The Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland hosted the Urban Environmental Stewardship Conference (UESC15) on April 17th, 2015 at the University of Maryland. The full day conference was co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), and the University of Maryland Department of Sociology, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Graduate School. UESC15 included nine speakers from esteemed universities and government agencies in the US as well as Canada, South Africa, and France, in addition to 13 poster presenters. In all, approximately 80 people attended the conference. Participants included faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates from the University of Maryland and other academic institutions, as well as members of local environmental stewardship organizations and representatives of local and federal government agencies.
UESC15 was a great success and we extend our thanks to all who attended, assisted, and provided resources to make this event possible. Special thanks go out to Dean Caramello of the UMD Graduate School and Margaret Palmer, Director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center for giving opening remarks to start the day. The conference program and PDFs of panel presentations are available on the conference webpage, and the conference was live tweeted using the hashtag #UESC15. Read on after the jump for a recap of panel presentations.
This Friday, April 17th 2015, the Program for Society & the Environment will host the Urban Environmental Stewardship Conference. The conference is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, UMD Graduate School, UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, UMD Department of Sociology, and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.
The conference kicks off at 9:30am. All speaker panels will take place in the Atrium of the Adele Stamp Student Union and will conclude at 4:00pm with a reception and curated poster session in the Prince George Room. The event is open to the public and free of cost. Registered attendees will also be provided with a boxed lunch. For information on planning your visit, please see our information page.
We hope you can join us this Friday! If you can’t make it in person, be sure to keep an eye on #UESC15 on Twitter for highlights and live updates. We will also be providing a recap of the conference proceedings next week on our blog.
Author: Ann Horwitz
Within academia, the media, and no small number of liberal circles, it is a common belief that the contemporary American conservative movement and climate change denialism are coterminous. Certainly, when the Republican chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wields a fresh snowball on the Senate floor as “proof” that the planet is not warming—as Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma did recently—such a belief is understandable. But is it borne out empirically?
There is no doubt that there exists a remarkably vocal faction of conservatives (both those who identify as Republican and those who do not) that believes fervently that climate change is a hoax, that there is no genuine evidence that the phenomenon is real, and that the scientific consensus surrounding the issue is bogus. “Conspiracy” is not too strong a word for what this group sees in the climate consensus: a concerted effort among big-government liberals, researchers in (inherently leftist) academia, the (inherently leftist) environmental movement, and the gatekeepers on the editorial boards of (inherently leftist) peer-reviewed journals to create an opportunity for the kind of liberty-crippling regulatory regime that Democrats love and Republicans abhor. This faction is real, it is passionate, and—despite what many cynical liberals might like to believe about amoral, nefarious business interests pulling the puppet strings—it is sincere. Again, though, the question is whether this faction is big enough to define conservative doctrine on one of the more pressing international issues of the day.
If one’s objective is to take the temperature (pun intended) of today’s conservative movement (which is not necessarily synonymous with the Republican Party), there is no better place to start than CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. Held every year in late winter in the D.C. area, the conference is the biggest annual gathering of conservative grassroots activists, elected officials, political organizers, media personalities, celebrities, and representatives from right-wing non-profits, advocacy organizations, academic institutions, think tanks, etc. It is a proving ground for potential candidates for higher office, whose speeches and meet-and-greets at CPAC are the equivalent of auditions. Like any political convention, CPAC serves as a space for attendees to get together in the echo chamber of hotel break-out rooms to agree with each other. What I found at CPAC, though, at least with regard to the issue of climate change, wasn’t so simple.
Author: Anya M. Galli
Urban environmental stewardship exists at the intersection of environmental conservation, environmental movements and civic engagement in US cities. It is carried out by diverse range of actors including community coalitions, environmental groups, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP) has surveyed these groups in cities across the US to understand better the types of stewardship in which they engage, how they connect with one another, and how they have evolved within the cities in which they operate.
My upcoming talk at the PSE Workshop on April 8, titled “Understanding the Organizational Landscape of Urban Environmental Stewardship: the STEW-MAP Philadelphia Survey” will provide an overview of the survey methods, research process, and preliminary findings from the STEW-MAP Philadelphia project. In particular, I will focus on the ways in which a survey of this type can be conducted so as to produce useful knowledge to stewardship groups while providing a scientifically sound source of data for social scientists.