Laurence Delina and John Patrick Connors, post-doctoral associates at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, recently presented their research at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston.
Delina presented a paper titled “The Pa Deng Model for rural energy transitions in Thailand: communities, configurations, contestations, and connection” in a session on the sociopolitical dynamics of energy system change. In the paper, Delina examines the Pa Deng Model, a framework for local level sustainable energy innovation named for a small village in Thailand. He explores the opportunities and challenges the model presents and how the scope can be expanded to catalyze sustainable energy transitions in Thailand and beyond. Delina was also a panelist for a session titled “Energy Transitions Research: Current Status and Future Directions.”
Connors organized two sessions and presented two papers. The first session, titled “New Natures and Novel Landscapes,” included 10 paper presentations and a panel discussion. The session explored how the concept of the Anthropocene is changing the way that we discuss and manage environmental issues. During the session, Connors presented a paper that explored how policies addressing deer hunting in Massachusetts have changed as new, more hospitable landscapes are created, and as ideas about the appropriate uses of conservation areas have changed.
Connors’ second session, titled “Telecoupling of Global Land and Food Systems,” included five paper presentations examining the ways that distant lands and diets are connected through global trade. He presented a paper prepared with Pardee Center Director Anthony Janetos that used global integrated assessment models to explore scenarios of multiple breadbasket failure and the cascading effects on global land use given these shocks.
In addition, Connors organized a side event at the Pardee Center for the Global Land Programme (GLP), an international research program that studies coupled human-environment services with a particular focus on land use and land cover change. The session was an outreach opportunity for the new North American Nodal Office, and included 10 senior researchers involved in the GLP who discussed how the North American office could best support researchers in this field.
The AAG annual meeting is an interdisciplinary forum open to all, featuring the latest research in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. The five-day conference hosted more than 7,000 geographers and featured over 5,000 presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips.