Ecological Systems in the Anthropocene: Stephen Jackson

March 30, 2016 - "Ecological novelty, old and new: conservation in a post-normal world" with Stephen Jackson, Director of Southwest Climate Science Center

tephen T. Jackson is Director of the Department of the Interior Southwest Climate Science Center, a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey and a multi-university consortium led by the University of Arizona. In this position, he works to foster effective engagement between researchers and resource management decision-makers. He is also Adjunct Professor of Geosciences and Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Arizona, and Adjunct Professor of Life Sciences at Imperial College London. Before assuming his current position in 2012, he was at the University of Wyoming, where he was founding Director of the Program in Ecology and is now Professor Emeritus of Botany. Jackson has served on editorial boards for Ecology, Ecology Letters, Frontiers in Ecology & Environment, Ecological Monographs, Ecosystems, Journal of Vegetation Science, Diversity & Distributions, and New Phytologist. He is currently a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science and serves on the Advisory Editorial Board for Trends in Ecology and Evolution. He is a Fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Ecological Society of America. Jackson's research continues to utilize the past 25,000 years of earth history as a source of natural experiments to explore ecological responses to environmental changes of various kinds, rates, and magnitudes.


Since the retreat of glaciers poleward over 10,000 years ago, humans have left an ever increasing fingerprint on ecological systems across the globe. The environment is now dominated by people—approximately 1/3 of land area has been transformed for human use and 1/4 of global productivity diverted to human consumption. While concepts such as wilderness attempt to escape this reality, there is virtually no habitat on earth devoid of some sign of humans influence on the globe—be it chemical, thermal, or a missing or introduced species. Today, this imprint is so pronounced that scientists are actively debating naming a new geological epoch demarcated by the sign of humans on the earth system itself: the Anthropocene.

In the shadow of this debate, the HUCE seminar series "Ecological Systems in the Anthropocene" will examine the future of social-environmental systems in a globe heavily impacted by humans. Each year the series will present a set of speakers and events (e.g., seminars, panels, debates) focused on one perspective under this theme.

The theme for the first year is "Novel ecosystems, novel climates: Is today's environment unprecedented?"

For further information on the series and future events, CLICK HERE.