Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainability: A Call to Stewardship -- Deadline extended to June 15

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Environmental Ethics Initiative at Brigham Young University
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"Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainability: A Call to Stewardship"
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT
Thursday, 8–Saturday, 10 November 2012

This symposium is devoted to exploring the interdisciplinary dimensions of environmental stewardship in literature and the arts, law, philosophy, science, and religion. We seek papers that critique, develop, and enhance conceptions of stewardship grounded in current scientific and cultural understanding of environmental problems. We encourage explorations of problems such as climate change, species extinction, human/animal relationships, food production, land and water use, air quality, and other environmental and resource problems of national and international consequence. We especially welcome presentations that also develop the underlying moral, ethical, cultural, or theological dimensions of such problems. In other words, we seek papers that will provide guidelines for solutions and the justifications and methods for motivating conservation, restoration, and the goal of long-term sustainability. Moreover, we expect papers that reflect various religious, philosophical, and cultural perspectives. Confirmed keynote speakers include Margaret Palmer, director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and University of Maryland; Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of the Minnesota; and J. Baird Callicott, University Distinguished Research Professor at the University of North Texas and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. This symposium will address questions about:

Stewardship: What are the advantages and limitations of the idea of stewardship? To which texts, stories, cosmologies, and artistic traditions can we turn for inspiration? What are the underlying values and moral limits of environmental laws? What obstacles and opportunities are there for science to interface effectively with religion, public policy, and culture to promote better stewardship?

Conservation: What are the fundamental principles of conservation biology? What are the conservation crises we face? How can we translate conservation biology and other relevant sciences more effectively into the languages of culture and religion, into human values?

Restoration: What are the ecological restoration challenges? How do we know when restoration is necessary? What successes can we point to? With the need of ecological restoration in mind, what kind of economy is a moral and efficacious one? What is religion's relevance to restoration?

Sustainability: What are the fundamental principles of sustainability? What are the principles of intergenerational as well as intragenerational fairness? How can we meet the needs of present and future populations? What are the limits of resources we face and what role might faith, innovation, or modesty play in living within them?

Please send proposals for individual papers or for panels to by
Tuesday, 15 June 2012.
Proposals for papers should be no more than 200 words and should include a CV. Proposals for panels should include a description of the panel's objectives and a paper proposal and a CV for each participant.

For further information see our website:
This symposium is hosted by the Environmental Ethics Initiative at Brigham Young University and sponsored by generous funds from The Nature Conservancy and from BYU's David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies and the Colleges of Life Sciences and of Humanities.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Margaret Palmer is director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center
(, an NSF- and University of Maryland-supported research center dedicated to creating synthetic, actionable science related to the structure, functioning, and sustainability of socio-environmental systems. In addition, as a professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Entomology and in the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), Palmer oversees a large research group focused on watershed science and restoration ecology. Having worked on streams, rivers, and estuaries for more than twenty-seven years and leading scientific projects at national and international levels, she has more than 150 scientific publications and multiple ongoing collaborative research grants. She is past Director of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, serves as an editor for the journal Restoration Ecology and co-authored the book The Foundations of Restoration Ecology. Palmer has been honored as a AAAS Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, a Lilly Fellow, a Distinguished Scholar Teacher, an Ecological Society of America Distinguished Service Award, and a University System of Maryland Board of Regent's Faculty Award of Excellence.

Dr. Jonathan Foley is the director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota, where he is a professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. Foley also leads the IonE's Global Landscapes Initiative. His work focuses on complex global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies. He and his students have contributed to our understanding of global-scale ecological processes, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet's climate and water cycles, and the sustainability of our biosphere. This work has led him to be a regular advisor to large corporations, NGOs, and governments around the world. Foley joined the University of Minnesota in 2008 after spending fifteen years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he founded the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. He and his colleagues have published over one hundred articles in scientific literature, including highly cited work in Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has also written many popular articles and essays, including pieces in the New York Times, Scientific American, SEED, E360, the Guardian, and elsewhere. Foley has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation's 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; and the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. In 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

J. Baird Callicott is University Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and formerly
Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Texas. Callicott is co-editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy and author or editor of a score of books and author of dozens of journal articles, encyclopedia articles, and book chapters in environmental philosophy and ethics. He has served the International Society for Environmental Ethics as president and Yale University as Bioethicist-in-Residence, and he has served the UNT Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies as chair. His research goes forward simultaneously on four main fronts: Theoretical environmental ethics; comparative environmental ethics and philosophy; the philosophy of ecology and conservation policy; and biocomplexity in the environment, coupled natural and human systems (sponsored by the National Science Foundation). Callicott is perhaps best known as the leading contemporary exponent of Aldo Leopold's land ethic and is currently exploring an Aldo Leopold Earth ethic in response to global climate change. He taught the world's first course in environmental ethics in 1971 at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point. His teaching at UNT includes graduate and undergraduate courses in ancient Greek philosophy and ethical theory in addition to environmental philosophy.