This year’s conference theme, Conservation Connections: Creating Pathways to Sustainability, focuses on an important trait that sets the SWCS annual conference apart from others: the number of disciplines who come together to share information, network, and form connections to forge best practices in soil and water conservation. The conference provides a forum for interdisciplinary discussions that are essential to the success of conservation, a field that depends upon understanding relationships and interconnectedness.
Soil, water, and humans are inextricably linked. As the global population grows, human influences on soil and water resources are expected to intensify, working land sustainability will become increasingly necessary, and environmental preservation will remain a challenge. At the same time, extreme weather events will have impacts on human safety and livelihood. Increasing resource demands and changing weather patterns may necessitate adaptive approaches for conservation strategies, but one thing is certain, and that is the need for people to work together to conserve soil and protect water quality.
In conservation, some professionals focus on the field level, researching or extending information on the effects of management. Other conservationists work at the edge of field, some at the small watershed level, and still others do modeling work on very large watershed scales. Avenues for information exchange must be established so various projects may better inform one another. Whether in a technical, regulatory, research, outreach, or volunteer organization capacity, efforts can be multiplied when we connect and work together. This year’s conference will celebrate these points of intersection and will seek to identify new opportunities for continued collaboration and partnership.