46th Annual Conference
A Focus on the Environment:
Issues, Awareness, Education, Ethics, Responsibility, Advocacy, Research, Collaboration & Models
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2020 46th Annual Conference
Save the Date!
Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and Federal Mandates the ECCSSA Conference has been postponed to:
September 4-5, 2020
Call for Papers Extended--
Next Round Due May 15, 2020
46th Annual Conference
East Coast Colleges Social Science Association
Center for Innovative Technology, Briefing Room
2214 Rock Hill Road
Herndon, VA 20170
(Note: Location Subject to Change)
A Focus on the Environment: Issues, Awareness, Education, Ethics, Responsibility, Advocacy, Research, Collaboration & Models
Conference Background and Overview
Climate change and environmental issues are of the utmost critical concern today. While some do not believe that these environmental concerns are the real problem, evidence shows that the nature of the climate, storms, hurricanes, typhoons, flooding, air quality, pollution, water toxicity and more are getting increasingly worse.
The environment does not operate in a vacuum and should not be represented that way. There is a human component to every aspect of what happens in the environment. There is a human-environment interaction, and many are not aware of the connection and how human behavior contributes significantly to many environmental changes and demise.
There is a need to raise awareness and educate all about the human contributions to environmental impacts and to the future sustainability of the nation, world and planet. Therefore, it is the call of the 2020 46th Annual ECCSSA Conference Roundtable to focus on all aspects of the environment, including climate change and the role of academia in helping leaders, students, community and citizens at large become more aware, and understand their contributions and role in saving the natural world.
ECCSSA would like to hear from those professionals focusing on the environment about your efforts toward this end. We invite proposals for planned or implemented innovative strategies, models, curricula, instructional programs, public education campaigns, promotional and educational media, ongoing research studies, published papers or those in progress. This call is for representatives from across all disciplines in academia and related institutions. This also includes the wide spectrum of educators and related professionals who are educating students, the public and communities about environmental issues, impacts and effects, relative to the role humans play in the environment. We are interested in local, regional, national, international and global analyses and comparisons. ECCSSA also calls for interdisciplinary, cross disciplinary and multidisciplinary collaborative models. We seek proposals from those in higher education, elementary & postsecondary education, related organizations, federal, state and local government, NGOs, research institutions and community-based organizations, as well as corporate and private enterprise efforts.
Understanding the human-environmental connection is critical to sustaining the world for all citizens. It is especially critical for social and public policy analysts and specialists; federal, state and local government policymakers; and administrators, teachers, researchers and scientists in all disciplines and at all levels of education. This collective focus on the environment at this critical time will be crucial to providing leadership, guidance, education and awareness, for effective intervention. All citizens have a role to play in remedying the environmental problems that exists worldwide. Moreover, this is the right time for educators, behavioral, social scientists, scientists and other related professionals to develop pertinent knowledge, skills and strategies to enhance their capability to interface, deliver and educate their constituencies.
This understanding and human-environment nexus is vital for the survival of human and animal life and our planet and has largely been unknowing. Many of the natural disasters have their origin in the lack of understanding about the importance of the human-environment interaction. In addition, there is much that can be done to make these natural disasters lessen when we understand our role and contributions to the environment and the resulting effects.
