Sunday, July 26, 2015

BES at the 100th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, in Baltimore

The Ecological Society of America is the world's largest organization of professional ecologists.  Its members include not only research scientists at various career stages, from students, through postdoctoral associates, academic faculty, but it also includes those who work in government and the private sector.  Educators, journalists, and various sorts of artists are also among the members of the Society, from which they draw inspiration, information, and materials for their professional activities.

That the world's preeminent society for ecological research, application, and dissemination is meeting in Baltimore for its 100th anniversary is an excellent opportunity for BES.  Because BES is so invested in understanding the Baltimore social-ecological system and in working with communities, policy makers, and educators in the Baltimore metropolitan area, we can also connect the ESA with these broader constituencies in a remarkable way.

So I am encouraging all members of the BES community and those who share the interests of BES to participate in the meeting.  To further encourage participation, I note that BES members and those working doing research in the Baltimore region will be giving many presentations, conducting field trips, and providing workshops for the meeting.  Please peruse the list below and be stimulated to join in these efforts.  In addition to formal presentations and activities, there are many social events at which to network with familiar and new colleagues.

Check it out:

Author/ Organizers
Anna L. Johnson, Christopher M. Swan
Thurs, Aug 13, 8:00 AM, 348 BCC
COS 113-1
While urban ecosystems can host surprisingly high levels of biodiversity, there are still many shifts in the characteristics of the biotic communities found in cities. In particular, urban species communities tend to become more functionally and phylogenetically homogeneous than non-urban communities.   ...
Rose M. Smith, Sujay S. Kaushal, Jake J. Beaulieu, Michael Pennino, Paul Mayer, Claire Welty, Andrew J. Miller
Thurs, Aug 13, 11:10 AM, 348 BCC
COS 113-10
... theoretical frameworks describing urban streams have focused on dissolved nutrient export, urban stream ecosystems are also dynamic in terms of GHG production in time and space. ... we hypothesized that nitrogen-loaded streams are likely to produce more N2O than streams with low N, and those draining stormwater management wetlands will produce relatively more CH4.
Nicole Voelker, Chris Swan
Thurs, Aug 13, 2:30 PM, 301 BCC
COS 114-4
It is hypothesized that biodiversity is maintained by interactions at local and regional spatial scales. Many sustainability plans and management practices reflect the need to conserve biodiversity, yet once these plans are implemented, the ecological consequences are not well known.  ...
Megan M. Wheeler, Christopher Neill, Peter M. Groffman, Morgan Grove, Neil Bettez, Jeannine M. Cavender-Bares, James B. Heffernan, Sharon J. Hall, Sarah E. Hobbie, Kelli L. Larson, Jennifer L. Morse, Kristen C. Nelson, Laura A. Ogden, Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne, et al
Thurs, Aug 13, 4:00 PM 348 BCC
COS 132-8
... Residential lawns are generally highly managed and are very common in the urban landscape, and therefore are a good system in which to study the potential homogenizing effects of urban land use and management. We measured plant species in residential lawns in seven climatically distinct cities ... to assess how the vegetation structure and composition in residential lawns compared ...
Jonathan M. Duncan, Neil D. Bettez, Peter M. Groffman, Lawrence E. Band
Fri, Aug 14, 9:00 am, 302 BCC
COS 134-4
Land use and water infrastructure are important determinants of nitrogen (N) export to receiving waters.  Major policy and management efforts to address and reduce these exports have shifted over time and include: point source pollution reduction, stream restoration, stormwater control, and more recently the use of green infrastructure.
Sujay S. Kaushal, William H. McDowell, Wilfred Wollheim, Tamara Newcomer Johnson, Paul Mayer, Michael Pennino, Kenneth T. Belt
Wed, Aug 12, 2:50 PM, 348 BCC
COS 93-5
The structure, function, and services of urban ecosystems evolve over time scales ... as Earth’s population grows, infrastructure ages, and sociopolitical values alter them.  To systematically study changes over time, the concept of “urban evolution” was proposed. … The role of water is vital to urban evolution …
Alan Berkowitz, Bess Caplan, Guy Hager, Christina Bradley
Sun, Aug 9, 9:45 AM - 2:00 PM, Charles St Entrance BCC
FT 10
... Baltimore has experienced population declines, social change and economic challenges ...  we will visit green infrastructure features in WS 263 focusing on how these  catalyze social cohesion and stimulate socio-economic revitalization. … discuss delivery of environmental education programs and have a picnic lunch.
