NSF's James Collins will look at the future of long-term ecological research, the role of theory development, systems biology, and the integration of the natural and social sciences.Collins will raise such questionsas: What changes in research and training might be expected as technology plays an increasing role in how ecological data are collected and analyzed?And, how might long-term ecological research inform issues at the intersection of biology and society?
Mangrove loss in Thailand: economics, history and long-term ecological change
Today's scale of global economic development and population growth suggests a pattern of natural resource exploitation, land conversion and habitat change unprecedented in its transformation of ecosystems, scientists have found. The result is increased "ecological scarcity"--the loss of key ecological services, which in turn has sparked interest in "valuing" these critical services.
Scientist Edward Barbier of the University of Wyoming will discuss this situation, using the example of mangrove losses in Thailand.Over the past two decades, the rise in the number and frequency of coastal natural disasters in Thailand and the simultaneous rapid decline in coastal mangrove systems is more than a coincidence, said Barbier. Widespread loss of mangroves in coastal areas of Thailand has increased the vulnerability of these areas to natural disasters.
Importance of long-term research in understanding ecological and social change