100th Annual Meeting
Southern Oregon University
Ashland, Oregon
June 18 - 21, 2019


The following symposia are in various stages of planning for the annual meeting. The listings below are tentative and subject to change. New symposia will be added as information is received from the organizers. Check this web site regularly for updated information. Inquiries can be emailed to aaaspd@sou.edu. If you plan to attend the meeting largely for one symposium, please call 541–552–6869 to confirm its status before committing travel funds.

Please bookmark this page and check back frequently, as this information is frequently updated as new information becomes available. Abstracts for all of the presentations are expected to be available for downloading by the end of April, perhaps earlier.

Index to Symposia, Workshops, and Special Programs by Sponsoring Sections
Click above for complete listing by sponsoring section

Index To Symposia and Special Programs by Name

Scroll down for descriptions and abstracts.
Each listing is a symposium unless otherwise indicated.

(1) Artists and Scientists Respond to Climate Change with Science-Themed Works in Art, Literature, and the Humanities

(2) Puttin’ the Public to Work – Community Science around the World!

(3) History and Philosophy of Science

(4) West Coast Fairs: China and Chinese American Participation, Indigenous Americans at the Fair, and United States Attitudes and Immigration Policies

(5) ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Citizen Science, Climate Change and Fire in Western North America: A Roundtable Discussion

(6) Bosie Extravaganza in Set Theory (BEST)

Symposium and Special Program Descriptions
Each listing is a symposium unless otherwise indicated.

(1) Artists and Scientists Respond to Climate Change with Science-Themed Works in Art, Literature, and the Humanities. Organizer: Robert L. Chianese (Retired, Department of English, California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA; rlchianese@gmail.com).

Public acceptance of human-caused climate change has increased by direct and indirect experience of well-publicized calamities throughout the nation. Fires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, debris flows, excessive heat and cold have alerted people to the radically changed conditions on the planet.

Yet, many in the arts and humanities have continued to depict the physical world in general and nature in particular in traditional ways. Landscapes, nature poems, novels often avoid the new harsh realities that would undermine the use of nature as a background setting rather than a dangerous protagonist in the current human drama. Even the familiar calendar art of environmental organizations stays focused on glorious, almost pristine images of nature. As radical as climate disturbance has become, the underlying western paradigm in the arts and humanities of a beneficent and supportive nature is hard to change.

The Arts and Humanities centered on climate change can help propel this necessary ideological shift. This interdisciplinary symposium invites papers on this topic from artists, humanists, and scientists alike. We would also welcome poems and excerpts of fiction that would be read in the symposium, along with the papers. If enough poets and writers contribute, we could set up a separate reading during lunch or another convenient time .

ABSTRACTS should be available here by the end of April.


(2) Puttin’ the Public to Work – Community Science around the World!. Organizers: Robert Hickey (Department of Geography, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA; rhickey@cwu.edu) and Eric Graham (Department of Biology, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA; eric.graham@cwu.edu).

This symposium will focus on different aspects of how scientists involve the public in their work. Topics will range from more traditional aspects of citizen science (having volunteers directly assist researchers in the field) to undergraduate-focused research (running a distant field station with the assistance of the local community) and crowdsourced observations (precipitation, plant phenology, and species occurrences).

ABSTRACTS should be available here by the end of April.


(3) History and Philosophy of Science. Organizers: Roberta Millstein (University of California, Bavis, CA; rlmillstein@ucdavis.edu) and Sarah Roe (Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT; roes1@southernct.edu).

To more fully understand science, we must know something about its history, its central concepts, and its methods – the domain of the history and philosophy of science. This session will examine topics in the biological sciences, the medical sciences, and more, from historical and philosophical perspectives, in order to enrich our understanding of these areas as well as serve as a springboard for broader contextual knowledge about science. We seek to promote dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and historians to work toward an interdisciplinary understanding of these sciences and science more generally. Some topics that the proposed sessions will analyze:

  • The history of scientific and medical advancements and contemporary implications
  • Aldo Leopold's ecological thinking
  • Medical imaging and uncertainty
  • Notions of biodiversity
  • Ecology and ecological functioning
ABSTRACTS should be available here by the end of April.