Critical issues related to human-environment interaction include some of the following based on theoretical, phenomenological, scientific and empirically based research:
Global warming, climate change and effects, including extreme environments of heat and cold;
The increasing effects and devastation of climate change, weather, flooding and destruction;
Life threatening natural disasters such as flooding, mudslides, hurricanes, forest fires, typhoons, tsunamis and more;
Reactions to and effects of natural disasters—perception, behavioral effects and suffering, post-traumatic stress and trauma, debilitating, chronic and terminal diseases;
Need for increased strategic planning, research and interventions for natural disasters;
Impact of technological catastrophes-power outages, flooding, nuclear plant accidents, oil spills, bad smells (from water treatment, sewer and paper mill facilities, deterioration of plant matter and waste);
Air and water pollution, air and water quality and effects;
Deadly impact and health effects of chronic short- or long-term mold inhalation, proliferation and growth of mold spores in air and in poorly maintained and older buildings;
Oil spilling, destruction of oceans, sea life, animal and wildlife and more;
Land, animal/sea mammal-human-environment interaction and the effects;
The impact of the environment on loss of animal species;
Physical and psychological effects of a poor-quality environment;
Environmental influences on the evolution of human development (conception, prenatal development, the trauma of birth in environmentally compromised conditions; biosocial, cognitive, social and emotional development, mental illness, aging, violence and aggression, etc.);
The impact on learning environments, human functioning and performance;
Impact of a poor-quality environment on longevity and shortening of life, aging, cancers, heart disease, strokes and more;
Increasing environmental hypersensitivities, allergies and debilitating illnesses, respiratory diseases, liver disease and renal failure;
Effects of asbestos, lead paint and other environmental teratogens on human health and animal life;
Effects of extreme and mundane environments such as ghetto, forgotten and depressed environments;
The lack of public spaces for people residing in neighborhoods and communities;
Importance of biophilic design (e.g., natural lighting, ecological harmony and green architecture);
Importance of the built environment--buildings, neighborhoods, city and public space designs;
Environmental stress (such as noise, crowding, terrorism, racism, war and more);
Creating restorative environments (green spaces, gardens, parks, bird sanctuaries, public spaces, permaculture, nutrient soil for farming);
Sustainability and preservation of the environment;
Ensuring lack of human destruction of environment through education and public awareness;
The importance of educating the public about how to get along and protect the environment or endure the consequences, with such interventions as the promotion of public information campaigns, pertinent courses, seminars, and relevant content. Examples of courses and content include: health psychology; environmental psychology; environmental science; environmental studies; the built environment, architecture & environmental design and engineering; public health, epidemiology and toxicology; marine ecosystems, oceanography and wetlands; social sciences; anthropology; physics; ecology; economics; genetics, biology, biodiversity & biotechnology; conservation and preservation; atmospheric sciences; environmental chemistry; geography & geosciences; agriculture, organic farming and permaculture; the arts & literature; local and global studies; hazardous waste and other waste disposal; small island sustainability; effects of tourism; environmental literacy; environmental ethics, public policy and research
; and more.
Global Warming, Surface Temperatures and Climate Change
The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming has occurred in the past 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year — from January through September, except for June — were the warmest on record for those respective months (Brown, 2015).
The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of more than 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. Global sea levels rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, has nearly doubled that of the last century and is accelerating slightly every year. According to one report, if the sea level rises some five feet, 80 percent of the country would disappear (Brown, 2015).
This also includes the increase and severity in hurricanes, rise in temperatures, changes in precipitation levels, droughts and heatwaves, an ice-free artic and much more (NASA, 2019). More recently, this July 2019, was assessed as the hottest year on the planet earth ever.
Climate change and the effects on the weather results in storms, heavy rains, hurricanes and flooding. Flooding increases the proportion of buildings with moisture problems, especially in tropical areas—hence, the proliferation of mold. These floods can also result in significant health risks to the places where people live and work. Floods can cause the release of chemicals and pollutants from the soil and damaged structures, leading to the contamination of air and water, while flooded homes become breeding grounds for various pathogens (Perera, Sanford, and Cleetus, 2012; Union of Scientists, 2018). Moreover, the effects result in waterborne diseases, the growth of mosquitos, sewage and water contamination and the proliferation of deadly mold. Furthermore, such disasters trigger psychological problems and health issues including stress, trauma, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders and more.
