2018 Sessions

A number of sessions are being organized. If you feel that your paper would be a good fit with one of the organized sessions, please contact the session organizer directly (and preferably before you submit your individual abstract). Not all sessions may have space available - please check with the session organizer listed below. You do not need to be in an organized session to submit your abstract here.

Effective Approaches to Human Ecology Education

Session Organizer(s): 
Steve Wolverton
Daniela Shebitz

Ethnobiologists in higher education hold degrees in a variety of disciplines including anthropology, geography, biology, linguistics, and other fields. Correspondingly, our classes on human – environment interactions are taught from a variety of perspectives and vary in content. The objective of this session is to bring together examples of class exercises that educators consider to be their most effective assignments to illustrate the interactions between humans and the environment so that these tools may be available for use by other ethnobiologists. The presentations are framed around several central tasks and questions: 1) Define the purpose of the exercise its context, content, structure, and requirements 2) Explain the learning outcomes that were intended during design of the project or exercise 3) What aspects of the design worked well, which aspects were problematic, and how were those problems solved? 4) What were surprising, unintended outcomes from the project? 5) How did students respond to the project? Finally, 6) What makes this particular exercise or student project an example of your best instructional work? This session will provide a compilation of novel exercises that transcend the typical classroom format so that the education of ethnobiology students can be enriched through unique learning experiences.

Ethnoforestry: Knowledges about Forests and their Contributions to Food Security

Session Organizer(s): 

The Ethnoforestry session explores knowledges about forests in the past, present, and future. Presenters highlight the multitude of ways that forests contribute to food security across cultures. In what ways are forests connected to food security? What are the implications of changes in forests for food security? In what ways do fluctuations in food security influence forests? In the Ethnoforestry session, presenters explore ways that knowledge systems can simultaneously enhance forests and fortify food security.

Ginseng Economic Botany in Northern Wisconsin

Session Organizer(s): 

Global Change/Global Health: Integrating Traditional Knowledges with Science in Response to Changing Human-Environment Relationships

Session Organizer(s): 
Liz Olson

The/Global Change/Global Health/session explores the ways ongoing, continuous transformations in the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and lands also involve changes in human wellbeing. Presenters in this session connect local, lived, experiences with broader biosocial processes. We seek answers to the question, what does ethnobiology teach us about the links between ongoing environmental and social changes and ecosystems and human health? Presenters reflect upon the ways ethnobiology represents and integrates traditional knowledges into scientific understandings of global change and global health. We discuss the roles of traditional knowledges in restoring damaged landscapes, building healthy communities, and learning how to live ethically with multispecies others.

How to Teach Ethnobotany Painlessly

Session Organizer(s): 
Al Keali'i Chock
Kim Bridges

This workshop will be a short symposium with presentations including: Vision and Change – guidelines for Integrating core concepts in teaching ethnobotany; The Flipped Classroom – guidelines for the efficient conversion of lecture materials into on-line modules; Re-Visioning the Class Field Trip – guidelines for improving student participation in field study.

Quality of Life, Wellbeing, and Food Security: Theories, Methods, and Practical Approaches

Session Organizer(s): 
Theresa L. Miller

In recent years, concepts of quality of life and wellbeing have gained traction in scholarly research of human-environment engagements and in applied approaches to sustainable development. Yet integrating these concepts into ethnobiology as a discipline and into applied food security initiatives remains rare. This panel seeks to address this gap through a comparative study of the concepts of quality of life, wellbeing, and their application in promoting and maintaining food security in diverse communities worldwide.  The papers in this panel examine myriad theoretical approaches to the concepts of quality of life, wellbeing, and food security (or insecurity) by researchers and communities themselves, focusing specifically on the history of these concepts and their variation over time and in distinct geographical regions. The panel also explores the diverse methodological approaches to studying the relationship between wellbeing and food security, including new and innovative qualitative and quantitative methods emerging from anthropology, ethnobiology, ecological economics, and conservation social sciences. Drawing from experiences conducting research and engaging in applied projects in rural and urban communities throughout the globe, the panel explores the nexus of quality of life, wellbeing, and food security from an ethnobiological perspective. By exploring how researchers and local communities alike are grappling with theoretical and methodological approaches to studying wellbeing and food security, the panel aims to provide lessons learned and ways forward for practical approaches to supporting and maintaining food security and quality of life – however defined – in diverse communities worldwide.

Who’s Counting?: Reflexive Innovations for Quantitative Methods and Analysis in Ethnobiology

Session Organizer(s): 
Cynthiann Heckelsmiller
Robert Quinlan

The replication crisis in quantitative analysis presents exciting opportunities to reflect on how we conduct, compare, and share research from multiple contexts and varied methods. Ethnobiologists by nature include multi-disciplinary studies from plant systematics to cultural cognition and everything in between. Ethnobiology exists in the fascinating and challenging position of bridging gaps between scientific methods and ways of knowing in all cultures, where knowledge is described and measured not just for its own sake, but for the cultures and people that create and use it. As such, we have a responsibility to transparently employ research methodology and statistical thinking when reporting our findings. What scientific standards and statistical inferences best represent our findings? We propose a session to discuss the present state and future directions for robust methodology and data analysis. We invite researchers to present their data collection and analysis approaches and to discuss future directions in published research standards. Relevant topics for presentations might include, but are not limited to: sample size, sampling strategies, a priori vs. exploratory research, p-values and limitations of inference, multilevel models, Bayesian analysis, power analyses, network effects and biases, optimal number of key informants, interview/interviewer effects, longitudinal vs. cross-sectional data, domain specificity, informant fatigue, priming effects, specialist knowledge vs. consensus, higher order factors in consensus analysis, and salience of sub-samples for assessing intra-cultural variance in TEK.