(4) West Coast Fairs: China and Chinese American Participation, Indigenous Americans at the Fair, and United States Attitudes and Immigration Policies. Organizer: Alan L. Bain (Retired, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Baina@si.edu).

During the first two decades of the twentieth century four expositions were held on the Pacific Coast, Portland (1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition), Seattle (1909, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition), San Francisco (1915, Panama-Pacific International Exposition), and San Diego (1915-1916, Panama-California Exposition). How the American West thought of itself and its conscious effort to dispel eastern perceptions of the West as an untamed, wild, and uncivilized frontier shaped the four fairs and the exposition promoters’ efforts in what they displayed. Themes of economic opportunity, the natural world and environment, and race, were shown throughout the fairs, proclaiming to visitors that the region west of the Rockies represented the future of the United States.

The Lewis and Clark Exposition was the first world’s fair held on the West Coast of North America. As with other such fairs, organizers in Portland were eager to include China and Chinese culture. In the end, the Chinese government decided not to take part for political reasons. While it might have been grateful to Portland as a city for providing a haven for Chinese persecuted elsewhere, including those driven out from Tacoma and Seattle in the 1880s, and for advocating economic compensation for those victims, the Chinese government refused anyway. It was angry about the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants and other travelers at America’s borders. At other American world’s fairs, local Chinese residents filled the void when the Chinese government did not participate (Chicago, 1893; Omaha, 1898, and Buffalo, 1903). Though Portland’s Chinese population at the time was large and prosperous (the second largest community in the United States) they did not provide input within the fairgrounds. It appears that the Portland Chinese Americans were collaborating with China in protesting American immigration practices. It is also probable that this non-participation was linked to a Chinese boycott of American products in 1905 and to the political and social upheavals within China.

The 1910 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle featured a substantial Chinese exhibit, organized entirely by local Seattle and Portland Chinese. Although the AYPE was the closest to China of any early world’s fair, the Imperial government refused to participate. This was partly for the same reason that it had snubbed Portland’s Lewis and Clark Exposition four years earlier: because officials remembered clearly the insults offered to Chinese, particularly to officials, in connection with the St. Louis Exposition of 1904. However, other issues were involved. The trans-Pacific trade was booming. Businessmen on both sides of the Pacific were getting rich and presumably were reluctant to see their profits cut by officials’ wounded pride. Japan, also represented at the AYPE, was now seen a threat not only to China but to the U.S. as well. The Chinese population of the Pacific Northwest was growing rapidly. China itself teetered on the brink of revolution. Anti-Chinese prejudice in America was falling while Chinese interest in Western technology and institutions reached a peak. All of these factors fed into a complex dynamic of fascination and repulsion as Chinese sought to come to terms with the West in an arena where, for the first time anywhere, a large Chinese population intimately familiar with the Euro-American world sought to build stronger bridges to it.

Held in San Francisco, the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) provides a lens through which to examine the narratives regarding America’s indigenous peoples at that moment in time. After several centuries of incremental depredation and outright pogroms, the United States had reached a condition where many official citizens considered indigenous peoples unthreatening. At the PPIE the exhibits turned from apprehension to eulogy as the national mood changed to one of nostalgia. Native Americans were literally presented under the blanket terms “vanishing” or “conquered” race. Though the changes affecting indigenous peoples in 1915 were profound, the hundreds of thousands of Native Americans still practicing their traditional lifestyles and diverse rituals nationwide gainsaid the much-publicized “demise” of the cultures. Indians were featured in myriad areas of the Exposition: in anthropological exhibits, artistic representations, as performers on the midway, in music and in “living displays” sponsored by the railroads. Two conferences at the Fair attempted to examine the legal status and living conditions of Native Americans. This variety of portrayals at a World’s Fair allows a partial survey of opinions versus realities toward America’s original peoples.