In the US the most common floods are outside of the coastal areas (though coastal areas can be affected by extreme hurricanes and tsunamis) and are considered the most dangerous to people and property. Extreme precipitation due to global warming is a primary cause of flooding in these areas. In addition to extreme precipitation, man-made alterations to the land and development in floodplains also increase the risks of flooding at a costly and devastating price. There are many consequential effects including lost lives, homes underwater, businesses shutting down, crops, animals and livestock destroyed, and infrastructure made unusable or destroyed. In addition, sewage, agricultural waste, leaked chemicals and other contaminants are washed into waterways, harming human and animal life. The economic impact of these devastations can be tremendous and long-term. Low-income, minority populations and the elderly can be affected to a greater degree due to the lack of adequate resources, homeowners and flood insurance, insufficient access to transportation, cash on hand, education and knowledge and the inability to relocate (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2018).
These floods have worsened in certain parts of the US, including in the Mississippi river valley, across the Midwest, the Carolinas and much of the Northeast, eastern Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and other Gulf Coast States such as Texas. This flooding is attributed to global warming, increasing strength of hurricanes and rains. It is projected that extreme weather will get worse, including flooding from atmospheric rivers, snowpacks and snowmelts in the winter months due to global changes in temperature and human-caused climate change among other factors.
Other issues in the research to be added to the discussion on warming and climate change include: water shortages and water quality; impacts on soil, crops and planting; proliferation of invasive species; planetary boundaries: ocean acidification, ozone depletion, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle, freshwater use, deforestation, biodiversity loss, particle pollution, chemical pollution; and, solutions for sustainability. Most importantly, understanding and helping human and animal life prepare and adapt to a changing climate will hopefully safeguard lives and livelihood, property, human health, the planet’s natural rhythms and cultural treasures.
Effects of Climate on Roots of Violence, Aggression, Food Insecurity and Mental Health
Environmental issues, air pollution and climate can also contribute to the mental health of individuals and to the causes and nature of aggression and violence. Such environmental conditions can be extreme or mundane—harmful in either instance.
According to Plante and Anderson (2017), a growing body of evidence shows that rapid global warming can (and is) increasing aggression and violent behavior. Uncomfortably hot temperatures increase aggressive behavior. Numerous cross-sectional and time-series studies using real-world heat and violence data provide converging evidence. It has been found that cities and regions having higher temperatures tend to experience more violent crime than cooler regions, even after controlling for demographic and sociocultural factors such as age, race, poverty levels and culture (Plante and Anderson, 2017). Moreover, some studies have assessed temperature and violence within the same geographic region overtime, and across hours, days, months and years and similar trends emerge. Findings conclude that when it is hotter, violence increases, including domestic violence and physical assault. Imagine what it is like for residential homes with no air-conditioning. To quote directly from one study:
From Chicago to Brisbane to Vancouver to Dallas, whether looking at domestic violence or physical assault, the same relationship emerges. In one of the most thorough and illustrative studies, Anderson and DeLisi (2011) compared data from the 1950-2008 FBI Uniform Crime Reports for violent crime (rates of homicide and assault per 100,000 people) and nonviolent crime (rates of burglary and motor vehicle theft per 100,000 people) with average annual temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the same years. Average annual temperatures were significantly positively correlated with violent crime rates but not with nonviolent crime rates…The researchers estimated…that a 1°C increase in average temperature—a fairly conservative estimate of climate change in the following decades—will likely yield a 6% increase in violent crime rates, as many as 25,000 more serious and deadly assaults per year in the United States alone. (Anderson and DeLisi, 2011 as cited in Plante and Anderson, 2017, p. 3)
Climate also impacts food insecurity and vital crop production. It is reported that increased droughts, extreme weather and wildfires are all on the rise. This can contribute to food and vital crop production shortages as the environment becomes hotter. Starvation and food insecurity have become a problem and adds to the increased aggressive states and actions of individuals. There are also known developmental pathways that lead to infants, children and adolescents to becoming violent-prone adults.
Studies also show that malnourishment, both prenatally and in early childhood, is a precursor to adult antisocial behavior, aggression and violence. In a longitudinal study conducted by Jianghong Liu and colleagues (2004), 3-year old toddlers who were malnourished were found to be more aggressive and antisocial more than a decade later and likely to show signs of conduct disorder than sufficiently fed children. Therefore, this suggests that the magnitude of malnutrition effects on aggressive behavior as a result of environmental conditions should not be overlooked or underestimated.
