Monitoring Science and Technology: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere

Venue: Adam\'s Mark Hotel

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Event Date/Time: Sep 20, 2004 End Date/Time: Sep 24, 2004
Early Registration Date: May 01, 2004
Abstract Submission Date: Apr 02, 2004
Paper Submission Date: Apr 02, 2004
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Efforts of natural resource professionals throughout the Western Hemisphere in the 20th century have lead to a number of revelations regarding the way in which human beings interact with the natural world and how to (and not to) sustainably manage resources. By sustainability, we mean to leave future generations with as many management and utilization options as the current generation enjoys.

The 21st century is being marked by a number of converging scientific, technological, and societal factors that advance the possibility of improved concurrent sustainability of natural resources and human institutions. It is the following factors that provide the principles upon which this symposium is organized:

Changing paradigm regarding the management of natural resources - It is becoming increasingly clear that past paradigms that advocate the extreme positions of preservation of natural environmental systems to the exclusion of economic and societal advancement or the exploitation of natural resources with no regard for their renewability and sustainability are failed. Management strategies that will advance societal, economic, and political institutions, and at the same time, leave posterity with the same or better choices for natural resource management are those that show promise for the future.

Complex interactions between and within environmental assets and human activities - It is now evident that things that are done to one environmental domain can have substantial and long-term consequences to other domains. For example, actions taken with respect to managing agricultural soils can impact water quality, wildlife habitat, human health, and have a variety of other unforeseen consequences. Therefore, information use to develop resources management plans will need to integrate information regarding other affected resources to optimize social and environmental benefits.

Technologies to evaluate environmental condition and monitor change - Recent years have witnessed a profound transformation in our ability to remotely sense a variety of variables at fine spatial resolutions; acquire, store, analyze, and transmit large quantities of data; perform statistical analyses that are spatially-explicit; and make information and knowledge available to everyone via web-based technologies. With the availability of these and other technologies, it is becoming not only possible to measure key environmental variables at a pixel-level of resolution, but to evaluate change in these variables with time. Today, we can cost-effectively and remotely identify the state of a particular unit of land and identify changes with time.

Diversity of human expertise to rationally manage environmental assets - Due to the inextricable links among environmental domains (i.e., litho-, rizo-, anthropo-, bio-, hydro-, atmosphere, and others), a variety of natural processes (e.g., desertification, nutrient cycling, glaciation, wildlife migration, or fire), and human activities, it is not possible to effectively manage any of these for sustainability without exploring their impact on affected domains, processes and societal institutions. To do this, expertise is needed from a wide variety of intellectual disciplines to integrate knowledge across traditional boundaries.

This symposium will be built on the abovementioned principles to expose the attendees to the latest science and technologies related to environmental monitoring with the insights of intellectually-diverse speakers.


1550 Court Place
United States