ABSTRACTS should be available here by the end of April.


(5) ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Citizen Science, Climate Change and Fire in Western North America: A Roundtable Discussion . Organizer: Carl A. Maida (UCLA Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; cmaida@ucla.edu).

Wildland fires in western North America are inevitable, and are usually unpredictable. These fires affect diverse populations in a region: suburban, urban, and rural, wealthy and poor, culturally assimilated and recently immigrated. They disrupt the lives of individuals from every social class and ethnic group. When there is no loss of life, loss of residence, with its attendant displacement, is the central crisis for survivors of a wildland fire. Those displaced from their homes often feel suddenly rootless, an emotion marked by depression, despair and longing for a secure base. Even when there is only minor residential damage, a fire has a major impact. Transportation, water, electricity and other municipal networks are affected, and schools and worksites are damaged. Working adults and school children may be forced to stay at home or be relocated to temporary workplaces and schools. The circumstances that accompany a major fire are generally unfamiliar to most people. These include the physical sensations when experiencing the terrifying forces of strong winds and fires; the ruthlessness of wide scale damage to property; the frustrating disruption of transportation and communication systems; the numbing witnessing of death and injuries, and, in some instances, looting and violence.

Wildland fires impact a community by disrupting families and social networks that continue to share the same physical environment after the event. The community of survivors who experience the fires will most often stay in place and continue on as part of the recovery environment. Fire victims will frequently become involved in collective endeavors out of a sense of communal loss and out of a common need that typifies the shared experience of catastrophe. Recent work on human dimensions in wildland fire stress how resident and community prevention behavior, such as defensible space practices, can minimize risk and thereby limit resource loss after an event.

Increased wildfire activity, together with global resource depletion, biodiversity loss, and climate change contribute to precariousness of the conditions of life, and necessitate persistent accountability. The Anthropocene characterizes the current geological age when, since the industrial era, anthropogenic activities have become the major driver impacting the Earth system—a time when the human domination of nature is challenging our planetary boundaries, with consequent deforestation, pollution, climate change and species loss. Given the scale and complexity of the natural resources, and the human activities that impact the earth system, sustainable and adaptive human-environment interactions will rely upon coherent thinking about how to move forward.

Sustainable practices support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality, with the presumption that resources are finite, and should be used with a view to long-term priorities and consequences. However, cultivating sustainability literacy and public engagement on their behalf requires diverse cultural perspectives, trans-generational timeframes, and local-to-global connectedness. The need to promote participatory approaches to sustainability literacy in the broader public is clear, however few community-based approaches have been developed to date that integrate disciplines into a holistic perspective of Earth’s natural and human systems.

Recent debates have centered on increasing public understanding of science through citizen participation in the production of scientific knowledge and the assessment of its applications. To this end, the science-shop model that originated in the Netherlands in the 1970s and then diffused across Europe during the 1980s is instructive. As part of a new social contract between science and society, science shops form and sustain relationships between experts and citizen groups. They serve as mediating agents to inform clients and also to empower them to use the information and insights. Science shops developed in advance of recent participatory approaches to accountability and the right to information, including community monitoring, citizen report cards, pubic expenditure tracking, and social audits.

Citizen science is another approach that supports the expansion of communities of practice by bridging researchers and the lay public, across diverse populations and subpopulations. Regarding the production or transfer of critical knowledge, citizen science is decidedly personal and interpersonal in style, enacted from the bottom up and most often at the local level. The approach involves science initiated and carried out by citizens not trained to be professional scientists. Early lay efforts to monitor common-pool resources and common property were carried out by users who depended upon a given resource for long-term sustenance. These efforts focused on meeting local and regional challenges of environmental degradation and resource depletion that threatened watersheds, fisheries, and pasturage, with a goal of building consensus among users of a particular resource for mutual benefit.

