Tourism, Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-being by Min Gon Chung

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 | Author:
Min Gon Chung, ESPP and Fisheries and Wildlife

Min Gon Chung, ESPP and Fisheries and Wildlife

With the ESPP travel grant, I attended the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology’s (US-IALE) 2016 Annual Meeting in Asheville, NC. I presented a result of interdisciplinary research in Qinghai province (China), “Telecoupled interaction among tourism, ecosystem services, and human well-being.” This interdisciplinary research can be a kind of capstone experience in the ESPP because co-authors are from policy, geography, and natural resource science and determined how tourism and relevant policies interacted with ecosystem services and local economy. In addition, I had a chance to start a new project with collaborative researchers who met in this conference workshop. For 1-2 years, we will investigate how to strengthen our understanding of the relationships between ecosystem services and disturbance within the teleoupling framework. Because researchers have increasingly used “urban”, “ecosystem services”, “global climate change”, and “sustainability” in the conference, theses topics have become attractive issues in the next era for landscape ecology.

The feedback effect of telecoupling: A study case of Payment for Ecosystem Services program by Hongbo Yang

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 | Author:
ESPP student Hongbo Yang (Fisheries & Wildlife)

ESPP student Hongbo Yang (Fisheries & Wildlife)

As a major conference in landscape ecology, the Annual Symposium of the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE) offers a unique opportunity for landscape ecologists to share their knowledge and experiences. I am truly grateful to receive the ESPP Travel Fund which afforded me to attend this symposium in April 2016, in Ashville, NC.

Territorial Effects of U.S. Corn Trade on Mexico’s Maize Production by Yankuic M. Galvan Miyoshi (Geography)

Monday, May 16th, 2016 | Author:

Yankuic M. Galvan-Miyoshi

Last April I attended the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers held in San Francisco, CA. This year more than 9k scholars and practitioners from all over the world attended the conference. I appreciate forums like this because newcomers to the field can have a glimpse of the vast range of themes embraced by Geography and it is a unique opportunity to meet leading scholars from all corners of the discipline. So, I believe the AAG meeting is particularly useful for students who enjoy interdisciplinary forums and who want to do some networking. San Francisco was my fourth AAG conference. This time, I presented a paper titled Territorial Effects of US Corn Trade on Mexico’s Maize Production, where I presented some results from my dissertation research and explored additional hypotheses regarding the effects of maize imports on Mexico’s maize production geography.  Talking to other people about my research, getting feedback, and learning from other presenters feed me with energy and new ideas to improve my dissertation. I even got an invitation to submit a paper to a journal. A plus was the location, since this was my first visit to San Francisco, in fact, my first visit to California. I loved the food, the Golden Gate Park, and Muir Woods. I am thankful for the ESPP Interdisciplinary Conference Funding, which made this trip possible.

Producers’ preferences for crop diversification in the coffee sector of Nicaragua by Aniseh Sjona Bro

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 | Author:
Aniseh Sjona Bro

Aniseh Sjona Bro researches coffee crops in Nicaragua

I was invited to present results from my PhD research to the 12th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, held in Portland (OR) on 20-24 January 2016.  This was a great opportunity for me to present my research to a diverse audience of academics and professionals who work in the field of sustainability: from urban planners to government officials, from international development workers to local activists and policy makers.


Personally, this was an interesting experience as most of my research has ever been presented to practitioners and academics who work in very similar fields, unlike this conference, where the uniting theme is a very abstract concept that can be interpreted very differently and applied to many different fields (sustainability).  I felt outside of my element much of the time, yet deeply connected to the core belief that research, planning, design, and growth need to be centered on the sustainability of the endeavor.  This conference opened my eyes to how different epistemologies merge as organizations begin working together to make sustainability a driving item in research and policy agendas around the world.

Application of Manifold Methods for Data Assimilation in Integrated Earth System Models by Ammar Safaie

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 | Author:

Ammar Safaie at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting

“Thanks to the ESPP travel grant award, I was able to attend the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting between the 14th and 18st of December 2015 in San Francisco, California. The AGU Fall Meeting with nearly 24,000 attendees from around the globe, was the largest interdisciplinary Earth, ocean, and space science meeting in the world. In this meeting, I proposed a novel manifold-based method to assimilate different types of spatiotemporal data in integrated earth system models. During my presentation, I received constructive advice and feedback on my work from the attendees. Moreover, it was a great opportunity for me as a PhD student to hear about the latest scientific research and develop my professional network. It is needless to say that such achievements would be impossible without the support of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University.”

