Group members Megan Hill and Katharine Johnson are on the organizing committee for the upcoming Symposium on Physical Geography entitled Challenges of the “Anthropocene” at AAG 2016 in San Francisco. Posters may be submitted after registering for AAG; the deadline is October 29, 2015.

In 2016, the International Commission on Stratigraphy will consider a proposal from the “Anthropocene” Working Group to formalize the “Anthropocene” as a geological unit within the Geological Time Scale. This designation recognizes a new time interval in which human activities have significantly altered Earth’s conditions and processes. Regardless of whether the Commission will ultimately declare a new geologic time frame, the changes that have occurred (and are continuing) in our climate, land surfaces, vegetation, and waters have profound effects on and implications for human society. Understanding human-induced alterations in the past and present is critical to our ability to anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to changes in the future.

The AAG 2016 Symposium on Physical Geography will explore recent advances relevant to our understanding of the concept of the “Anthropocene” and the problems it poses as humanity interacts with the Earth system. We seek contributions relating to past and contemporary environmental processes and change. Of particular interest are posters in the following areas:

  1. The Early “Anthropocene”: When Did the “Anthropocene” Really Start?
  2. Evidence of Large-scale Human Impacts and Quantifying Recent, Current and Future Anthropogenic Impacts
  3. Couplings and Societal Responses to Human-induced Environmental Change
  4. Measuring Risk and Planning Sustainability in an “Anthropocene” 21st Century

AAG Vice President Glen MacDonald will kick off the Symposium with an opening address, followed by Symposium Plenary Speaker William Ruddiman and other featured keynote speakers and discussants throughout the Symposium. Panel discussions will also explore how geographers are integrating the “Anthropocene” into their work, and how we can better facilitate and foster research and teaching related to this expanding “Anthropocene” concept.

To submit an abstract to this Symposium:

  • Register for the conference at
  • During abstract submission: select “Poster” as the abstract type
  • Select “Anthropocene” as the Primary Topic
  • In the space for “Special Request” add a note that the abstract submitted is intended for the Symposium on Physical Geography: Challenges of the “Anthropocene.”

The abstract deadline for posters submitted to this symposium is October 29, 2015

Organizing Committee: Anne Chin (Chair), Timothy Beach, AAG Former President Carol Harden, Charles Lafon, AAG Vice President Glen MacDonald, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Katharine Johnson, Megan McCusker Hill, William Solecki, AAG Former President Julie Winkler.

For Further Information: Anne Chin,