IPWSD: Potential Workshop Session Themes


Hosted by: Columbia University’s Sustainable Development Doctoral Society.

Dates/Location: May 6th – 7th, 2011; Columbia University; New York  City.

Contact Email: [email protected]

Deadline for presenters to apply: 31st January, 2011.

VIEW OUR CALL-FOR-PAPERS [in .pdf] & REGISTRATION FORM [in .doc or .pdf].


The IPWSD Planning Committee has assembled here an outline of what we expect might be the range of themes and topics covered at the workshop.  This outline is intended to be instructive only, and is meant to serve as a guide for potential applicants who are looking for further details regarding whether their research topic would fit in at our event.  The actual range of themes and topics covered at the IPWSD will be determined by the range of subjects in the papers submitted and accepted for the workshop.  If, after reviewing this page, you are still unsure about whether your research is well suited for presentation at the IPWSD, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Potential Theme 1: “Information” — Indicators and Projections of Environmental Change

  • Changes in climatic systems under anthropogenic influence.
  • Measures of ecosystem health.
  • Ecosystem resortation feasibility and potential.
  • Environmental valuation.
  • Advances in sustainability analysis (e.g. applications of remote sensing or GIS technologies).

Potential Theme 2: “Impacts” — Global & Regional Environmental Change

  • Vulnerability-reduction and adaptation strategies.
  • Socio-economic impacts of natural disasters.
  • Ecosystem degradation.
  • Water resource availability.

Potential Theme 3: “Interactions” — Humans and the Environment

  • Poverty:  The role of natural resources in poverty alleviation;  The relationship between changes in poverty and environmental change.
  • Agriculture:  Impacts of agricultural shocks;  Management strategies for sustainable agricultural growth.
  • Energy:  Alternative energy sources;  Energy resource distribution and resource-user conflicts.
  • Water:  Upstream and downstream responses to climate risks;  Social and economic consequences of water pollution.
  • Health:  Welfare impacts of disease burdens;  Ecosystem management and disease prevalence.

Potential Theme 4: “Interests” — Conceptual and Normative Issues

  • Theoretical concepts of sustainable development.
  • Advances in formal models of sustainability.
  • Environmental stress and conflict.
  • The meaning of sustainable development from a North/South perspective.

Potential Theme 5: “Institutions” — Governance for Sustainable Development

  • The design and efficiency of international institutions for environment/development.
  • International environmental law and treaties.
  • Globalization and multi-national corporations.
  • The design and efficiency of domestic legal and policy systems.
  • Institutions for sustainable management of renewable and non-renewable resources.

The Sustainable Development Doctoral Society is the official organization of the students in the Ph.D. Program in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

We would like to sincerely thank our sponsors for this event: the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) at Columbia University; and the Office of the University Chaplain at Columbia University.

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