21st International Symposium on Society and Resource Management

  • Thank you for a wonderful week, Charleston ! ! Our thoughts are now with you ! !

    The 21st International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM) will be held at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A. – selected this year for the fourth consecutive time by Condé Nast Traveler readers as the #1 destination city in the U.S. Celebrated for its history and culture, Charleston is also widely known for its outstanding public spaces, outdoor recreation, award-winning cuisine, and centuries of live theater, music, and fine arts. As the official host institution, the College of Charleston is located in the heart of downtown, nestled between spectacular historic buildings and grand oaks and the inner workings of a cosmopolitan coastal city. The 2015 ISSRM will be the first held in the southeastern U.S. and will offer excellent opportunities to engage a diverse community of scholars, practitioners, and decision-makers and experience “lowcountry” heritage firsthand. Along with the typical complement of activities – e.g., student forum, quiz bowl, poster and organized sessions – the 2015 ISSRM will foster creativity and disciplinary integration through a number of stimulating plenaries, media presentations, social events, field excursions, and innovative information exchange formats.

    For the conference, which also serves as the venue for the annual meeting of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR), we expect an attendance of more than 450 research scientists, government agency managers, graduate students, non-profit employees, and private consultants from the fields of natural resource management, social sciences, education, and environmental, urban, and regional planning and policy.

    21st International Symposium on Society and Resource Management Flyer


    Conference Theme:

    Understanding and Adapting to Change

    The theme for the 2015 ISSRM centers on understanding and adapting to change. Drivers of and responses to change can take many forms and be observed and measured in many contexts – whether social, behavioral, economic, political, or technological; changes to natural or built environments; or changes to culture or tradition. Change can also be gauged in various ways in terms of scale – from local to regional to national – and rate of change – from episodic to gradual to rapid to continuous.

    As an example, Charleston has a rich and vibrant history and long-standing cultural identity as a prominent coastal city. Today, Charleston is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., with  increasing urbanization, shifting demographics, rapid economic and industrial development, expanding international commerce and transportation activities, and appreciable effects to its natural and cultural landscapes. Charleston also has a high vulnerability to certain types of environmental changes, given its low elevation, aging infrastructure, socioeconomic composition, and proximity to the ocean and other dynamic water resources.

    The four focus areas listed below have been selected to foster a diverse program and high level of engagement between social scientists and decision-makers. Several example topics have been included for each focus area as a rough guide to potential topics.


    Focus Areas:

    Tradition at the Edge: Changing Cultural and Historic Conditions

    • traditional ecological knowledge
    • cultural resources and climate change
    • subsistence and resource dependency
    • migration, immigration, and diaspora communities
    • land tenure, heirs property, and usufruct rights
    • artisanal resource use and traditional cultural practices
    • environmental art and expression
    • social equity and environmental justice
    • cultural landscape fragmentation
    • indigenous resources, rights, and consultation


    Society at the Edge: Changing Ecological Conditions

    • coastal communities and ecological restoration
    • wildland-rural interface
    • drought and water scarcity
    • working landscapes and natural capital
    • fire, floods, storms, and natural hazards
    • food scarcity and security
    • environmental change and disease risk
    • invasive and endangered species
    • climate effects on outdoor recreation and tourism
    • wildlife-human interactions
    • blueways, greenways, corridors, and connectivity


    Cities at the Edge: Changing Urban Conditions

    • heat islands and greening
    • urbanization and the peri-urban fringe
    • gentrification and amenity migration
    • risk, vulnerability, resilience, and adaptive capacity
    • sustainable transportation and green infrastructure
    • public health and lifestyles
    • food deserts and local food movements
    • social capital and other urban ecosystem services
    • disaster planning and recovery
    • urban heritage management


    Governance at the Edge: Changing Managerial Conditions

    • decision science and decision making
    • climate adaptation planning and mitigation
    • multiple-use and conflict management
    • natural resource law, policy, compliance, and enforcement
    • education, interpretation, and capacity development
    • landscape scale conservation and transboundary management
    • renewable energy development
    • science coordination and knowledge management
    • public participation, collaboration, and co-management
    • citizen science and monitoring


    Host Institution:

    College of Charleston, South Carolina, USA

    Founded in 1770, the College of Charleston is the oldest institution of higher education south of Virginia, and the 13th oldest in the United States. Delayed in full implementation by political unrest and the American Revolution, the College was officially chartered in 1785, then becoming the nation’s first municipal college when the City of Charleston assumed responsibility for its support in 1837. The College closed while Charleston was under siege during the Civil War, then reopened in 1866, remaining under the jurisdiction of the city until 1950, when it was designated a private institution. The College was incorporated into the SC State College System in 1970, with graduate programs beginning in 1972. Further development of College research programs and centers (e.g., Grice Marine Laboratory, Avery Research Center, NASA Space Grant Consortium) and fine arts programs (e.g., Simons Center for the Arts, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, School of the Arts) continued through the 1990s. The College has continued to expand its graduate offerings with programs in environmental studies and Peace Corps service, public administration, business administration, urban and regional planning, and joint programs in historic preservation and community planning, JD/MBA, communications, and other fields with nearby partner institutions (Charleston School of Law, Clemson University, The Citadel, Lowcountry Graduate Center). The College enrolls nearly 12,000 students from over 60 countries (2013) across more than 60 degree programs, with approximately 10% pursuing graduate studies.


    Conference Coordinators:

    ISSRM 2015 Organizing Committee