The Russian Chapter of IALE has been founded in 2017, with about 80 members in 2020. The 1st International IALE-Russia conference «Landscape Science and Landscape Ecology: Considering Responses to Global Challenges» which had been planned to be held in Moscow by Lomonosov Moscow State University at 14-18 of September 2020, took place on the same dates in the online format, becoming +our first considered response to the global pandemic.
The conference program covered five main topics:
1. Landscape spatial structure and dynamics symposium consisted of five sessions which addressed mainly theoretical questions of modelling landscape structure and processes in different scales;
2. Natural hazards symposium discussed problems of land degradation, wild fires, transformation of Arctic, landscape epidemiology and attracted the attention of many specialists from sister disciplines – geomorphology, cryolithology, medical geography;
3. Historical landscape ecology, a traditional topic on the IALE agenda, touched the questions of land cover change and transformation of energy balances;
4. Landscape assessment and planning symposium focused on ecosystem services assessment, nature based solutions and social-ecological systems;
5. Land use and land management symposium examined land adaptation to different types of use – recreational, agricultural, urban, etc.
The conference online platform gave the participants an opportunity to manage personal pages of their presentations, to upload pdf files with presentations for off-conference viewing and to discuss their research in a chat linked to the page. On these very pages we placed the video recordings of the presentations and everyone is welcome to watch them at the conference website iale.conflab.ru via Guest login. To find a topic of interest, browse through the program, either by day or by session.
The number of participants changed with the time, by the beginning of the conference we received 237 theses, but 39 authors didn’t show up for their talk. Nevertheless, their absence was compensated by 45 newly registered attendees. The video conference was held in four parallel virtual rooms integrated into the online platform. The attendance of the sessions was approximately 20 to 40 people, the plenaries gathered up to 80-90 people. As we see, the fickle audience will be typical for all online events since the participants stay on with their regular local activities and generally find the time for their talk and session only. But on the other hand, the online format gives a chance to a wide range of scientists to promptly join the conference talks of their interest.
Informal part of the conference consisted of two social events. The first was an online disco party that lasted over 3 hours during which people were chatting, making friends, drinking and even sporadically dancing. The second event, unfortunately, was designed for the Russian audience only since it was a poetic evening named “The Poetry of the Place” when our colleague Iya Mironenko read her landscape lyrics that was amazing.