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State of the Rockies Conference

October 16-18, 2019

Colorado College

Colorado Springs, Colorado


Call for Conference Papers and Presentations on Socio-Environmental Challenges and Opportunities in the Rocky Mountain West


The Rocky Mountain West is a diverse and quickly changing region. From the ongoing importance of resource extraction to the rapid expansion in outdoor recreation, from the pervasive threat of forest fire and drought to the debates about control over public lands, and from rising urbanization to rural population loss, the socio-environmental dynamics that shape the region are myriad, complex, and often contradictory. As such, the Rocky Mountain West provides rich opportunities for examining questions of how people and communities coexist with, shape, and are shaped by non-human nature. Though many of the issues the region is wrestling with are not unique to the Rocky Mountain West, the great diversity of people, ecosystems, political institutions, and economies within the region highlight such social and environmental challenges with particular clarity.


This conference, hosted by the State of the Rockies Project at Colorado College, aims to bring together scholars and students working in and/or studying socio-environmental dynamics in the Rocky Mountain West. In doing so, we hope to create space for creative dialogues, new working relationships, and enhanced interdisciplinary understanding of the complex socio-environmental challenges and opportunities facing the region.


All methodological approaches and inter/disciplinary backgrounds are welcome. Potential topics of investigation include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Environmental justice in the face of climate change
  • Tribal sovereignty and land management
  • Economics of the outdoor recreation industry
  • Land use and resource extraction
  • Urbanization and the environment
  • Water rights and agriculture
  • The politics of energy use and climate change
  • Ecological health in a changing region
  • Living with wildlife


The conference will begin at noon on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 and will end at noon on Friday, October 18, with area tour opportunities directly following the conference on Friday afternoon. It will be held on the campus of Colorado College in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. The registration fee ($85 for faculty, $50 for students) includes two receptions, a lunch, and Friday’s tour opportunities. Financial assistance is available to those for whom the registration fee would be a barrier to attending the conference.


Abstracts are due April 15, 2019. Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words and include a title, and your name and institution. Full panels (maximum four papers) can also be submitted. Abstracts and panel proposals should be submitted to with the subject line “Conference submission.” Notifications of acceptance to the conference will be sent out by June 15. 


For any questions, please contact Cyndy Hines, State of the Rockies Project Specialist at or Corina McKendry, Director of the State of the Rockies Project, at


The State of the Rockies Project is a project of Colorado College. Now in its 16th year, the mission of the State of the Rockies Project is to enhance understanding of and action to address socio-environmental challenges in the Rocky Mountain West through collaborative student-faculty research, education, and stakeholder engagement. More information can be found at