Environment Evolution Commission of IGU

the commission activity

2016-2017

MEETING REPORT

The 33rd International Geographical Congress „Shaping Our Harmonious Worlds”, 21-25 August, 2016, Beijing, China

The 33rd International Geographical Congress was held in Beijing China, on August 21-­‐25, 2016. The IGC 2016 was organized by the Geographical Society of China and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Congress in Beijing was a forum for geographers from all over the world and from all geographic specialties. 262 sessions were organized during the congress, consisting of 156 thematic sessions proposed by 41 IGU Commissions, 44 sessions which focused on 5 key topics: “Geographical Sciences and Future Earth”, “Climate Change and Global Understanding”, “Urbanization and Sustainable Development”, “Environment‐Health and Social Welfare” and “Geography in Different Cultures”.

    The IGU Commission on Environment Evolution organizes 4 special sessions in a frame of this Congress
  1. Environment Evolution and Human Activity in the late Quaternary (Conveners: Elena Novenko and Alexander Olchev)
  2. Climate - vegetation interaction under past and future climate conditions (Conveners: Alexander Olchev and Elena Novenko)
  3. Prehistoric Human Occupation and Environmental Changes on Tibetan Plateau and Surroundings (Conveners: Fahu Chen, David Madsen, Georg Miehe, Dongju Zhang)
  4. Climate Change and Human-Environment Interaction From Neolithic to Historical Periods (Conveners: Fahu Chen, David Zhang, Guanghui Dong, Peter Turchin, John Dodson)
  5. Climate - vegetation interaction under current and future climate change scenarios (Convener: A.A. Olchev).
  6. The program included 60 oral presentations and 35 posters. The participants from Russia, China, Germany, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Greece, Armenia, Iran, Mongolia and India took part in these special sessions.
    The main topics that have been discussed on the special sessions: landscape and climate dynamics in the Pleistocene and the Holocene in different region of the World, initial occupation of the Eurasia by men, men and environment interaction and land use in the Holocene. The special attention was paid to the problems human occupation of the Tibetan Plateau and environmental changes and climate fluctuations during these processes. The aim of the special sessions by the IGU Commission on Environment Evolution was to bring an up-to-date perspective on the environmental and climatic change and its impact on the process of prehistoric human occupation on Eurasia in the late Pleistocene and Holocene. The noticeable interest for the sessions and heated discussions demonstrated a success of this initiative. The another direction of the commission’s activity in the Congress was the session dedicated to problems of human-environment relationships in the recent past, modern forest ecosystems and prognosis of their dynamics in future.

    Pictures: Special sessions of IGU Commission on Environment Evolution in the 33rd International Geographical Congress

The Conference "Routes of Evolutionary Geography" in memory of Professor A.A. Velichko, the first Chair and founder of the IGU Commission on Environment Evolution, November 23-25, 2016, Moscow, Russia.

Scientific conference "Routes of Evolutionary Geography" was held by the Institute of Geography RAS on November 23-25, 2016, in memory of Professor Andrei A. Velichko, the first Chair of the IGU Commission on Environment Evolution, an outstanding geographer who made a great contribution into the Quaternary Science in Russia and outlined the new direction in the geographical science – the evolutionary geography. The Conference was a great forum for geographers from evolutionary geography, palaeogeography and geomorphology. The program included 106 oral presentations and 45 posters.

    The program included 106 oral presentations and 45 posters.
  • The program of the conference was focused on three major issues of evolutionary geography. 1) Problems of the Quaternary palaeogeography. This section includes both general issues of Quaternary Science and current research results from different regions of Northern Eurasia – glaciated and non-glaciated regions of the East European Plain, Western and Eastern Siberia, Russian Far East, European and Siberian Arctic. 2) Multiscale climate and landscape changes: reconstruction and prediction. The section contains contributions on climate, biota, soil cover and landform changes at the time scales since the Early Quaternary to the Holocene. Another topic is long-term climate and landscape forecasting based on palaeodata. 3) Environmental forcing of human society formation and development at the early stages. All included oral and poster presentation were the product of research collaborations of specialists in co-evolution of human societies and natural environment. Results of current studies of archaeological sites in the European part of Russia and Siberia provided comparisons of societal and environmental development since the Early and Middle Paleolithic to the Mesolithic, discussions on mechanisms of human adaptation to environmental changes, archaeological and DNA studies of human migrations.
    Picture: Professor Andrey Velichko, the first Chair and founder of the IGU Commission on Environment Evolution

