Group members Kate Johnson and Megan Hill attended the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers which was held this year in Chicago, and which had an attendance of around 9,000 people. In addition to attending a number of fantastic talks, Kate and Megan organized a session called The View from the Anthropocene: Measuring the Historic Human Impact on the Environment and Landscape. The session was co-sponsored by the Geomorphology, Historical Geography and Landscape specialty groups.

The session consisted of theoretical papers and a number of case studies focusing on quantifying the past human impacts on (and interactions with) the landscape, and how these could contribute to a broader understanding of the Anthropocene. The session discussant, Anne Chin (UC Denver, Editor-in-Chief of the journalĀ Anthropocene) synthesized these contributions and provided stimulating questions and themes for discussion of all those who attended the session.

We are grateful to the session presenters and to Anne for their participation!

Session participants and titles:

  • Kathryn A. Catlin, “Archaeology and the Anthropocene: Soil and Scale in the Settlement of Iceland”
  • Katharine Johnson, “Quantifying the Anthropocene: the Physical and Cultural Controls on Stone Wall Construction in Southern New England”
  • Timothy Beach, “The ‘Mayacene’: Maya Mirror for the Americas”
  • Charles W. Martin, “Trace metal storage in recent floodplain sediments along the Dill River, central Germany”
  • Megan McCusker Hill, “Gullies as Markers of Holocene and Anthropocene Environmental Change in southern New England”
  • Suzanne Elizabeth Pilaar Birch, “Reconstructing human-mediated environmental change at the Pleistocene-‘Anthropocene’ transition”
  • Trisha Jackson, “Geochemical Imprints of Society in the Brazilian Amazon”
  • Simon Goring, “Shifts in ecotones position and composition throughout the upper Midwestern United States since EuroAmerican settlement”
  • Discussant: Anne Chin