Organizer: Peter Groffman, Co-organizer: Steward Pickett
Sun, Aug 9, 10:15 AM - 3:00 PM, Charles St Entrance BCC
FT 11
Visit the full range of long-term study sites in BES. The trip will include short hikes in our forest reference watershed and along our most urban stream reaches and a picnic lunch. 3:00 PM return to convention center …
Organizer: Emma Rosi-Marshall Co-organizers: Morgan Grove, Laura Connelly and Guy Hager
Wed, Aug 12, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM Charles St. Entrance
FT 14
The Gwynns Falls Trail is a continuous recreation and open space corridor that connects over 30 neighborhoods and 2000 acres of publicly owned parkland. This hike will focus on the historic mill race section, examining engineering from 200 years ago, as well as more modern sewer and storm water systems and consider design alternatives.  This will be an easy two mile hike and include a picnic lunch.
Alex Felson
Sun, Aug 9, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Charles St Entrance BCC
FT 9
Join us on a trip along Baltimore's Upper Middle Branch trail and through the Pigtown and Carroll Park sections of Watershed 263.  …  Participants will work with community members, wildlife biologists to observe, collect, and identify some of the biodiversity along this watershed.  Teams will focus on plant diversity, birds, insects, and macro-aquatic invertebrates ...
Brian McGrath, Victoria Marshall
Wed, Aug 12, 1:30 PM-3:00 PM, 345 BCC
IGN 10-2
Ecologists and designers need to share theoretical frameworks in order to develop actionable collaborative  research. Urban design is a complex, iterative, feedback process that involves multiple stakeholders and decision makers and a linear process where prescribed ecological principals inform design decision ...
Alex Felson
Wed, Aug 12, 1:30 PM-3:00 PM, 345 BCC
IGN 10-6
Landscape designers increasingly draw on ecological knowledge to inform the sustainability and resilience aspects of their projects.  However, they are confronting gaps in the understanding of urban ecosystems and of what constitutes a sustainable and resilient urban landscape.  ...
Sharon J. Hall, Jennifer K. Learned, Benjamin L. Ruddell, Kelli L. Larson, Jeannine M. Cavender-Bares, Neil Bettez, , Peter M. Groffman, Morgan Grove, James B. Heffernan, Sarah E. Hobbie, Jennifer L. Morse, et al
Mon, Aug 10, 345 BCC
IGN 2-7
Have you noticed urban/suburban landscapes seem to look similar in cities—lawns and rows of single-family homes?  Or you've noticed how differently you manage your yard compared neighbors. We hypothesize these patterns are part of the American residential macrosystem, a homogenous social/ecological system distributed across diverse geographies.
Erle Ellis
Tues, Aug 11, 10:30 AM, 310 BCC
OOS 13-8
Human transformation of the biosphere is an unprecedented challenge for ecological science. It is no longer possible to understand, predict, or successfully manage ecological pattern, process or change across most of the biosphere without understanding the processes by which human societies reshape these over the long-term. ...
Katalin Szlavecz
Mon, Aug 10, 2:30 PM, 310 BCC
OOS 1-4
Urban soils provide many of the same ecosystem services as “natural” or agricultural soils e.g. decomposition and nutrient cycling, water purification and regulation, medium for plant growth, and habitat for organisms. Soils in cities are disturbed, transported, heavily managed and even created. Urbanization is portrayed as one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss and ample evidence from large organisms supports this claim.  ...
Organizer: Katalin Szlavecz, Co-organizers: Richard V. Pouyat and Stephanie Yarwood, Moderator: Tara L. E. Trammell
Tues, Aug 11 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM, 340 BCC
OOS 21
Biodiversity as an ecological concept is difficult for people to personally experience due in part to the fact that the majority of humans now live in urban areas. Moreover, the role of extremely diverse soil biota is often overlooked in assessing soil ecosystem services. Indeed, for much of the terrestrial ecosystems of the world, soil community structure and function reflect both natural and human disturbance and stress.  ...
Stephanie Yarwood
Tues, Aug 11 9:00 AM, 340 BCC
OOS 21-4
... few studies have comprehensively examined urban soils and fewer still have examined microbial diversity. As part of the Global Urban Ecology and Education Network (GLUSEEN), we sampled soils from five cities: Baltimore, USA; Helsinki and Lahti, Finland; Budapest, Hungary; Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Richard V. Pouyat
Tues, Aug 11 9:50 AM, 340 BCC
OOS 21-6
