Life spaces on campus: an introduction to human-environment relationships.

Authors: Carol Campbell*, New Mexico State University
Topics: Biogeography, Human-Environment Geography, Applied Geography
Keywords: Avian biogeography, habitat description, living laboratory, citizen science
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Iris, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Modern societies exist in a framework some describe as the Anthropocene. Humanity now controls or manipulates a majority of the surface of the earth. At the same time younger generations are further from understanding the natural processes and ecosystem services that life on our planet relies upon. This project, campus living laboratories, creates life spaces; places where the lifeforms and biodiversity in a location can be identified, described, explored, and studied. Citizen science capabilities can be developed to understand the Earth as an ecological system, of which human socioeconomic, and cultural systems are embedded, and interacting. The complexity of the Earth system, spatially and temporally, exists on a range of scales that require interdisciplinary efforts to integrate across disciplines. When applied to life space stations, biodiversity will be subset into small manageable sets of organisms that can inform students/citizens, about the life forms in these locations, and with which humans share the Earth. Interdisciplinary themes that include sociology, environmental studies and urban ecology will be explored. The pilot study for the life space stations will be the identification and mapping of birds. This will evolve to identify a list of species and habitats that occupy campus life spaces in various times of the year. Habitat description will include apps for plant identification, basic mapping, and field notebook creation, while demonstrating sampling protocols and the scientific method. This will promote scientific research in local biogeography, and interest in the spatial sciences to advance the next generation of Earth Stewards.

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