It is predicted that climate-driven changes will also increase conflict and violence and is contributing to the increased terrorism acts and the recruitment of individuals who participate, among other economic circumstances. Civil wars, protests, coups, rebellions, riots and large-scale conflicts are all likely due to the rise in temperatures, climate conditions and economic circumstances. The body of research and studies on the correlation of climate with outbreaks or displays of violence is growing.
Air Quality and Pollution—Effects on Mental Illness and Neuropsychiatric Disorders
In a recently released research study by a team of scientists, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) county-level Environmental Quality Indices (EQIs) in the US and individual-level exposure to air pollution in Denmark were used to assess the association between pollution exposure and the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. The study’s results show that air pollution is significantly associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders. They found that pollutants affect the human brain via neuroinflammatory pathways that have also been shown to cause depression-like phenotypes in animal studies (Khan, Plana-Ripoll, Antonsen, Brandt, Geels, Landecker, et al, 2019).
For the U.S. cohort, researchers studied 4 psychiatric and 2 neurological conditions: bipolar disorder, major depression, personality disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease. They found a correlation between air quality and bipolar disorder and depression, though the research has been criticized. There have long been links between air smog and mental and physical illness and death in places like California and China for many decades. These linkages have prompted other research on air quality and physical and mental health. The U.S. data also found poor air quality was associated with higher levels of bipolar disorder and depression but did not find it was correlated to several other conditions including schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.
In Denmark, the researchers studied 4 psychiatric disorders: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder, and depression. They estimated air pollution exposure for all individuals from birth until age 10 and studied the association between childhood exposure to air pollution with the selected 4 psychiatric disorders. For all 4 psychiatric disorders, the rate of disorders increases with increasing levels of exposure to air pollution. Childhood exposure was linked to a more than two-fold increase in schizophrenia among the Danish patients, said the researchers, as well as higher rates of personality disorder, depression and bipolar disorder.
In the research team’s exploratory analysis, they found that poor air quality is associated with apparently higher rates of bipolar disorder and major depression in both US and Danish populations. Air pollution is a complex and variable mixture of small particulate matter (PM), gases, metals, and organic contaminants generated by transport vehicles, industrial activity, and fires. It is likely that multiple pollutants contribute to deleterious effects on the human nervous system in an additive or synergistic way.
Therefore, growing evidence from human, animal, and in-vitro studies demonstrates that airborne pollutants target the brain and are implicated in neurological and psychiatric disorders’ etiology. However, bipolar disorder and depression links to air pollution have not been examined to the same degree as other environmental factors such as psychosocial stressors. But at the same time, studies of air pollution and the central nervous system have focused on disorders of neurodevelopment and aging such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease. The patterns uncovered in the data underline the potential importance of the physical milieu to bipolar disorder and depression research.
In conclusion, this research study observed a strong positive association between exposure to environmental pollution and an increase of prevalence in psychiatric disorders in affected patients. Converging data points to neuroinflammatory mechanisms linking environmental compounds to their putative psychiatric consequences. The research findings indicate that the findings require further study, but points in the direction of a correlation between air pollution and mental/psychoneurological conditions.
The researchers published the critical reviews of the study and acknowledge the fact that the research is new and must continue. Nevertheless, the study adds significant information and dialogue to the question of the effects of air pollution to physical and mental health, since those early studies on smog and their deadly effects; and now, adding a mental health component.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution kills 7 million people each year - equivalent to 13 deaths every minute - more than the combined total of war, murder, tuberculosis, HIV, AIDs and malaria (Elks, 2019). Figure 2 below highlights some of the environmental impacts reported on threats to human health and development.
Figure 1. Environmental Impacts on Human Health and Development
National Socio-environmental Synthesis Center (2015).
