EPICamp IV: Hydrosphere: Challenges of preserving and using WATER (Eco-)Systems in the Anthropocene .

23/03/2022 @ 08:00 - 24/03/2022 @ 17:00 CET
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The EPICamp will take place online and is hosted by the University of Freiburg. It will take place on March 23-24 2022, submission deadline for all types of thematic contributions is February 15 2022, registration is open until 19 March 2022.

Please find attached a PDF version of the Call for Participation

Conference abstract

Addressing the hydrosphere, this EPICamp will look at water (eco-) systems impacted by both natural processes and human intervention. Water is equally a natural and social resource at the core of human existence which in turn has deeply shaped the waters that flow through the Earth. Taking an Anthropocence perspective, we invite a fully interdisciplinary approach – combining ecological, biological, earth, and social sciences – to discuss challenges, opportunities, and solutions for the socio-ecological systems of water.

This includes thinking about sustainable management of water resources, the preservation of biodiversity, the ecosystem functioning for healthy societies but also the interconnection between the environment and cultural identities, such as the conservation of traditional ways of life and the creation of resilient economies based on water(s).

Aquatic ecosystems are fragile and sentinel systems of reckless human-induced global change. In the future, they are likely to become even more fragile in terms of ecosystem functions and services. Human-induced environmental changes including elevated greenhouse gases, over-fertilization of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, habitat fragmentation, increasing extraction of resources from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the mass production of harmful substances worldwide all negatively affect ecosystem functioning, global natural cycles, and biodiversity. They also have long-term consequences on the human health and the viability of entire communities. Therefore, it will be a precondition to identify the complex interplay of local and global human actions which lead to local environmental impacts and adaptation. Considering far-reaching challenges related to the global changes we are facing, this EPICamp will integrate knowledge on adverse human impacts on the ecosystems formed by lakes, rivers, water sheds, marshes, and marine waters. It will stimulate discussion on adaptive and mitigation efforts against these challenges, identifying solutions which provide a balance between satisfying human needs and ecosystem demands. In order to balance the natural / engineering sciences with more human-centred approaches, this EPICamp in particular invites scholars from the emerging field of Environmental Humanities. The EnvHum address ecological and sustainability-related issues through historical, political and cultural lenses to aid in the development of appropriate forms of resilience and sustainability as well as their communication to society.

Potential subthemes include but are not limited to:

  • Hydrology and ecosystem adaptation
  • Water as a source of life and change
  • Inland waters – pollution, restoration and management
  • Community activism for water protection: sociological & natural science perspectives
  • History(ies) of Waterways and Water Bodies: from local cases to global challenges
  • Changes in human metabolism, connectivity and the effects on aquatic systems
  • Scaling up or Scaling Down: impacts of global environmental change on the hydrosphere
  • Balancing human needs and ecosystem demands: sustainable management of water resources
  • Global water cycles: arctic waters and climate change, marine waters and pollution
    EPICUR-Research EPICamp IV Hydrosphere Page 2 on 3
  • Hydrological extremes: challenges of intensifying droughts and floods
  • Masses of water, water of the masses: land use, forests and human settlement
  • Socio-ecohydrological systems in the tension between natural processes and human intervention
  • Multi-functionality of aquatic systems to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem functions
  • The fragility of water body’s ecosystem functions: surface and groundwater systems
  • Scarcity, migration, war: the economics and politics of / for water
  • Water science & engineering: technological innovation, ecological challenges and social impact

Early career researchers

Potential participants of the EPICamps should have a general interest in conducting interdisciplinary research and/or working in a transdisciplinary manner with non-university partners. You should have a proven interest in the topic of the EPICamps you wish to attend. However, no previous experience in the field and/or inter-and transdisciplinary work is required. 

Based on the format of the barcamp/unconference, the program of each EPICamp will look different and open up opportunities to present and discuss research and projects in mini-thesis presentations, poster sessions, panel or group discussions, etc., but also space for ad-hoc meetings, one-on-one video chats, academic speed dating sessions and methodological exchange. 


23/03/2022 @ 08:00 CET
24/03/2022 @ 17:00 CET
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