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School of Environment and Natural Resources


RSS 2018: Science in Society, Society in Science

Jul 26, 2018 through Jul 29, 2018 (All day)
Red Lion Hotel on the River 909 N. Hayden Island Drive Portland, Oregon 97217 United States
Rural Sociological Society

Rural Sociological Society Conference

Theme: Science in Society, Society in Science: Toward a 21st Century Model for Social Scientific Research
For more information on the 2018 Annual Meeting Theme click here

Registration for the 2018 Annual Meeting is now open click here to register.

Plenary Session – Saturday, July 28 at 11:00am – Jill Belsky, University of Montana
"Tensions, negotiations and joys in practicing critical engaged scholarship”

Jill Belsky received her PhD in Rural/Development Sociology from Cornell University in 1991, and has been a faculty member at the University of Montana ever since, initially in the Department of Sociology and later in the Department of Society and Conservation, which she helped to create.  Her research and teaching over the decades have focused on the intersections of rural change, livelihoods, farming systems and environmental politics and policies, including governance of community-owned and managed forests.  She has worked in Southeast Asia, Belize, Bhutan and western Montana.  She directed the Bolle Center for People and Forests (2004-2014) and served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Society & Natural Resources (2012-2014). Her plenary talk will highlight her decade-long involvement with the Blackfoot Challenge (a local watershed organization), The Nature Conservancy, and various public land agencies, politicians and residents in the Blackfoot Valley of Montana who have responded to corporate timberland divestment and landscape/community fragmentation through purposeful acquisition, including creating and managing a community conservation area.  She will speak specifically about tensions as an “engaged scholar” addressing market-created/privatization problems with market-based/privatization solutions, making necessary negotiations between critical analyses and practical concerns, and the joy of participating in collective action for progressive goals and public goods.

 Field Trip Information

  • Queering the Food System in Oregon
    • The field trip takes a food systems approach, visiting a queer-owned farm in a rural Oregon and queer-owned food and farming hubs in Portland.
  • Water Conservation in the Willamette Valley
    • Our field trip will be based on the water conservation efforts in Willamette Valley where the City of Portland and the surrounding communities are located. Water conservation efforts are very important in this area as the water resources in the West have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing climatic change compounded by the urban sprawl in this region.
  • Labor Issues in Organic Agriculture
    • Current organic standards don’t speak to the fair or humane treatment of labor. What is, and what should be, the relationship of environmental sustainability to just work? Moreover, in today’s political climate, undocumented farmworkers face unprecedented challenges. How are farmworkers, their families, and their communities (both within and outside the U.S.) being affected by, and how are they responding to, the hard-line immigration policies of the current administration? This field trip is focused on gaining some insight into these questions, from people who deal with it every day.

For more information on field trips, click here.

Be aware that the program including the day and time of your presentation may change as we get closer to the annual meeting.