Throughout its history each CBEP conference has highlighted current themes at the cutting edge of Paleogene science, ranging from the definition of key stratigraphic designations to emerging understanding of transient climate events to global trends and transitions in the marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The 2017 meeting will feature a set of thematic and general sessions that emphasizes our growing understanding of connectivity among Earth Systems and the power of well-resolved, well-dated stratigraphic records, novel proxies, and quantitative modeling to probe these connections.
Two overarching themes have been identified for CBEP 2017: Understanding the Paleogene from an integrated, Earth-systems perspective and Planetary Boundaries. The first theme emphasizes the growth of data documenting multiple aspects of the Paleogene world and the potential to advance our understanding of the Paleogene by examining the interactions and feedbacks between multiple systems (e.g., any combination of tectonics-sedimentary systems-climate-biota-biogeochemistry). The second theme emphasizes the idea that quantifiable boundaries in the rates or conditions of Earth system processes exist beyond which system behavior becomes chaotic or unpredictable. Identification and characterization of planetary boundaries as recorded in deep-time records offers a potential approach to understanding boundaries that may be relevant to future change and sustainability on Earth.