2017

The International Conference on Evolutionary Geography and Palynology “Actual problems of Palynology” in memory of V.P. Crichuk, June, 5-8, 2017, Moscow, Russia

The International Conference on Evolutionary Geography and Palynology “Actual problems of Palynology” dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the famous Russian palynologists Vladimir Crichuk held in Lomonosov Moscow State University Faculty of Geography, June, 5-8, 2017. The Conference was organized by the IGU Commission on Environment Evolution, the Russian Palynological Commission and Lomonosov Moscow State University. Participants from 8 countries (Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Belorussia, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Abkhazia) took part in the conference. The programme included 77 oral and 31 poster presentations.

    The main topics of the conference were follow:
  • Methods of palaeoecology.
    New laboratory methods, innovation in sample preparations, new approaches in data analysis
  • Pollen biology, morphology and systematics. Palynology in phylogenetic research.
  • Algal flora, Diatom analysis and other micro algae for palaeoecology and ecological indication.
  • Quaternary: stratigraphy, palaeogeography, sedimentation, evolution of climate and vegetation.
  • Mezozoic, Palaeozoic and Pre-Cambrian: stratigraphy, palaeogeography, sedimentation, environment evolution.

Each topic included keynote plenary lectures by experts in the field of paleoecological research and palynology, short talk session and discussions on a range of relevant topics related to environment evolution, providing a lively and comprehensive conference. The special attention in the conference was paid to explore the trajectory of climate change and human-environment interaction in the Holocene, and understand the pattern, mechanisms and evolution of man-environment relationships during this period. Oral and poster presentations were related to reconstructions of landscape dynamics and climate change in various regions in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, China, Montenegro and Israel on the base of multi-proxy data; history of fossil flora of the different geological epochs. Unique pollen records obtained in Arctic, Russian Far East and Siberia were presented in a number of researches. One of the most important sessions was aeropalynology and pollen indication of environment conditions in places of subsurface nuclear explosions.

Book of abstracts (in Russian) is available: www.geogr.msu.ru

Pictures: Sessions of the International Conference on Evolutionary Geography and Palynology and group of participants from the IGU Commission on Environment Evolution

Other events

A series of three one-day workshops “Landscape dynamics and human-environment interactions in the forest zone of the east European plain during the Holocene: landscape dynamics and land use history”. Moscow, November – December, 2017.

The series of three one-day workshops with common topic “Landscape dynamics and human-environment interactions in the forest zone of the east European plain during the Holocene: landscape dynamics and land use history” was organized together with the Commission of Physical Geography of the Russian Geographical Society and held in Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, November, 8 and 22 and December, 6. The program of each workshop included 3-4 detail oral presentations followed by numerous questions and heated discussions in working groups and general discussions. The main issues of workshops were reconstructions of vegetation and climate history in several model areas in taiga, broadleaf forests and forest steppe region, reconstructions of land use history of these areas, fire regimes. One of the workshops was dedicated to methods of spatial landscape reconstructions. The mean number of participants was 25-30.

PROMOTION OF GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE

Collaborated activities of the IGU Commission on Environment Evolution with the Stupino Regional Museum for promotion of geographical knowledge

The IGU Commission on Environment Evolution performed a series of actions in the local Museum in a small town of Stupino (Moscow region) for promotion of geographical knowledge and environmental problems. The main aim of these actions was the contribution of geographical education to global understanding.

    The first series of these actions was carried out in March and April, 2016 and after a success the performances were repeated in April, 2017. The actions spent a full day in weekend with two week interval. The Museum provided a broad announcement in local mass medium and TV. The main topics of the actions were follow:
  1. Peatlands – unique ecosystems and treasurers of ancientry
  2. Ice age – scientific facts and hypotheses
  3. Men and environment: 30 thousand years long history
    Additional topic “Global warming: myths and reality” was added in 2017. Each action included two lections, one for young children and their parents and the second one for students and high school children, quiz and outdoor activity. The actions about peatlands and Ice Age included master-classes where children learned peat properties, minerals and fossil remains.
  4. Picture: The lecture of Elena Novenko “Peatlands – unique ecosystems and treasurers of ancientry” in Stupino Museum, 12.03.2016

Environment Evolution Commission