The shared vulnerabilities and resiliency of the Fukushima Animals and their rescuers by Seven Mattes

Monday, May 09th, 2016 | Author:

Seven Mattes

With the support of ESPP, I presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SFAA) in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I presented a product of my recent fieldwork in Japan, “The Shared Vulnerability and Resiliency of the Fukushima Animals and their Rescuers.”  This was one part of a two-part interdisciplinary panel that aimed to discuss the position of local communities as first responders to disasters. Of all anthropological conferences, the Society of Applied Anthropology is the ideal place to present interdisciplinary research as it encourages a wide variety of academic and non-academic contributors, from professors to lawyers to NPO lobbyists. Similarly, the panel I participated in included a participant from sociology, anthropology, and a non-academic stakeholder who all work towards understanding and bettering disaster response policies and research. Discussing our projects with each other, the audience, and the panel discussant added a great deal to my ongoing research project – new perspectives, new ideas, and new colleagues to add to my expanding network.

Finding a professional society that’s ‘just right’

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 | Author:

Probably many ESPP students can relate: your research doesn’t really fit into any one discipline, therefore finding a natural fit at a professional society doesn’t come easy, yes?  In my case, my work is at the boundary between aquatic and terrestrial, applied and basic ecology, social and ecological, local and global.  Sound familiar?  While it’s been a struggle to find my home professional society, it’s also a challenge to find a society big enough such that there are likely to be people with a common interest in my lesser known research area—carbon emissions from carbonates added to agricultural soils.  I tried on the Ecological Society of America.  When that didn’t quite fit I tried on the Society for Freshwater Science.  It didn’t quite fit either.  Don’t get me wrong; both of these are excellent societies and conferences for thousands of ecologists.  Feeling a little like a brown haired Goldilocks, I’ve been hoping that the American Geophysical Union conference would feel ‘just right.’

Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2016 Annual Meeting experience by Judith Namanya (ESPP and Geography)

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 | Author:

Judith Namanya

I am very fortunate to have attended the recent concluded AAG annual conference which took place in San Francisco from March 29 – April 02, 2016. At the AAG, I met and interacted with scholars in the various fields of Geography from all over the world. This gave me a deep understanding of how the field of geography is diverse and multidisciplinary. I had an opportunity to meet distinguished researchers whose work I refer to in my writing. I had never attended such a big and interesting conference. Meeting new people has helped me expand my networks and I hope these will be crucial for me to get to another level in my career. I presented my paper, “Meanings and drivers of well-being: stories from water-scarce rural communities of Sub-Saharan Africa” and was given positive feedback. I also attended other presentation sessions and I hope to use the ideas and knowledge I acquired to improve my approach to research.
Thanks to Environmental Science and Policy Program whose contribution in funds made it possible for me to experience such an overhauling opportunity. Without your funding, I wouldn’t have attended all the days of the conference. I am very grateful for all the support I receive from ESPP, thank you so much!

The response of soil respiration to microclimate underneath crop types and land use histories by Yahn-Jauh Su

Thursday, April 21st, 2016 | Author:

I’d like to thank ESPP who funds me to attend the 100th Ecological Society of America (ESA) annual meeting in Baltimore, MA from August 9 to 14. 2015. The ESPP travel funding allows me to join the biggest ecological conference around the world and got huge number of ideas of the most advanced research in ecosystem ecology and carbon cycling. In the conference, I presented my research which is titled “The Response of Soil Respiration to Microclimate underneath different Crop Types and Land Use Histories.” The study measured soil respiration at Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Scale-up sites in Kellogg Biological Station from 2011 to 2013 and explored how it responds to soil temperature and soil water content underneath two land use histories (Reserve Conservation Program Bromegrass grassland and conventional corn-soybean rotation farms) and three crop types (continuous corn, switchgrass and prairie mixture). I discussed with many ecologists and got many comments and appreciations in the poster section. I also communicated with some researchers who endeavor to relative research fields and the talking stimulated me think more about my future research.

Grad Student’s Quick Guide to Gargantuan Conferences

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 | Author:

Erin Haacker, ESPP and Geological Sciences doctoral student. AGU offered free professional headshots at their 2015 Fall Meeting.

There is an art to attending a conference. Sure, you can just show up and bounce around, Brownian-motion-style, but I’m here to tell you that there is a better way.

I recently attended (Thanks, ESPP!!!) the American Geophysical Union – AGU – Fall Meeting, the largest geosciences meeting in the world, with my husband, our six-month-old daughter, and about 23,000 of our closest friends and colleagues. My poster was one of 15,000+ presented at the conference in California. I love to spot other geoscientists while traveling to the meeting; with so many people, there are poster tubes on every flight. As we get close to the conference center in San Francisco, we begin to herd together, outnumbering the uninitiated. This is how it feels to be a migrating caribou.