Theme: Life on Earth:
Preserving, Utilizing, and Sustaining Ecosystems
August 5-10, 2012, in Portland, Oregon, 4992 attendees
Opening Plenary Keynote Speaker: Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on Reflections on the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative: SBI + 20 Celebration
Scientific Plenary Keynote Speaker: Jerry Franklin, Ph.D., Professor of Ecosystem Analysis, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, on Forests, Fish, Owls, Volcanoes… and People: Reflections on fifty years of accumulated ecological knowledge and its application to policy
Portland, as the site for the 2012 Ecological Society of America annual meeting, is an ideal match for this theme. At the broader scale, Oregon has a diversity of ecosystems (rocky coastal habitat, temperate rainforest, mid to high elevation conifer forest, and even desert in the southeastern portion of the state). Oregon is largely forested, and timber harvesting has traditionally been the major economic driver of the state. More recently, the economy has shifted towards high tech development forcing changes in land-use planning. As a city, Portland lies in the shadow of Mount Hood, one of the largest mountains in the United States, and lies at the confluence of two of the great rivers of the Pacific Northwest (Columbia and Willamette). The region has had a long and rich history of natural resource utilization—sometimes sustainably, sometimes not. Portland is now known as one of the most progressive and “greenest” cities in the United States and is widely recognized for their land-use planning. Against a backdrop of urban and cultural development they have in many ways become a model for utilization, sustainability, and preservation of the ecosystems in which they live.