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Symposium on Physical Geography: Human-Environment Interactions in Physical Geography

Wednesday, April 5
4:40pm - 6:20pm

Session 1: Human Environmental Interactions and the Legacy of Karl Butzer in the Physical Geography and Beyond

The long-term interplay of humans and the physical environment is one of Physical Geography's oldest and richest traditions. The idea has evolved into many directions from Alexander von Humboldt to 2016 AAG Physical Geography Symposium on the Anthropocene. One of the most important contributors to this tradition of studying human interactions with the environment was Prof. Karl W. Butzer, who in many senses founded the field and coined the term geoarchaeology. Butzer had among the professions's most decorated careers in our discipline's history.

Organizers: Timothy Beach, Tripti Bhattacharya, Carlos E. Cordova
Chair: Timothy Beach
Participants: Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, The Legacy of Karl Butzer in Physical Geography and Beyond; C Neil Roberts, Good, bad or ugly? Human transformation of the Mediterranean world; B. L. Turner II, Reflections on Karl W. Butzer's Cultural Ecology

6:30pm - 8:30pm

AAG Annual Meeting Opening Session & Presidential Plenary Session: Glen MacDonald, Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century


Thursday, April 6
8:00am - 9:40am

Session 2: Geomorphology and Long-Term Human Geomorphic Interactions

Karl Butzer made contributions to geomorphology for over fifty years and won both the Grove Karl Gilbert and Melvin Marcus Awards for Geomorphology among his many honors from ten different professional societies. His geomorphic studies came from four continents and hundreds of publications based on work from throughout Africa and the Mediterranean, and in Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Organizers: Timothy Beach, Carlos E. Cordova, Anne Chin
Chair: Anne Chin
Participants: Allan James, Early Anthropogeomorphic Changes to Fluvial Systems in Temperate North America; Paul Hudson, Formation and adjustment of islands along the Lower Mississippi River; Mike Blum, The Once and Future Mississippi Delta; David Leigh, Rapid alluvial sedimentation aided expansion of the Medieval town of Moissac, southern France; Samuel Munoz, The View from the Mud: Environmental Perspectives on the Rise and Fall of Cahokia, a Prehistoric City on the Mississippi River

10:00am - 11:40am

Session 3: The Legacy of Karl Butzer in Physical Geography and Beyond Plenary Addresses: Geomorphology to Geoarchaeology

Organizers: Timothy Beach, Carlos E. Cordova, Tripti Bhattacharya
Chair: Tripti Bhattacharya
Participants: Paul Goldberg, Geoarchaeology, Caves, and Site Formation; Murray Justin Wilkinson, Karl Butzer and geomorphology in southern Africa—revealing a richer history; Paul Adderley, Towards An Understanding Of The Cultural Land-use Practices Of Pre-Aksumite Settlement At Mezber, Tigrai Plateau, Ethiopia; Kathleen Nicoll, Revisiting Karl W. Butzer's "Desert Landforms & Pleistocene Palaeoclimates of the Kurkur Oasis Region, Egypt"

1:20pm - 3:00pm

Session 4: Human Environmental Interactions: The Legacy of Karl Butzer in the Physical Geography and Beyond: Geoarchaeology and Environmental Archaeology around the World

Organizers: Timothy Beach, Carol P. Harden, Matthew Charles Peros
Chair: Anne Chin
Participants: Nicholas P. Dunning, Margin for Error: Ancient Maya Transformation of Bajo Edges; Vance Holliday, Paleoindians, Paleo-lakes, and Paleo-playas: Landscape Geoarchaeology of the Tularosa Basin, New Mexico; Rolfe Mandel, Geoarchaeology of Ais Yiorkis, An Upland Early-Holocene Site (Aceramic Neolithic) in Southwestern Cyprus: Evidence for Human-Environment Interactions; Charles Frederick, Exploring Patterns of Human Use and Sedimentation in the Rockshelters of Eagle Nest Canyon, Lower Pecos Region of Southwest Texas

3:20pm - 5:00pm

Session 5: Climate Histories and Paleoecologies
One key area of Karl Butzer's influence was in mult-proxy studies of long-term environmental change. His main work was stratigraphy but brought multiple expertises together to paint whole landscapes of environmental change over the Quaternary. He started his career in mathematics and meteorology and these continued to influence his long career in science and geography.

