GEOMORPHOLOGY AND ECOSYSTEMS - 36TH ANNUAL BINGHAMTON GEOMORPHOLOGY SYMPOSIUM (BGS 2005)
Christian Renschler Principal Investigator
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Integrating disparate disciplines, with their different priorities, inherent questions, research methods, approaches, and metrics of success is a fundamental challenge in environmental science. No where is this perhaps more true than in bridging the disciplines of geomorphology and ecosystems ecology, despite the fundamental role that geomorphology plays in ecosystem processes. Many geomorphic (i.e., physical) processes occur parallel with ecosystem processes at similar spatial and temporal scales, thus making the two systems mutually dependent. Predicting future states of the Earth's ecosystems, and developing effective management and restoration practices, thus necessitates developing a coupled understanding of how these two aspects of the environment influence each other, and how their processes feedback into each other. The Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium (BGS 2005) will focus around the theme of "Geomorphology and Ecosystems" and will produce an interdisciplinary environment in which participants will review, synthesize and discuss the conceptual paradigms, field evidence and simulation models at the intersection between geomorphology and ecosystems ecology. BGS 2005 will emphasize the coupling of landscape processes/forms with ecosystem/ecological processes, as well as implications of geomorphology-ecosystem interactions in space and time for environmental management and restoration. There are three primary impacts that this conference will have. First, it will fundamentally improve general understanding of the Earth's ecosystems, and how these ecosystems can effectively protected, managed and potentially restored. Thus, the results from this conference will be of fundamental importance to the disciplines and society in general. Second, this conference will provide a venue for show-casing the research of many internationally acclaimed scholars and practitioners from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, particularly the research of female and junior geomorphologists and ecologists. Finally, this conference will show-case the contributions made by geographers working in the human-environment tradition to environmental science in general, particularly within the discipline of geomorphology. <br/><br/>This interdisciplinary conference with focus on "Geomorphology and Ecosystems" allows experts and young scientists to explore the linkage between landscape development and ecosystems. Both are dynamic systems that are interdependent. Therefore the understanding of the fundamental concepts and behavior of such systems is crucial in effective managing the extreme events caused by the linked dynamics of geomorphic and ecological systems. Society needs the knowledge and ability to deal with, for example, soil erosion, algae blooms, floods, invasive species, wildfires, or landslides. The meeting creates a platform to exchange ideas and learn about the latest research in this emerging interdisciplinary field.