The Built Environment
The term built environment refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings, parks, green spaces, public spaces or squares, to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply, or energy networks. The built environment is a material, spatial and cultural product of human labor that combines physical elements and energy in forms for living, working, thriving, flourishing, or recreation or playing. It has been defined as “the human-made space in which people live, work, and recreate on a day-to-day basis” (Wiktionary, 2019). The “built environment encompasses places and spaces created or modified by people including buildings, parks, and transportation systems.” In recent years, public health research has expanded the definition of the "built environment" to include healthy food access, community gardens, “walkabilty", and “bikability” (Wiktionary, 2019).
Behavior and the Built Environment
Content about the built environment and human behavior can be included in such courses as environmental psychology, environmental science, environmental studies, geography, sociology, urban design, architecture, engineering, and more. Content can include:
the study of human behavior and wellbeing in relation to the sociophysical environment (Stokols & Altman, 1987);
providing a systematic account of the relationship between a person and the environment (Russell & Snodgrass, 1987);
the relationship between behavior and the built and natural environments (Bell, Fisher, Baum & Greene, 2001).
Research topics and issues related to the built environment and environmental studies include some of the following:
Effects of Noise
Effects of High Density on Humans
Effects of Density on Social Behavior
Effects of Crowding
Effects of Urban Life
Environmental Solutions to Urban Problems
Personal Space and Territorial Behavior
Attachment to Place
Satisfaction with the Home Environment
Neighborhood and Community Environments
Prison Design and Behavior
Designing for the Elderly
Ambient Work Environments
Territoriality and Status
Open-Plan vs. Private Offices
There also is much to be studied related to the effects of noise, population density, residential environments, neighborhood and community environments, institutional environments, classroom settings, hospital environments, prison environments, and more. Many of the built environmental problems currently existing can be remedied. The role of higher education might be to organize public education campaigns and seminars as well as prepare potential professionals in those areas to construct better designs for these environments. Higher education could also lead the way in public education campaigns to educate its citizens about their role as advocates and participants. Further, when citizens are educated, there is greater opportunity for assistance in active campaigns. This also includes the creation of service-learning projects for school and university students.
Students in the School and University Built Environments
There have long been issues about the school building and physical facilities for learning at all levels of education. According to one research study looking at the effects of environmental issues on child development, findings indicate the following:
The school-built environment, comprising building infrastructure, grounds, neighborhood and surroundings—not just the instruction, relationships, and other significant experiences that occur in school—is critically important and can promote health or introduce harmful exposures that significantly impact children’s well-being. Commonly encountered environmental hazards are indoor exposures that include, but are not limited to, chemical exposures such as lead, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from building materials or items intentionally brought into the school for maintenance or teaching (i.e., science curriculum), indoor air pollution, exposures to mold, exposures to noise, and drinking water contamination; and outdoor exposures that include, but are not limited to, outdoor air pollution and contaminated soil (influenced by geology and past land use near school location), and physical and other nearby hazards. Climate change can make existing problems in schools worse (e.g., worsen indoor air quality due to mold growth or increase risk of exposure to toxic building materials post flooding), and increasing evidence suggests potential for climate change to also introduce nascent environmental hazards (e.g., heat extremes in previously cooler climates, overcrowding due to displaced populations, or shifting geographic range of vector borne diseases). (Sheffield, Uijttewaal, Stewart, & Galvez, 2017, p. 1397).
In many environments, venting systems are never cleaned. Some students are not able to concentrate if there are environmental teratogens present in the air or coming through venting systems, not to mention the links to other serious, debilitating and terminal illnesses. Environmental reactions may result in young children through the display of temper tantrums and other behavioral disorders. Oftentimes the connections are not assessed as links to environmental issues in classrooms and buildings. Many older students have other symptomatic problems such as brain fog, candida overgrowth, respiratory problems, itching, rashes, cancers, attention deficit disorder, drowsiness and more.
Awareness and Education for Sustainable Development
Helping citizens to understand their role in this dilemma also is important. Integrating awareness and education in curricula to grapple with environmental issues is important to equipping students with a better understanding of the connections, behavioral patterns and the effects of climate on the changing environment. Educating citizens about their role, engagement and importance of being advocates for pro-environmental behavior is important. This should be an important goal of education at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. Including and teaching about environmental issues should be a goal of education at all levels. Creating and revamping instructional design and delivery to focus on environmental issues is imperative.
