Posts Tagged ‘ chapin ’

More on the creation of a ‘sense of place’

Both in his lecture and the Q&A, Prof. Chapin discussed the influence of a ‘sense of place’ in leveraging stewardship.

For those interested in how to go about establishing such a sentiment, here is a talk by Prof. Nabeel Hamdi, author of The Placemaker’s Guide to Building Community and founder of the Masters in Development Practice at Oxford Brookes University. Hamdi emphasises, amongst other things, the importance of participatory planning in effectively creating a sense of belonging. Although his focus is on the urban environment, the principles outlined herein can similarly be adopted for fostering a sense of connection to nature, particularly in those who live apart from it.

And a case study in what happens when it all goes wrong: this TEDTalk by James H. Kunstler amusingly showcases the lack of civic design American suburbia. Thanks to John Zablocki for sharing this with me!

Earth Stewardship: Sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet

By Arnaud Sepulchre

For thousands of years, humanity has been altering its environment to its needs and the environment has been adapting to these changes. But how  strong is the planet’s resilience and how long do we have before the irreversible  occurs? The world’s challenge towards environmental sustainability is becoming omnipresent. People often think that a sustainable system is a static system; on the contrary, the concept of sustainability implies a dynamic balance between relative rates of resource consumption and replenishment.

Prof. F. Stuart Chapin introduced us to the principle of Earth Stewardship as a social-ecological change to enhance ecosystem resilience and long-term human welfare. The achievement of this challenge involves a broadened ecology spectrum and integrates it with other sources of knowledge and understanding to stimulate new interactions and partnerships. Moreover, an interdisciplinary approach beyond economics incentives is the key towards behavioural sustainable change and pro-environmental attitudes. Continue reading

Podcast of Prof. Chapin’s Q&A session

One of the things that really impresses me about Alaskan native groups is their confidence that they can adapt. They’ve felt that they’ve always had to adjust to change, they’ve never lots of resources. Each individual is a jack of all trades … so they have to be very efficient in doing different things, and this makes them convinced that they can deal with a lot of differently circumstances – because they’ve done it regularly as part of their lives.
I’m optimistic that many people in poor areas are more resourceful than we give them credit for being. So maybe some of the best ways to enhance resilience is to empower them to use the skills that they already have, rather than developing programmes that bring in resources from outside. Because once people are doing these things for themselves they’ll figure out a way to continue doing them with little or no money, and so it’ll be less dependent on a public finance program.

Podcast of Prof. Chapin’s lecture

We need to think about the relationship between science and society much more in terms of dialogue rather than as conveying of information. I think, at least speaking for ecologists, we tend to view the issue as one of information deficit rather than as an issue of public engagement and so I think we need to redefine the way we think about communication between science and society.

Speaker Bio: Professor Stuart Chapin

Terry Chapin

Prof. Stuart "Terry" Chapin

Professor F. Stuart Chapin III – known by many simply as ‘Terry’ – is Professor Emeritus of Ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Initially an economics major, Chapin switched his degree to Biology and graduated from Swarthmore College in 1966. After a couple of years spent in Colombia as part of the Peace Corps, he obtained his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Stanford University. Since then, he has been based predominantly in Alaska, save for a brief stint (1989-1998) at the University of California, Berkley.

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