Organizers: Timothy Beach, Kenneth R. Young, Tripti Bhattacharya
Chair: Richard A. Marston
Participants: James Wescoat, Mughal, Maratha, Colonial and Modern: The Historical Geography of Water Planning in Maharashtra, 1590-1990; Amy Hessl, Paleoclimate and the Last 2000 Years of Human History in Arid Central Asia; Cary J. Mock, Historical Climatology, Paleoclimatology, Extreme Events, and Society; Kevin John Anchukaitis, Climate variability, societal change, and emergent behavior at Greater Angkor, Cambodia


Friday, April 7
8:00am - 9:40am

Session 6: Plenary Addresses: Human Environmental Interactions: The Legacy of Karl Butzer in Physical Geography and Beyond
Karl W. Butzer (1934-2016) was a distinguished geographer--a Fellow of both the National Academy of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His contributions over a 60 year career were mainly in geomorphology, archaeology, the merger of the two into geoarchaeology. A true multi-talented scientist, Karl also possessed a humanist dimension that was known principally to his friends, close colleagues, and graduate students. This memorial session features contributions by a few of these individuals.

Organizers: William E. Doolittle, Gregory W. Knapp
Chairs: Gregory W. Knapp
Participants: Christine Drennon, Asset Accumulation and Educational Opportunity: exploring a complex system in the tradition of Karl Butzer; Gregory W. Knapp, Persisting Ethnolinguistic Identities: An Ecuadorian Case Study in Homage to Karl and Elisabeth Butzer; William E. Doolittle, Stacking Rocks to Transport Water: From Mallorca to México; Cesar N. Caviedes, The European Roots of Karl W. Butzer Scholarship; Stanley D. Brunn, Butzerian Threads in a Geography Heritage; Kenneth E. Foote (discussant)

10:00am - 11:40am

Session 7: Plenary Addresses: Climate History, Paleoecologies
Karl with Elisabeth Butzer used many sources from written archives to soils to study environmental history. Karl Butzer started his University studies in Meteorology and Mathematics and these fields influenced all of his subsequent studies and research. This session explores dimensions of climate, water, and cultural ecology around the world with reference to the vast Butzerian oeuvre.

Organizers: Timothy Beach, Tripti Bhattacharya, Matthew Charles Peros
Chair: Kenneth R. Young
Participants: Kyle Hansen, Drought and Societal Turmoil over Northern Viet Nam for the Past Three Centuries: A multi-seasonal reconstruction of hydroclimate from tree rings; Carlos E. Cordova, Context and processes in the formation of the paleoecological record of Hall's Cave, Texas: focusing on pollen, spores, and phytoliths; Samantha Marie Krause, The Importance of Maya Wetlands for Human Ecology and Environmental History: Multi-Scaler Case Studies from Northwestern Belize; Brendan Martin Buckley, The Southeast Asian Dendrochronology Project: Hydroclimate variability over the past millennium; Duncan Cook, Last millennium climate and the ancient Khmer Empire: insights from a radiocarbon-dated speleothem record from southern Cambodia

1:20pm - 3:00pm

Panel on the Pedagogy of Karl W. Butzer from Bonn, to Madison, Chicago, Zurich, and Austin chaired by Samantha Krause and Moulay Anwar Sounny-Slitine

1:20pm - 5:00pm

Physical Geography Poster Session chaired by Charles Lafon and Carol Harden

3:00pm - 5:00pm

Physical Geography Reception