Critical Ecology: Defining socio-biophysical drivers of "Anthropogenic" environmental change

Event

Online

Department of Natural Resource Sciences Environmental Biology Seminar Series with guest speaker Dr. Suzanne Pierre, UC Berkeley, Critical Ecology lab

Live on Zoom. To obtain the link, please contact contact Allison Ford (allison.ford [at] mail.mcgill.ca)

Seminar 11:30-12:30 EST
Discussion 2-3:00 EST

Ecosystems ecology and biogeochemistry have traversed great methodological and intellectual distances to arrive at the present understanding of the mechanisms underlying global change. Though a  range of theoretical frameworks and advanced methods have been developed to investigate global change processes, the social dimensions of ecology have been limited in scope to urban to rural gradients, population health, and environmental risks in contemporary contexts. Despite cross disciplinary consensus that social equality and justice issues are linked to environmental patterns, the ecological and biogeochemical consequences of social inequality have been neglected by the empirical and quantitative disciplines. Moreover, historical and contemporary oppressive social processes (e.g. slavery, colonial land seizure, indigenous displacement, racial and class power dynamics) have not been investigated as biophysical drivers of terrestrial and atmospheric chemistry.  This talk will interrogate common notions of the drivers of global ecological change, introduce the emerging concept of critical ecology, and offer examples of how scientists may nuance their research questions to more explicitly investigate basic ecological processes through a critical ecological lens.

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