The Arts, Humanities and the Environment
Culture and the arts and humanities play a pivotal role in addressing environmental issues. The arts and humanities can help to raise awareness about and catalyze a public response to environmental insecurities and risks. They can also illuminate issues of environmental justice and imagine more sustainable futures. The arts and humanities can speak to emotion as well as to reason in finding new ways to articulate the richness and diversity of relationship between people and their environment. Together, the arts, humanities and the environmental sciences can help us understand and ascertain our place in the world. These disciplines offer complementary ways of knowing and conveying how we live on the Earth in the present. Moreover, exchange and combination of ideas among seemingly disparate disciplines can spark ways of imagining and envisioning how we might live in the future (Institute on the Environment, University of Arizona, 2019).
As one example, The University of Arizona has an Arts, Humanities and Environmental Science Network. The mission of the Network is to foster, support, and instigate collaborations and conversations between and among its affiliates, which include artists, writers, humanities scholars, and environmental scientists at the University of Arizona and in the broader community. The network and its affiliates strive to find novel ways of knowing the world in which we live and offer new ideas about how society might address environmental risks (Institute on the Environment, University of Arizona, 2019, Online).
See for another example, the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, FL and the special exhibit by artists focusing on the environment. This traveling exhibition of dramatic paintings and sculptures heightens public attention about environmental issues and unintended consequences of human interaction with nature. Topics covered include global warming, the Gulf oil spill, unabated logging and mining, loss of bee populations, and more. Discover the fragility and hopeful resiliency of our world through the eyes of over 20 artists. This is an example of the dynamic contribution that artists can make to helping people understand pertinent environmental issues. To view more about the exhibit, go to: https://thejamesmuseum.org/ei2/
. Artists can contribute much to the education of the public about the environment. The humanities can write and publish much about the environment in stories and literature.
Local and Global Focus
It has been noted also that people need to understand the environment from a global perspective and not just the localized issues. According to Plante and Anderson (2017), when climate change is framed in global terms as compared to solely focusing on local issues, people become more peaceful and reconciliatory. Moreover, people understand that such local issues and concerns are the same concerns that people are confronting globally. It hits home the fact that we are an interconnected world. Research also indicates that by understanding the interconnection of these and other environmental issues could prove very useful as a means of counteracting the effects of such issues as change on levels of aggression, the reduction of crime, and the promotion of peace.
UN’s 2023 Goals for Sustainable Development
In response to the increasing impact of climate change on development and security issues, a growing number of United Nations organizations are working closely with governments to help build green and climate-resilient societies. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) assembled in Doha in 2012 to launch the Alliance with a view to promote meaningful, result-oriented and effective international cooperation in support of action on climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and access to information.
Furthermore, the UN developed a set of Sustainable Development Goals with projections to the year 2030. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are outlined in Figure 1 below. Educators, teaching faculty, community leaders and other related professionals interfacing with students and the public should be familiar with these goals and make every effort to incorporate many of the goals and objectives into curricular and program development. While these goals are overlapping, goals 2,3,4,6,7,9,11,12,13,14,15 & 17, focus on the environment.
Figure 2. UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals and Projections for 2030
Environmental Ethics, Responsibility & Advocacy
Environmental ethics is a branch of applied philosophy that studies the conceptual foundations of environmental values as well as more concrete issues surrounding societal attitudes, actions, and policies to protect and sustain biodiversity and ecological systems (nature.com, 2019). Environmental ethics builds on scientific understanding by bringing human values, moral principles, and improved decision making into conversation with science.
It is the responsibility of all to ensure that environmental ethics are being met. It is somewhat difficult to make adjustments that are necessary to ensure that citizens are following all environmental ethics. Ethics play an important role in our society today, and environmental ethics and business ethics must be considered. This has become more prevalent today. Environmental ethics are a key feature of environmental studies that establishes a relationship between humans and the earth. With environmental ethics, you can ensure that you are doing your part to keep the environment safe and protected.
