SCCS-NY 2021

Twelfth annual conference - October 5-8, 2021

The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and its partners invited students, postdocs, and early-career professionals to take part in the 12th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science – New York (SCCS-NY), which was an entirely virtual meeting.

As a part of the only international series of conservation conferences featuring students, SCCS-NY provides opportunities for emerging scientists to professionally network, gain experience, and present and get feedback on their work. Interactions with peers as well as leaders in science, policy, and management will encourage collaborations, inspire further research, and create lasting professional connections.

Conference Program

2021 Plenaries

Our relationship to the environment, past and future: lessons from engaged archaeological research

Plenarist: Kristina Douglass, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

For the past 18 months, the spread of COVID-19 has dominated news cycles and is at the forefront of local, national, and international concerns. The coronavirus pandemic is one of many human-driven socio-ecological crises we face as a global community. In August of this year, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international body of researchers who evaluate and synthesize the science of climate change, released their latest report. The report documents in sobering detail the extent to which our planet’s climate is changing due to human activity. And, like the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis intersects with and compounds other problems, such as biodiversity loss, and food, energy, and water insecurity. The exceptional challenges of the present moment can seem insurmountable, but they present an opportunity to draw from deeper time and learn how people and ecosystems adapted to changing conditions in the past.

I became an archaeologist because I believe in the power of storytelling. Storytelling is fundamental to human evolution and is what defines humans as a species. We have all had the experience of learning from our elders, those who came before us. If we think about it, we have millions of years of cumulative human experience on the planet to learn from. Our ability to pass knowledge from one generation to the next is central to our survival. Archaeology can inform our approaches to contemporary conservation by telling the stories of how ancient peoples shaped landscapes, responded to past climate change, interacted with diverse species of plants and animals, and sustained livelihoods over centuries and millennia.

Inspiring careers in conservation: SCCS-NY alumni share their journeys in the conservation field

Panelists: Leo Douglas, Clinical Assistant Professor, New York University; Kaitlyn Parkins, Associate Director for Conservation and Science, NYC Audubon; Andrea Reid, Assistant Professor, The University of British Columbia

What's next after presenting your research at the Student Conference on Conservation Science? A panel of SCCS-NY alums will share their inspiring journeys in conservation, moderated by CBC Biodiversity Scientist and SCCS alumna Dr. Samantha Cheng.