Urban land-use change (LUC) can affect soil characteristics and associated biogeochemical cycles through altered disturbance regimes, management practices (e.g., irrigation), built structures, and modified environments (e.g., heat island).  As a result, the conversion of native to urban ecological systems should significantly affect the role soil plays in biogeochemical cycles at multiple scales. 
David Johannes Kotze, Richard V. Pouyat, Heikki Setala, Katalin Szlavecz
Tues, Aug 11 10:30 AM, 340 BCC
OOS 21-8
Knowledge on the effects of urbanization on ecosystems across regional, continental and global scales is scarce. To address this issue, ecological networks are useful tools to foster international collaboration among scientist towards common goals. Yet, these networks require intensive measurements and experiments, are cost prohibitive, thus hindering broad participation ...
Peter Groffman
Tues, Aug 11 1:50 PM, 328 BCC
OOS 30-2
Urbanization alters the structure and function of the critical zone by changing the way that water moves across the landscape and affecting connections between different components of the landscape. Addition of impervious surfaces to urban watersheds decreases groundwater recharge and increases the energy and amount of stormflow to streams.  These changes alter the coupling between uplands, riparian zones and streams ...
Paige S. Warren, Ann Kinzig, Chris Boone
Wed, Aug 12, 10:10 AM, 340 BCC
OOS 45-7
A rich array of social science disciplines, including such fields as sociology, geography, anthropology, economics, environmental psychology, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design, have developed bodies of knowledge and theory about human life and the environment in cities with work stretching back over at least a century. Ecologists have come to the study of cities far later in the game ...
Buckley, Geoffrey
Wed, Aug 12, 2:10 PM, 317 BCC
OOS 50-3
In 1906, Maryland became just the third state to hire a professionally-trained forester. Over the course of a career that spanned 36 years Fred Besley introduced a variety of conservation programs that would be adopted both regionally and nationally. Baltimore’s aspiration to become known as the “city of a million trees” was never fully realized. Likewise, the city has struggled to produce an equitable distribution of trees.
John Hom, Nicanor Saliendra, Matthew Patterson, Ian Yesilonis, Rodrigo Vargas, Kenneth L. Clark, Leonard Bielory
Fri, Aug 14, 11:10 AM, 310 BCC
OOS 82-10
Carbon flux measurements and carbon dioxide concentrations were taken along an urban to rural gradient from Cub Hill in Baltimore, Maryland (CH), Elk Neck, Maryland (EN) to the Silas Little Experimental Forest (SLEF) in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. These sites incorporate heavily vegetated urban and rural forests.  ...
Organizer: Alexander J. Felson, Co-organizer: Gillian Bowser, Moderator: Charles Nilon
Fri, Aug 14, 8:00 AM - 11:30, 315 BCC
OOS 84
How can ecology and community-based planning inform one another? Urban ecologists, as they engage with the human-built environment, are trying to integrate social components into their research methods and existing ecological theories, which were developed around fundamental biogeophysical drivers.
Morgan Grove, Dexter Locke
Fri, Aug 14, 9:20 AM, 315 BCC
OOS 84-5
We have tested the idea of an Ecology of Prestige. This theory posits that housing styles, yard characteristics, tree and shrub plantings, and green grass can be considered social-ecological symbols, reflecting the type of neighborhoods in which people live. These social-ecological symbols can be interpreted as the outward manifestation of each neighborhood’s placement in a social hierarchy of group identity and social status in the urban patch mosaic. ...
Alan R. Berkowitz, Bess Caplan, Natalie Crabbs Mollett
Fri, Aug 14, 10:10 AM, 315 BCC
OOS 84-10
Understanding urban ecosystems is both an end goal for socio-ecological education in urban areas – so that students and teachers can use knowledge in their everyday lives and environments – and a key pedagogy for fostering environmental citizenship. ... The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) developed a ... community of scientists, educators and teachers to support place-based teaching in and about Baltimore’s socio-ecological system.
Jessica L. Schedlbauer, Calvin Cooper, John Hom
Mon, Aug 10, Exhibit Hall, BCC
PS 19-183
As urbanization increases globally, the proportion of land area subject to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures in urban centers also rises.  Studies of plant physiology along suburban to urban gradients yield important insights into the effects of both urbanization and climate change on plant performance.
Dorothy Borowy, Chris Swan
Wed, Aug 12, Exhibit Hall BCC
PS 58-186
