2015 Conference Theme

ICOET 2015
Roads to Resilience
Strengthening Essential Transportation and Ecological Assets
across Diverse Landscapes

The ICOET 2015 conference theme emphasizes 'resilience' as a key metric when developing, improving and managing transportation systems across diverse rural and urban environments. The quality of resilience commonly applies to transportation infrastructure’s ability to withstand and recover from changing, often destructive external forces. Resilience also can be attributed to wildlife and natural ecosystems impacted by transportation; to how well we manage and protect the natural environment from these impacts; and to the partnerships we build for achieving effective and sustainable outcomes.

The interactions between transportation and ecological systems exist in every community at every scale—local, state, national, and global. In recent years, processes for implementing and improving transportation systems have come to focus not only on sustainability measures, but also on a community’s adaptive capacity to address future environmental changes. This capacity demands the ability to work both collaboratively and efficiently, while remaining sensitive to political and regulatory realities.

When facing such socio-economically and ecologically dynamic conditions, how do we enhance each community’s unique capacities for adaptation and resilience in order to sustain its transportation goals and objectives? By appreciating that solutions to transportation ecology issues are not 'one size fits all,' and by sharing knowledge and working together, we can achieve cost-effective and resilient national transportation systems to meet a changing world through locally-developed applications. ICOET 2015 provides an important venue for sharing many applicable, real-world solutions from practitioners and researchers that will lead us down the 'roads to resilience' in transportation ecology.

ICOET 2015 Co-Host – North Carolina Department of Transportation

The State of North Carolina provides an ecologically, climatologically, culturally, and economically diverse backdrop for the ICOET 2015 conference. Reaching from "the mountains to the sea" as it is often described, North Carolina's landscape extends hundreds of miles west to east from the Appalachians to the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most populous of the United States, with large metropolitan, suburban and rural regions that present a cross-section of transportation and ecology issues found around the world.

Such diversity challenges the North Carolina Department of Transportation and its partner agencies to explore approaches to transportation planning, engineering, construction and maintenance that support ecological and infrastructure resilience across the state. The many successes, and continuing challenges, of NCDOT and its partners will be highlighted in presentations and field trips at ICOET 2015.