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Upcoming Events

Mountains as Contexts for Global Change: Interdisciplinary Experiences, Challenges, and New Perspectives across the Natural and Social Sciences

06/11/2020 07/11/2020

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This symposium on the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary mountain research is organized by CIRM, MRI, and FoLAP, to be held at the 18th Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2020 in Zürich, Switzerland. 


Iago Otero & Emmanuel Reynard, Interdisciplinary Center for Mountain Research, University of Lausanne
Carolina Adler & Aino Kulonen, Mountain Research Initiative
Jörg Balsiger, Forum Landscape, Alps, Parks, SCNAT

Symposium Description

Mountain regions offer concrete contexts through which challenges and opportunities of global change are experienced, perceived and enacted. The complex interactions between diverse biophysical and socio-economic processes of change call for an integrated systems approach to not only understand these challenges, but also identify key opportunities. Combining knowledge streams across the natural and social sciences, accounting for the complexity of social-ecological interactions, are increasingly called for in mountain research as a response to this call.

However, this is easier said than done. Contrasting research objectives, methods, epistemological paradigms and evaluation criteria pose significant challenges for a sound integration between both. This may also be the case, when expectations to address societal challenges, leverage opportunities and co-design solutions are encouraged through transdisciplinary research. Moreover, it is not often clear, or made explicit, whether and how an integration between the natural and the social sciences contributes to “better” outcomes in terms of sustainable development, transformative capacity, and justice.

This symposium aims at offering a space to showcase research conducted in mountain areas that address these topics, discuss such challenges as well as identify emerging new avenues for research and collaboration among natural and social scientists dealing with global change issues in mountain regions. Contributions are welcome from all fields of study.

Please note that in light of the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s edition of the SGM will not be held in physical form at the ETH Zurich, but will exclusively be held online via video-conferencing. See the event website for further details. 

 Photo by Pixabay user jameswheeler

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