The last few weeks have been an awesomely crazy time helping organize the 5th Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology (www.urbanstreamecology.org). Here are a few of the highlights:
NSF support to increase professional and personal diversity at sUSE5
With some great mentorship and a wonderful concept developed by a large group of great people, I was able to get funded a $25,550 grant from the National Science Foundation (Award DEB-2012128) to support SUSE5 with a long list of senior personnel. We were able to provide travel support to community organizers, people from disciplines less commonly represented at SUSE meetings (e.g., social scientists, landscape planners, engineers, etc.), people with personal backgrounds often underrepresented in stream ecology, and other individuals with limited financial support to attend SUSE5. I'm excited how the overall support and the ability to support travel for this group helped (I think) greatly improve the meeting and make us better prepared to address the wicked problem that is urban stream management and renovation.
The meeting was an intense and amazing 3 days of interdisciplinary science. I think the overall outcomes demonstrated the 'wickedness' of the problem, but also the barriers that exist within and among disciplines in creating common goals and solutions to difficult problems. The case studies we worked on created a very interesting narrative through the meeting demonstrating how the process of interdisciplinary science can and can't work. Not everyone 'had a blast', but I posit that everyone who participated fully learned about urban streams and, possibly more importantly, about how to create effective solutions to managing these systems within the context of the urban communities these streams flow through. Stay tuned to the SUSE5 organizers and participants for more details on the outcomes of the meeting (and we are already talking about SUSE6!).