Research & Action


Due to the covid-19 outbreak, AESS has pivoted to holding a virtual event. This was in response to our community’s voice interest and the desire to continue providing our members with professional development opportunities. We are using new software and new-to-us systems. We ask for grace as we plan this event And we look forward to engaging with the AESS community in our online space before, during, and after the July 15-17 live discussions. Please email with questions.

Registration is live.


The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) will hold our 2020 annual conference at Pace University in New York City on June 10-13, 2020 ONLINE. Please join us at our virtual low-carbon event on July 15-17. Previewing recorded content will be available by July 13, 2020.

Our theme is Research and Action. By this we mean—as experts, activists, and leaders in the field of environmental studies and sciences—we recognize that it is incumbent on us to take seriously our present and future socio-ecological crisis, as well as orient our work towards just solutions. Whether we are talking about globally scaled challenges like climate change, or the many injustices that manifest at local scales, such as food sovereignty, biodiversity loss, or clean water access, academics and practitioners in our field must contribute our knowledge and work towards solving these problems. We believe it is no longer enough for us to sit back and produce knowledge in the hopes that it will help. We must deliberately acknowledge and engage in the politics of socio-ecological systems.

As an inter/transdisciplinary and problem solving-oriented field, environmental studies and sciences is poised to take up this charge. In developing the 2020 conference theme Research and Action, the AESS Board recognizes there is no single strategy for addressing socio-ecological crisis and that we must be a community that creates space for diversity. Everyone’s work is critical and contributes to our collective knowledge and practice, which is why diversity and inclusion are so important. Likewise, everyone contributes in different ways, so we are being deliberate in creating multiple spaces for everyone to participate and be heard. As teachers, advocates, students, and practitioners (or all of the above), we know that socio-ecological systems are crumbling and that present and future communities will suffer if we do nothing. To not include and engage with everyone continues to put our human and nonhuman communities at risk. 

While there are clearly innumerable ways to orient towards Research and Action, we encourage you to join us at Pace University virtually in 2020 and embrace the ways your work embodies the conference theme. As a member-driven organization, we have heard loud and clear the need for more diverse and inclusive spaces. We are developing several ways to engage with the conference. We are partnering to offer an advocacy symposium. [update: the Advocacy Symposium has gone virtual.] We are putting into place funding opportunities for students and our colleagues who need additional resources. [edited to add: the AESS 2020 low-carbon virtual event offers AESS members discounted student rates and COVID-19 relief funding]. 

To learn more, check out You can find information about our past conferences at If you are feeling inspired, we invite you to become a member of AESS and engage with some of our committees and our community prior to the conference. We offer extensive resources for the field of environmental studies and sciences, including a syllabus bank, our flagship journal, and an active listserv. If you are interested in sponsoring or donating, go to this page. If you are already planning to go to the 2020 conference, consider how your work can contribute to our discussions about engaging new communities, conducting research in an interdisciplinary context, informing policy, or supporting activism. We hope to see you there.


The AESS Board