Forest ThreatNet

Volume 9, Issue 1 - January/February 2016

Landscape Ecologists to Go East for Annual Meeting

Urban_trail_SNorman.jpgAsheville, North Carolina, is a nationally known destination for arts and entertainment, outdoor recreation, and world-class food and beverages. In recent years, the city has landed on multiple “top ten” lists as a best place to live, play, and retire. With this recognition comes rapid change — a flourishing tourism industry and an influx of new residents leading to increased development and associated economic and ecological pressures in the city and surrounding areas. These shifting dynamics will provide a fitting backdrop when Asheville hosts landscape ecologists examining the theme “Landscape Change” during the annual meeting of the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE). Organized by the Eastern Threat Center, the meeting will take place April 3-7.

“We’re thrilled to organize the annual US-IALE meeting, which has not been held in the eastern United States since 2012,” says Bill Hargrove, Center research ecologist and co-chair of the meeting’s organizing committee. “With the simple theme of ‘Landscape Change,’ we’ll strive to capture the defining characteristic and the inherent nature of our modern world. We’ll discuss the challenges of many aspects of landscape change, and we expect to discover new opportunities for studying these challenges and collaborations to address them.”

The field of landscape ecology includes a range of subjects studied at large scales, and the meeting’s program will reflect this variety during 22 special symposia and 32 sessions of contributed presentations. Half- and full-day workshops will provide attendees with hands-on training from peer experts, a poster session will allow for sharing and dialogue in a less formal setting, and scientific excursions will offer unique ways to explore issues associated with landscape change in and around Asheville.

The program will also include a workshop and other activities designed just for students — an essential component of US-IALE membership. “US-IALE recognizes the importance of the next generation and puts them front and center,” says Center research ecologist and meeting co-chair Kurt Riitters, who also served as the president of US-IALE from 2012 to 2014. “The US-IALE annual meeting is an ideal opportunity to broaden one’s perspective and make new connections – to deliver on the promise of ecology as an interdisciplinary science,” says Riitters.

Visit to register and follow the latest program updates and meeting announcements.

Right: Sculptures along Asheville’s Urban Trail highlight a landscape from the city’s past. Asheville will host the US-IALE 2016 Annual Meeting, April 3-7. Photo by Steve Norman, U.S. Forest Service.

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