Summer 2021

Ethnobiology Newsletter

Society of Ethnobiology logo

Society of Ethnobiology Member Newsletter

Letter from the President

Dear Ethnobiology Friends and Colleagues,

As the summer winds down, and we prepare for the new term, I find myself wondering where the time went! I know that the past year and a half have presented us with huge challenges in many ways, including major losses ranging from the personal to the economic. I have a deep gratitude for the health and security that my family has had, and for the daily shows of humanity as the good people in our communities come together to do what we can to lift each other up and find the "new normal".

Looking back at the last few months, we had a very successful virtual conference in May. You may recall that the annual conference was originally scheduled for May 2020 in Cedar City, Utah, but was rescheduled to be held virtually in May 2021 due to the situation with the COVID19 pandemic. The theme of the conference was Paa meaning “water” in Paiute and reflects how essential water is, and how uncertain the future of water is for our world. This theme, and the conference logo, was developed with our conference co-hosts and partners The Paiute Tribe of Utah. With grant funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, we were able to support more than thirty-eight Indigenous and Majority World individuals in participating via small technology scholarships (to help provide the necessary equipment for participation from around the globe) and registration waivers. There were a total of 252 conference registrants and 117 papers/posters presented.

The conference team also put together an Ethnobiology through the Seasons calendar which has been mailed to all of thefirst 230 conference registrants—a beautiful way to help us remain connected through these challenging times.

An ethnobiology alliance, calling ourselves the Alliance for Diversity and Inclusion in Ethnobiology (ADIE) has brought together members from SoE, Society for Economic Botany, and the International Society for Ethnobiology, in an effort to drive culture change and make space for inclusion and diversity to thrive in our discipline. We have submitted a Planning Grant proposal to the NSF Biology directorate and have already begun to plan pre-conference workshops to engage in the first series of facilitated, critical, conversations in Jamaica 2022 (and there will be subsequent pre-conference workshops in Atlanta in 2023). I encourage you to reach out to myself or Morgan Ruelle if you are interested in joining our working ADIE group (membership is open and flexible). We are currently meeting via Zoom and planning for long-range culture change work, so all voices are needed and there are many ways to be involved and support the endeavor.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the SfAA joint conference in Salt Lake City, March 2022! Or, on one of the virtual conference sessions in this year's Conference Trifecta!

All my best wishes,

Forage! Submit Your Thoughts and Writings

Forage! is the SoE’s venue for gathering ideas and knowledge and for fostering the ethnobiological community and movements. We encourage members to submit content from all expressive dimensions including intellectual, creative, and activist ones (e.g., art, stories, literature, poetry, picture). Check it out here.

We invite all SoE members, students, and the general public to submit blog posts here: We welcome submissions at any time or you can schedule a blog post using our sign-up form:

Journal of Ethnobiology: Welcome Rick Stepp! Thank you Dana!

The Journal of Ethnobiology welcomes Prof. Rick Stepp who began his term as Co- Editor-in-Chief, with Rob Quinlan, this week. We are delighted to have Rick on board, and we’re excited by the journal line-up in the coming months. We are grateful for Dana Lepofsky’s able leadership of JoE over many years, and we hope we can move forward building on the solid foundation Dana and other past editors have handed down to us. Upcoming soon is a Special Issue (41.3) on Indigenous People and Climate Change guest edited by Victoria Reyes-García, André Junqueira, and Xiaoyue Li.

Next year we anticipate a special issue on Tropical Agriculture guest edited by Lydie Dussol and Stephen Rostain, and another on Methods in Ethnobiology in Honor of Justin Nolan guest edited by Marsha Quinlan and Mike Robbins. Pleases check the JoE webpage for upcoming special issues. We encourage the membership to reach out to the editors to give feedback on the journal, and to propose special issues for future volumes of JoE.

Happy 40th Anniversary for the Journal of Ethnobiology!
Read the Special Issue Today!

Society of Applied Anthropology Joint Conference March 22–26, 2022

The 2022 SfAA Annual Meeting offers researchers, practitioners, and students from diverse disciplines and organizations the opportunity to discuss their work and consider how it can contribute to a better future. SfAA members come from a host of disciplines—anthropology, geography, sociology, economics, business, planning, medicine, nursing, law, and more. The annual meeting provides a fertile venue in which to trade ideas, methods, and practical solutions, as well as an opportunity to enter the lifeworld of other professionals.

The Society of Ethnobiology has partnered with the Society for Applied Anthropology, Culture and Agriculture, Political Ecology Society, Society for Medical Anthropology and others to put on a hybrid conference (in-person and virtual options). SoE members are encourage to attend and submit papers. The CALL FOR PAPERS is open until October 15, 2021.

Rapid Assistance Fund For Indigenous Communities & Individuals In Need

The Society of Ethnobiology remains committed to the purposes of social justice and social equality. We recognize there is much work to be done. If you or your community are in need of assistance, in a form that relates to people and the environments they live and work in, please consider applying for Rapid Assistance Funds here.

SoE Student Twitter Take-Over

Are you a student who wants to engage more with the diverse membership of the Society of Ethnobiology? Do you want to show your own perspective of what is ethnobiology? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! Fill out the survey to schedule your week now, here.

RAI Joint Conference: Anthropology and Conservation Oct 25–29, 2021

We are very pleased to announce a major interdisciplinary conference on Anthropology and Conservation. The aim of the conference is simple: it is increasingly recognized that conservation can only be properly achieved with Indigenous Peoples, in full recognition of their rights. It is therefore urgent that we develop cross-disciplinary understanding not just of conservation, but also of the way that conservation and people go together. The conference will be held virtually.

The Society of Ethnobiology has partnered with the Royal Anthropological Institute, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew Gardens, the Forest Peoples’ Program, and others to convene the Anthropology and Conservation Virtual Conference. Panels are available to view, including four sponsored directly by the Society of Ethnobiology:

  • Ethics and Advocacy - Organizing Equity and Decolonizing Ethnobiology (Sarah Walshaw and Cissy Fowler)
  • Ethnobiologists, Communities, and Collaboration for Conservation (Liz Olson and James Welch)
  • Lessons from the Deep Past: Archaeological Approaches to Conservation (Jade D’Alpoim Guedes and Isabel Rivera Collazo)
  • Addressing Threats to Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems (Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares and Dana Lepofsky)

Register Today!

Ethnobiology In the News

EurekaAlert, Scientists warn on the harmful implications of losing Indigenous and local knowledge systems
Outlook India, Adivasi Foods are a Part of the Culture and Identity in Jharkhand
CBC, Western redcedars suitable for large canoes, totem poles are in short supply, say researchers
Honolulu Civil Beat, Let's Create An Urban Forest Network Of Native Plants, Essay
International Press Service, Protecting Plants Will Protect People and the Planet, Opinion

Do you have anything you would like the community of Ethnobiologists to know? Would you like to share job postings, events, news articles, etc.? Please email with any comments, concerns, or additions.

Society of Ethnobiology
Boston University | Room 345 | 675 Commonwealth Ave. | Boston, MA 02215 | United States

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