Ethics and an ethical theoretical foundation are central to environmental science and environmental studies. There are 3 basic core perspectives on ethics and the environment.
The development ethic
is based on the individual (egocentrism). It assumes that humans should be the master of nature and that Earth and its resources exist for our benefit. This attitude assumes that nature has no inherent value; that is, the environment has value only insofar as humans economically place value on it.
The preservation ethic
considers nature as being special in itself. Nature has intrinsic value or worth apart from human reliance on it. Preservationists have varying reasons for wanting to preserve nature. Some have a strong respect for all life and respect the right of all creatures to live, no matter what the social or economic costs. Other preservationists’ interest in nature is primarily aesthetic or recreational. They believe that nature is beautiful and should be available for picnics, camping, fishing, or just for peace and quiet. Some preservationists value the scientific importance of nature. They argue that the human species depends on and has much to learn from nature. Rare and endangered species and ecosystems, as well as the more common ones, must be preserved because of their known or assumed long-range practical utility.
The conservation ethic
is related to the preservation point of view but extends the consideration to the entire Earth for all time. It recognizes the desirability of decent standards of living but works toward a balance of resource use and resource availability. The conservation ethic stresses a balance between total development and absolute preservation. It stresses that rapid growth in world population and economics is not sustainable in the long run. The goal of the conservation ethic is that humans must live together with a good quality of life, but in a way that sustains all life and protects Earth.
Helping individuals have an ethical perspective or stance on the environment becomes important. What is morally good and right in terms of human actions as they affect the environment and natural world in which we live? What are the ethical and moral responsibilities of humans for the future sustainability of the nation, world and planet?
Research, Collaboration and Models:
Interdisciplinary, Crossdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Approaches
A focus on the environment involves research and collaboration, along with an interdisciplinary, crossdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to the study of the environment. It includes scholars in: environmental psychology, environmental science, visual arts, environmental and ecological engineering, architecture, geography, geosciences, anthropology, sociology, urban planning, agriculture and organic farming, permaculture, tourism, oceanography, economics, biology, biodiversity and biotechnology, atmospheric sciences, environmental chemistry, conservation and preservation, veterinary science, global studies, small island sustainability, medicine, public health and epidemiology, public and social policy, as well as design researchers and professionals, such as interior, industrial, urban designers and other related professionals.
This work also includes continuing the empirically based research, designing new tools and methods to develop, test, conserve, remedy and improve all aspects of the environment, along with designing new and more effective built environments. Discovering new ways of doing things is imperative in combatting environmental issues. We must create a new vision and set of strategies. Empirically based research is a step in the right direction.
In summary, these are just a few of the many recorded empirically based findings and issues on the human-environment interaction and the nexus between science, psychology and the behavioral and social sciences, the natural sciences and related disciplines. Climate change and issues about the environment impacts all disciplines.
There is a need for all disciplines to be represented in the dialogue. Such issues are worthy of further examination, dialogue and research. ECCSSA invites your thinking, research, practices, expertise and dialogue at the 2020 conference.
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Sheffield, P. E., Uijttewaal, S., Stewart, J., & Galvez, M. P. (2017). Climate Change and Schools: Environmental Hazards and Resiliency. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(11), 1397. doi:10.3390/ijerph14111397.
Stokols, D. & Altman, I. (1987). Handbook of environmental psychology. New York: John Wiley.
Union of Concerned Scientists. (2018). Climate change, extreme precipitation and flooding: The latest science. Online: www.ucsusa.org/floods.
