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CFP: SfAA Annual Meeting, Baltimore 2012 – Bays, Boundaries and Borders

Sheraton Baltimore City Center, March 27 – 31


Call for Papers and Sessions

Meeting Theme Description

This meeting invites advocates, activists, policy makers, scholars and researchers to respond creatively to the  2012 program theme, “Bays, Boundaries and Borders,” with papers, posters, roundtable discussions, sessions or videos on a broad range of issues, problems or topics including those that arise from the interaction of people with their natural or community environments; those that help us better understand or “push beyond” the current boundaries of our knowledge, methods, practices or theories in helping resolve human problems; and those focused on border control and the crossing or transport of goods, people or ideas across borders.

I encourage you to consider questions such as these as you think about your participation in the Baltimore meeting:  What efforts are we part of to mitigate the problems associated with increases in the human population and activities in coastal areas where over a third of the planet’s population lives? We know that people have depleted natural resources and polluted bays and coastal environments around the world, thereby undermining the wellbeing of their own communities.  Recent natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides or tidal waves have shown how vulnerable bay and coastal communities are, and just how quickly people’s lives can unravel.  What knowledge and skills have we gained in resolving the problems that follow the initial devastation from such disasters?  What challenges remain that impede recovery – where have we failed, and what might we do differently?  While large scale sudden disasters necessitate rapid responses, what are we doing to avert the impending disasters we are warned about as sea levels continue a slow, steady rise that threatens the long term viability of contemporary coastal communities?

What are we learning from efforts to expand the boundaries that currently define domains of knowledge, paradigms of practice and best practices?  What have we learned from past failures or attempts to solve the seemingly intractable problems or issues that people face?  The Chesapeake Bay is a microcosm that illustrates the complex issues that arise when people apply boundaries to an open environment like the bay.  Dealing with the many issues associated with the bay illustrates historical disputes over boundaries imposed on commercial crab and oyster fishers.  It also illustrates issues with boundaries imposed by the allocation of legal jurisdiction between local, state and federal policies and the institutions that formulate and implement policies.  Boundaries define entities, yet the more we learn about the interconnections between people and the problems they face, the more we realize the need to bridge, push beyond, or redefine boundaries – and this is particularly salient in the application of skills and knowledge.

As we witness increased efforts by governments to control and secure national borders, what actions have we taken to mitigate problems arising from the interactions and misconceptions of potential migrants, security personnel, or host country nationals determined to keep “undesirables” out of “their” country at any cost?  What have we learned from efforts to apply our knowledge and skills to stem the increase in the number of involuntary migrants and refugees around the world that create pockets of highly vulnerable communities?  How have we responded to the heightened concern for stopping the threats posed by terrorist groups with a demonstrated ability to strike fear across borders, or the longer standing problems of cross border trafficking or trade in guns, human beings, or illegal drugs?

Registration information: http://www.sfaa.net/sfaa2012.html

Program chair: Bill Roberts, wcroberts (at) smcm (dot) edu

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