AIMES 5th YSN on Historical Ecology: Integrating Biophysical, Historical, and Ethnographic Evidence at the Landscape Scale

Date and Venue

Date: 29 June – 3 July 2009
Venue: Uxeau, Burgundy, France

[agenda] [logistics] [participants]


Historical narratives are traditionally cast in terms of wars, the rise and fall of civilizations and specific human achievements, leaving out the important environmental contexts that shaped and accompanied such events. It is now widely recognized that we have entered a new era, the Anthropocene, where the coupled human-environment system is a major driver of current Earth system change, making the integration of human history with Earth system history a timely an important task.

This workshop is an activity of Integrated History and future Of People on Earth (IHOPE) activity of AIMES. The overarching goal of IHOPE is the understanding of linked environmental and human processes since the Late Pleistocene. The objective is to combine new and existing data sources to produce an integrated historical account of changes in climate, atmospheric chemistry, material and water cycles, ecosystem distribution, species extinct

ions, human settlement and land use, technologies, patterns of disease, language and institutions, conflicts and alliances, and other variables. Until recently there have been few attempts to integrate historical information across dissimilar fields of study. Bridging these knowledge communities is an essential step in understanding the factors contributing to global change and in developing workable strategies for the future. Historical ecology provides a framework to integrate perspectives, theories, tools and knowledge from a variety of disciplines across the biophysical and social sciences and the humanities.

This is a working workshop, meaning that selected participants will be expected to submit an informal essay about any previous experience doing interdisciplinary work from the perspective of their own discipline and their own country, and to links between their own work and Historical Ecology (if appropriate, including references). At the end of the workshop, participants will be asked to formulate a program of collaboration around their own research. All participant travel, lodging and meals will be funded. Young scholars and scientists (<10 years from PhD) are eligible to apply for the workshop on or before March 20, 2008. The workshop will take place in Burgundy, France from June 29 to July 3 2009. Space will be limited to approximately 14 participants.