Land Change Modeling Methods: Calibration, validation and extrapolation by G. Pontius






“Studying, Modeling and Sense Making of Planet Earth”


 1 – 6 June, 2008

 Department of Geography, University of the Aegean

Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece



 On the occasion of the celebration of the International Year of Planet Earth in 2008, the Department of Geography of the University of the Aegean in Lesvos, Greece, is organizing the international conference “Studying, Modeling and Sense Making of Planet Earth”. The UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector has granted support to the conference.

Contemporary socio-spatial problems require a deep understanding of the coupled human-environment systems inhabiting Planet Earth and, particularly, of their complex interactions in order to inform decision making from the individual to the global level. The purpose of the conference is to bring together all the disciplines that study natural and human phenomena taking place on Planet Earth, to encourage the dialogue among them and to provide discussion fora on the integration of knowledge, a task requiring a move beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries and towards interwoven theoretical and analytical schemata.

The conference is organized in three streams as follows:

a.      Studying the earth system – it is devoted to the natural sciences, the links within their fields and subfields as well as their links to the social sciences

b.      Modeling the earth system – it is devoted to selected modeling fields with an emphasis on integrated modeling at various spatial and temporal levels

c.      Sense making of the earth system – it is devoted to the social and the policy sciences and the humanities that try to make sense of the ways people perceive, function, modify and, in general, interact with the earth system while simultaneously being a part of it.

Each stream will include several sessions and thematic workshops, dedicated to cutting-edge topics in contemporary Geography. Special emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary studies, within and across streams. The final sessions will be dedicated to advances in transdisciplinary thinking in the Natural, Social, and the Geographical Sciences. Renowned scientists are invited to offer keynote speeches on the topics of each stream.

The conference will last six days. The opening ceremony will take place in the afternoon of the first day (June 1, 2008) while an excursion for the conference participants will be organized on June 6.

To provide for holistic experiences and impart the broader spirit of the unity of the Earth System, flowing from the UN agenda for the Year of Planet Earth, each conference day will comprise several events such as performances, film/video presentations, exhibitions, games/athletic events, and gastronomic tours. Morning hours will be devoted to conference sessions, while evening hours will be devoted to cultural events on earth system-related themes. The events will take place in selected places on the island of Lesvos with the assistance of several services such as the Archaeological Service, the Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos (Global Geopark network member), and others. The post-conference excursion will include places of natural, cultural and historic interest on Lesvos and the neighboring islands, as well as on the Asia Minor coast across Lesvos.

The Conference language is English.