I’m preparing this morning to leave Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for home after an enjoyable ISSRM 2019. Oshkosh is not the easiest place to get to from Halifax, but I’ve enjoyed the walks along the Fox River to and from the venue, watching fish jumping and drawbridges drawing.
It felt like a very different ISSRM, for the better, with a range of equity-oriented panels and some big paradigm shifts. Highlights were many, and included:
- the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s Land Ethic Leaders Workshop, offered to align with the conference theme, recognizing 70 years since the publication of Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac in the region where he wrote it;
- the phenomenal Indigenous panel including one of my favourite authors, Dr. Robin Kimmerer, but with all strong participants, which felt like a life-changing event;
- the two sessions I co-organized with Jenny Hodbod on Farmer Experience and Expertise in Regenerative Agriculture (thanks to all the speakers!), as well as the day I spent working with Jenny and her student Morgan to synthesize it and identify next steps;
- the session I chaired on diversifying research in NRM, including tackling implicit biases as well as structural ones, which was incredibly rich and useful for the Society and Natural Resources editorship (thanks to Bethany Cutts for organizing!);
- And many other papers and sessions, such as Kimberly Coleman on turnover and trust in NRM groups, Carolyn Conant on tourism dependency in Utah uranium towns, the panel on Sense of Place in working landscapes, one on LGBTQIA in resource management research, Will Lytle on how our houses make many of our energy decisions, Robi Nilson on large-scale solar and sheep-grazing in New York, Dan Williams and Brett Miller on the history of Sense of Place, and Sarah Naiman on topophilia and biophilia in place-protective behaviours.
The final highlight was much less cerebral. I will return home with a strangely stiff right arm and left leg after a few hours at The Howard, a restored bowling alley here in Oshkosh. Great to have a mix of ten research students, postdocs and profs join me for a few rounds (is that what they are called?) last night. Travel home safely, everyone.