This past May ecologists and freshwater scientists from around the world convened for the 2019 Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) Annual Meeting. Tropical Rivers Lab (TRL) is pleased to report that fellow TRL member and PhD student Brenna Kays presented a special session entitled "Biocultural Approaches to Freshwater Conservation". Human connections to rivers are often omitted in analyzing freshwater conservation and restoration efforts. In this special session Brenna and other key speakers are geared towards exploring the applicability of the biocultural approach to riverine ecosystems, in both rural and urban settings. Here speakers were able to provide examples of ways to implement biocultural methods for freshwater resource management and conservation while focusing on local cultural perspectives and the feedbacks between the ecosystem and local wellbeing.
Tropical Rivers Lab is particularly proud that this session featured lectures by three PhD/ graduate students including Brenna Kays, Rachel Scarlett, and Sebastian Heilpern. By reframing traditional conservation practices to include human dimensions, it is possible that these interactions can be leveraged as assets towards conservation for improving environmental and well being outcomes.
Thank you all for sharing your current research with us and aiming to better our understanding of freshwater conservation practices!