[Coral-List] ICRS 2016 session: The value of historical, archeological and paleoecological data for assessing and conserving coral reefs

Katie Cramer katie.cramer at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 13:58:54 EST 2015

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite abstract submissions for our session “*The value of
historical, archeological and paleoecological data for assessing and
conserving coral reefs” *at the 13th ICRS in Hawaii, June 19-24 2016. (

This session encompasses the following two merged sessions – abstracts that
are relevant to either or both of these themes are welcome. Abstract
deadline is 15 January 2016.

*Theme 1: Parsing natural and anthropogenic (pre)historical change on reefs
from paleoecological, archeological, and historical data*

Analyses of paleoecological and historical data are revealing the antiquity
of anthropogenic disturbances to coral reef communities and environments.
It is imperative to distinguish natural from anthropogenic causes of the
trends observed in long-term ecological data to understand sources of
(pre)historical decline in reef systems and to craft appropriate management
responses.  Assessing the role of specific human activities in past reef
change requires knowledge about the nature and magnitude of contemporaneous
human uses of adjacent coastal marine ecosystems.  Unfortunately,
(pre)historical human and ecological records are rarely linked due to a
lack of communication and collaboration between researchers in these
traditionally separate fields.  This cross-disciplinary session will
provide a forum for zooarchaeologists, historians, paleontologists, and
ecologists to communicate their methods and findings to facilitate the
synthesis of disparate datasets to provide a comprehensive picture of
long-term trajectories of coupled human/reef systems.  We will invite
presentations that quantify (pre)historical trends in reef ecological
communities/environments and adjacent human populations from diverse data
sources including coral and sediment cores, historical archives, and
human-selected assemblages including middens and other artifacts.  We
particularly encourage collaborative or paired presentations between
archaeologists/historians and paleontolgists/ecologists working in the same

*Theme 2: Historical baselines in conservation planning for coral reefs*

Analyses of long-term data—including archival records, traditional
ecological knowledge, and paleoecological samples—have provided baselines
for species abundances, ecosystem function, and productivity, and knowledge
of ecosystem response to past stressors and social drivers of change.
Historical baselines frequently have conservation applications, but are
currently underused in policy development. This symposium will provide a
forum for a diverse group of scientists, policy makers, managers and
stakeholders to discuss how historical baselines could be better used to
improve coral reef management, such as by establishing appropriately
ambitious recovery targets and creating forward-looking plans that consider
historical uses. We plan to facilitate a lively interdisciplinary
discussion and invite presentations that bridge science and policy by
addressing the potential or actual application of historical baselines.
Presentations may describe analyses of long-term data that could contribute
to policy, or highlight examples of the successful use of baselines in reef
conservation assessments, policy, or management actions. We particularly
encourage collaborative or paired presentations between scientists and
managers working in the same region. This symposium fits within the broader
ICRS theme of “Bridging Science to Policy,” and addresses the goals of
improving communications among scientists and policy makers and improving
frameworks for evaluating recovery.

*Organizing Chairs*

Katie Cramer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD (kcramer at ucsd.edu)

Loren McClenachan, Colby College (lemcclen at colby.edu)


John N. (Jack) Kittinger, Conservation International Hawaii (
jkittinger at conservation.org)

Michelle Lefebvre, Florida Museum of Natural History; Leiden University (
mjl0201 at ufl.edu)

Richard Norris, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD (rnorris at ucsd.edu)

Aaron O’Dea, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (odeaa at si.edu)


Katie Cramer
Postdoctoral Scholar
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

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