Citizen science concerns moved toward the ecological and environmental health sciences, as average citizens became more aware of the impact of science and technology on their personal lives and their community’s quality of life. Community residents collaborate with environmental health scientists in universities and community-based organizations have monitored workplace toxins, air and water pollution, household lead, flame retardants in consumer products, and environmental chemicals in breast milk. On-the-ground data collection techniques, such as ground-truthing, use residents’ knowledge to identify pollution sources located in their communities, and verify compiled data derived from standardized risk-screening environmental indicators. The continued growth of social capital through citizen science on behalf of sustainability will require broader citizen access to electronically transmitted information and interactive communication technologies to stimulate interest in local affairs and participation in local, regional and national policy dialogues. Moreover, contemporary science is not succeeding in technical or social terms of keeping temperature rising to no more than 1.5°C. Two recent reports, namely Global Warming of 1.5°C, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Yale’s Climate Change and the American Mind, expose and lament that, which gives citizen science a new urgency and clear direction.

Ethical concerns also extend to the need for scientists and policy makers to view environmental assessment as a social process that involves a wide range of stakeholders in the coproduction of knowledge, through citizen science initiatives. A participatory approach would bring about a more encompassing knowledge commons as the assessment process would involve the local knowledge of laypersons. Ultimately, the goals are those of translating research into action to promote better decision-making and accountability so that information, itself a common-pool resource, flows smoothly between experts and members of diverse constituent groups. This would permit sustainability specialists and the lay public to meaningfully engage in informed dialogues. These are more inclusive and flexible learning spaces that combine local knowledge together with new knowledge and skills to realize transformative action for participatory sustainable development. The ensuing shift toward local learning and local actors retaking control of decision-making, and a return to more grounded conceptions of human and ecological community break down the knowledge asymmetries of expertise in the expert-lay relationship. This can only be achieved through a mix of collaborative methods, such as citizen science initiatives, and participatory assessment approaches. Through these pathways for further learning and action on behalf of sustainability and the global commons, we may realize a more socially responsive transfer of knowledge, and greater accountability, across diverse sectors and constituencies.

With a goal of multidisciplinary dialogue in mind, this session will focus on the role of citizen science in regional concerns across western North America, such as wildfires and other climate change impacts, and combine didactic and reflective activities to engage diverse audience members, including teachers and informal science educators, and presenters in a professional learning community experience. Panelists in roundtable format will discuss current issues and future trends in public understanding of science through citizen participation in the production of scientific knowledge and the assessment of its applications. The intent is to provide an opportunity for collaborative inquiry and a dialogue on how best to promote participatory approaches in the classroom, in the community, and beyond.

ABSTRACTS should be available here by the end of April.


(6) Boise Extravaganza in Set Theory (BEST). Organizers: Liljana Babinkostova, John Clemens, Samuel Coskey, and Marion Scheepers (Department of Mathematics, Boise State University, Boise, ID). Scientific Committee: Natasha Dobrinen (University of Denver) and Simon Thomas (Rutgers University). Contact: liljanababinkostova@boisestate.edu.
SCHEDULED FOR 2 full days, Wednesday and Thursday, 19 and 20 June.

This symposium is a continuation of the well-known Boise Extravaganza in Set Theory (BEST) conference. BEST focuses on the mathematical discipline called Set Theory, and its applications in other disciplines in Mathematics. BEST has been a symposium of the AAAS Pacific Division since 2013; previously it was hosted at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Set Theory is the mathematical foundation for the study of the infinitary objects that routinely arise in Mathematics and its applications, and in the mathematical sciences. Contemporary Set Theory research addresses basic questions about provability, decidability, complexity, and the relative strength of postulates or hypotheses in mathematized scientific theories. Set Theoretic methods serve as powerful tools for applications in many other mathematical disciplines, including algebra, analysis, combinatorics, topology and more.

The plenary speakers at the BEST symposium are successful set theorists from a variety of career stages who will present high-level scientific talks in several areas of set theory and its applications. The BEST symposium will also host numerous invited and contributed talks in Set Theory and its applications, including current students who will present recent research accomplishments.

ABSTRACTS should be available here by the end of April.




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