Although a number of studies have explored both local effects and regional dispersal patterns in cities, results are inconclusive regarding the principle seed dispersal mechanisms in these environments.  This may be due to a number of factors …
Myla F J Aronson, Charles H. Nilon, Christopher A. Lepzczyk, Tommy S. Parker, Paige S. Warren
Wed, Aug 12, Exhibit Hall BCC
PS 58-198
An understanding of the global factors affecting biodiversity in cities is necessary to inform scientists, city planners, and managers how best to conserve and restore urban biota.  Here we introduce UrBioNet, an NSF funded research coordination network focused on urban biodiversity and practice. UrBioNet will develop global databases, provide planning tools, and conduct research ...
Neil D. Bettez, Jennifer L. Morse, Peter M. Groffman
Wed, Aug 12, Exhibit Hall BCC
PS 58-199
Humans have significantly altered the landscape in urban areas resulting in increased volume and velocity of runoff following precipitation events. This increased volume causes urban streams to become incised which disconnects them from their riparian areas, which are hot spots for denitrification.
Organizer: Ricardo Rozzi; Co-organizers: F. Stuart Chapin III, J. Baird Callicott, Steward T. A. Pickett, Mary E. Power, Juan J. Armesto, Roy H. May Jr.; Speakers: J. Baird Callicott, F. Stuart Chapin III, Roy H. May Jr., Manuel Maass, Laura A. Ogden and Eugene C. Hargrove
Tues, Aug 11, 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM, 303 BCC
SS 18
Earth Stewardship signals a broader understanding of the expanded role of science in society. To engage science in reducing the rates of anthropogenic damage to the biosphere, the ESA launched the Earth Stewardship Initiative. ... The session explores stewardship across scales and disciplines, including the humanities as well as the sciences.
Organizer: Peter M. Groffman Co-organizers: Steward T.A. Pickett, Emma Rosi-Marshall, Morgan Grove, Daniel L. Childers and Mary L. Cadenasso  Moderator: Peter M. Groffman
Mon, Aug 10, 1:30 PM-5:00 PM, 308 BCC
Symp 2
The past decade has seen the maturation of the discipline of urban ecology. Whereas earlier urban ecological research focused on the obvious green components “IN” cities, a more comprehensive approach that investigates entire urban complexes as heterogeneous ecological systems - an ecology “OF” cities - has been added. …
Steward T. A. Pickett, Daniel L. Childers, Mary L. Cadenasso, Mark J. McDonnell, Weiqi Zhou
Mon, Aug 10, 1:30 PM. 308 BCC
SYMP 2-1
Since 1997, the contrast between ecology IN and ecology OF cities has been used to emphasize the increasingly interdisciplinary approach to urban ecosystems.  Ecology IN focuses on terrestrial and aquatic patches within cities, suburbs, …  Ecology OF the city, treats entire cities or landscape mosaics consisting of cities suburbs and exurbs as social-ecological systems. 
Morgan Grove, Rinku Roy Choudhury, Daniel L. Childers, Laura A. Ogden, Alexander J. Felson, Erika Svendsen
Mon, Aug 10,  2:00 PM, 308 BCC
SYMP 2-2
To promote urban sustainability and resilience, the role of co-design, co-production, and dissemination of social-ecological knowledge is of growing interest & importance …
Emma J. Rosi-Marshall, Colden V. Baxter, Michelle Baker, Emily Bernhardt
Mon, Aug 10, 4:10 PM. 308 BCC
SYMP 2-6
A recent addition to paradigms in stream ecology is the “urban stream syndrome,” which suggests that hydrological changes associated with impervious surfaces in cities drive the loss of ecological integrity. We synthesize findings from urban streams encompassing a wide range of city sizes and biogeoclimatic contexts.  This synthesis provides new insights to further explore the ecology in, of, and for developing approaches for sustainable streams.
Organizer: Katalin Szlavecz, Co-organizers: Chih-Han Chang , Ian D. Yesilonis and Jerry L. Burgess
Sat, Aug 8, 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM, Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus
WK 2
This half day workshop provides an introduction to observe and sample urban soils and soil biota as well as measure their characteristics. Participants will be transported to the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus where they will conduct hands-on exercises in the laboratory and in the field. We will examine 1 m deep soil cores from a variety of urban, agricultural and forest land uses, conduct in situ texture analysis, sample soil fauna (earthworms and arthropods), and demonstrate decomposition experiments.  ...

For details access to the full meeting program, and information for registering for the full meeting or a single day, go to

Prof. Chris Swan, of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County is the Local Host for this meeting.  Chris has done an excellent job highlighting the activities and insights of Baltimore research in this meeting.