Eric W. Sanderson, Ph.D. is Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and adjunct faculty at New York and Columbia Universities. During 2019-2020 he is a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, working on the sequel to his bestseller the ecology of New York in 1609, Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City (Abrams, 2009). In a follow up volume, he wrote about how to change direction of the American landscape in an era of climate change in his critically acclaimed, Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs (Abrams, 2013). He also was lead editor for Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay (Island Press, 2016), laying the social-ecological foundation for future climate resilience for a part of the city dramatically impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Sanderson is co-inventor, with WCS’ Kim Fisher, of Visionmaker, an on-line ecological democracy forum for New York City. His work has been profiled in The New Yorker, National Geographic, the New York Times, National Public Radio, El Mundo, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), The Times (London), and other media. He currently serves on the board of the Natural Areas Conservancy, a non-profit focused on the conservation of the green and blue natural areas of New York City. Sanderson earned a Ph.D. in Ecology (1998) and a B.A.S. in English and Biochemistry (1989) at the University of California, Davis.

  • 8:45A | Before New York: Views into the Historical Landscape Ecology of New York City

    Before the skyscrapers, avenues and crowded sidewalks, New York City consisted of forests, streams and a prodigious diversity of wildlife. Sanderson’s work focuses on the landscape of New York’s early history, with a particular focus on the time before Henry Hudson arrived in 1609. He will discuss the city from the perspective of a landscape ecologist, describing the painstaking historical research and modern computational methods used to reconstruct New York’s past, and discuss how the study of historical ecology lays the foundation for meaningful urban sustainability.

 

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