June 23, 2022 -- Welcome to the Industrial Ecology community - GRC-style

Last week I attended the 2022 Industrial Ecology Gordon Research Conference - and it was a whirlwind introduction to the industrial ecology community. For anyone reading this debating on whether or not to go to a Gordon Research Conference, I can only say that I highly recommend! Between the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference, it was about a week of getting to hear from and talk with some of the brightest minds in the field. Since it was my first conference in the subject, it was all a breakneck introduction to the people, ideas, and places that have shaped this relatively young field.

Most of the time, my work is most closely aligned with geography, but we regularly draw on methods and theories from industrial ecology, and it was very exciting to see how other folks apply these ideas to questions ranging from plastics to pasta. I got a chance to meet folks who have written seminal papers in my field (check out Dr. Matt Eckelman's work on Boston's urban gardens) and hear from others who are integrating interdisciplinary perspectives into industrial ecology in novel ways (loved Dr. Weslynne Ashton's use of social network analysis to study circular economies).

At this point, I feel more connected to industrial ecology than I ever have, and I am excited to leverage these new connections and ideas in my upcoming work. I'm also thrilled to say that I've been elected to head up the Gordon Research Seminar in two years, so the work with this fabulous community is only just beginning.

Photo: Picture of Jake on the mountain overlooking the GRC site in Sunday River, Maine - Photo credit: Calli VanderWilde