chapel. Video of Dr. Chapin’s lecture is available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRpxhVH_CGTylFNNSqtP7qg/
Dr. Chapin is Professor Emeritus of Ecology, Institute of Arctic Biology, at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks; he also serves on the CICR External Advisory Board. Talk title and abstract are included below.
Shaping pathways of large-scale change in social-ecological systems”
Abstract: The intersection of climate change, resource development, and global socio-economic processes frequently creates situations where it is no longer feasible to return ecosystems to their historic state—an important conservation goal in the past. In these cases, stewardship provides a framework to actively shape pathways of ecological and social change to enhance both ecosystem resilience and long-term human wellbeing. I suggest that effective approaches to conservation must (a) foster both ecosystem resilience and human wellbeing, (b) integrate ecological and social processes across scales, and (c) take actions that shape the future rather than seeking only to restore the past. To this end, I provide examples of actions that have or could be taken at local, national, and international scales to promote resilience and conservation. A stewardship approach to conservation aims to prevent undesirable changes and prepares for adaptation to rapid and uncertain changes that cannot be avoided and for transformation to avoid or escape undesirable states.