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Frontiers of Global Change Science

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Session Description: 

Over the past quarter century, global change research has evolved to encompass many aspects of the human-Earth system. In the process, perturbations to the Earth system such as climate change, alterations to biogeochemical cycles, ozone depletion, human population, development, land use, and biodiversity loss have been made increasingly apparent through advancing capacity in monitoring, modeling, and the understanding of underlying processes. The evolution of global change research has not only advanced scientific understanding of Earth systems but has also heightened awareness and concern regarding the societal and ecological impacts of global environmental change.

Major studies continue to enumerate these areas of concern (e.g., Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the IPCC series of reports, U.S. National Climate Assessments). During the last 25 years, AGCI has played a leadership role in convening key workshops with a focus on interdisciplinary dialogue. These workshops have helped inform directions in interdisciplinary science and its significance to society. AGCI’s informal yet rigorous atmosphere has helped to forward new research directions and collaborations across disciplines. The future work of AGCI will continue to serve the research community and its role in service to society.

In this context, a landmark AGCI session is proposed to explore and restate the Institute’s vision for continued work by engaging up-and-coming and senior researchers to articulate their sense of the grand challenges for global change science, broadly construed. What are the exciting ideas and questions that build from what we know? The scope of discussions will also extend to include how such “frontiers” of research can be propelled by improvements to STEM education, as well as how the outcomes of this research can better relate to and inform decisions required by society in response.

The AGCI session will involve a highly interdisciplinary group of senior scientists and scholars, as well as a set of younger scientists identified as likely future leaders in their field. In so doing, an additional outcome of this session will be to nurture and catalyze a new generation of researchers, who will work over the next 25 years to advance the needed societally-relevant science. A workshop of this scope will draw upon an expanding organizing committee to work with AGCI’s science advisory committee, in addition to session co-chairs to provide input to session design, participant mix, and intended outcomes.

Workshop Topic (s): 
  • Human Contributions & Responses