Oregon State University

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Event Details

Natural Values and Novel Ecosystems: Adapting Nature Conservation

Allen Thompson

Monday, January 29, 2018 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Anthropogenic environmental change is often imagined on the planetary scale. But anthropogenic drivers are also having a significant effect on particular places, on specific ecosystems, at the local and landscape scale. An emerging branch of thought in ecology is turning attention to ecosystems with compositional, structural, and functional profiles for which there is no analog in the ecological record. Ecologists are calling them "novel ecosystems.”

In this talk, Thompson explains the concept of novel ecosystems and identifies their significant role in adapting received traditions of land management, nature conservation, and restoration ecology, especially in North America. Traditional values that underlie and motivate much conservation—those appealing to the intrinsic value of natural ecosystems—are threatened. The rapid and pervasive emergence of novel ecosystems, Thompson argues, has significance for on-going debates about "new conservationism” and how we understand natural values as we move into the Anthropocene.

OSU Associate Professor of Philosophy Allen Thompson works on questions in ethics and environmental philosophy. Recent work has focused on normative, evaluative, and policy issues arising in conjunction with emerging issues in ecology and atmospheric science. Publications include the edited collection, The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics (OUP 2017), and Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change: Human Virtues of the Future (MIT 2012).

Autzen House (campus map)
811 SW Jefferson
Center for the Humanities
centerforthehumanities at oregonstate.edu
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