ECCSSA traditionally and historically has been an organization that supports student leadership and scholarship. We strongly recommend Association members and teaching faculty to encourage student participation in the conference. We encourage graduate and undergraduate student submission of poster presentations and papers. A presentation of posters will also be scheduled in the conference program for students to present an overview. Poster presentations will remain on display throughout the duration of the conference. Those submitting posters are asked to be present at their poster during breakfast and lunch. Guidelines for student and faculty papers and poster presentations can be found on the ECCSSA website at: www.eccssa.org
We invite presenters and those professionals interested in the conference theme to submit related articles to the ECCSSA Journal for peer review and consideration for the Spring 2021 Journal issue. Guidelines and requirements for Journal submissions can be found on the ECCSSA website. The submission deadline is the end of October of each year.
A select group of presenters will gather for two days to present their work and to discuss the work of other presenters. All participants will gather in the same room to hear each presentation. Therefore, it is imperative that all presenters be in attendance for both days of the roundtable. We accept your proposals based on the expectation that you will be present for the duration of the conference to participate in the important dialogue. If you are a no show or do not attend the complete conference, we will provide this feedback to your institution. We encourage you to invite your colleagues to take part in the dialogue. The Roundtable will be capped at 50 participants including presenters.
Conference Registration Fees
Regular Registration: $280*
Walk-In Registration: $300 *
(-All Full-Time Employees-)
New Scholar/Adjunct Faculty who are not Employed FT /PT Graduate Student: $230 *
*(New Scholar=1-3 years of employment as young scholar)
*(Adjunct faculty and graduate students not working full-time)
Walk-In Registration: $250 *
Undergraduate Student: $100
Regular Membership: $80
Lifetime Membership: $650
Exhibitor Registration: $200
Walk In: $250
* Registration Fee includes a copy of the ECCSSA Journal and Membership Fee for Full-time Faculty, New Scholars, Adjuncts and Graduate Students.
Registration Fees Above are the same for paying by Check or Credit Card. We encourage you to use the online system and pay by credit card.
Courtyard Marriott - Dulles Town Center
Dulles Town Center
(A Smoke-Free Hotel)
45500 Majestic Drive
Dulles, VA 20166
Discounted Room Rate:
1 King Guest Room with Sofa Bed @ $119.00 plus tax, per night
For those who wish to request tax exemption, tax exempt forms have to be pre-approved
by hotel event manager. Contact Hotel Event Manager at the time of reservation.
Must Reserve on or before Friday, August 28, 2020 (Cutoff Date)
(After the cutoff date, the hotel will release any unreserved rooms for general sale and, in the hotel's discretion,
will accept reservations at ECCSSA Room Block's group rate, on a space and rate available basis.)
Please identify yourself as part of the ECCSSA Room Block Group.
++++Ask for the ECCSSA Room Block for April 3,-4, 2020 Conference Roundtable.
Courtyard Marriott Brochure in PDF:
Back up Hotel:
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
Download Conference Forms Below:
**Note: Right click on any document to open in a new window.
Conference Overview and Call for Papers, Research and Proposals
Complete online below:
2019 Conference Registration Form
Guidelines for Presenters
Guidelines for Poster Presentations
Information for Publishers, Organizations and Sponsors
Application Form for Publishers, Organizations and Sponsors
Loudoun County Attractions
This site has information on everything you want to know about Loudoun county,
including places to eat, heritage and culture, town and villages and horse country events.
Provides great information on the happenings in Northern Virginia.
Provides links to cultural and museum events.
(Washington Dulles Airport)
Dulles Taxi & Limousine
21100 Dulles Town Circle
241 Fort Evans Road, NE
Download Handout Below on
Restaurants at Dulles Town Center:
Other Restaurants in the Area:
A Taste of Vietnam
46005 Regal Plaza
20921 Davenport Drive
21018 S. Bank Street
11 N. King Street
2079 Great Falls Plaza, #110
Sterling, VA 20165
20789 Great Falls Plaza, Unit 176
Sterling, VA 20165
20921 Davenport Drive
45980 Waterview Plaza
45970 Waterview Plaza
204 Harrison Street, SE
5 Catoctin Circle
For more information on the 2018 ECCSSA conference, please contact:
Dr. Rosalyn M. King, Chair, ECCSSA Board of Directors at:
Send Inquiries to: