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Now hiring program manager

August 8, 2019

Illustration of tree with turning wheels as rootsThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is currently hiring a new project manager. Applications close on Thursday, August 22 at 3:00 p.m. (AZ time).

The new project manager will help plan, direct, organize and execute the strategic goals of the center. The project manager will coordinate internal and external proposal development; act as the primary center liaison for partnerships and research collaborations; act as primary center contact for ASU and external engagement; identify and implement project management tools for program planning.

Click here to learn more and apply.

ASU-Conservation International Postdoc Spotlight: Elena Finkbeiner

July 31, 2019

Elena FinkbeinerThe Arizona State University–Conservation International partnership supported two postdoctoral researchers from 2017–2019 who were jointly advised by a CI scientist and an ASU faculty member to advance cutting-edge conservation research.

One of the researchers, Elena M. Finkbeiner, is the Fisheries Science Program Manager for Conservation International’s Global Fisheries and Aquaculture Program.

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Keeping Olympic marathon spectators cool

ASU Now | July 9, 2019

crowd of people in JapanStanding for hours within crowds of people in hot, sunny and humid conditions is a recipe for heat-related illness — but that’s what spectators at the Tokyo Summer Olympics marathons may be dealing with on Aug. 2 and 9, 2020.

To help city officials and the Tokyo Olympic Committee prepare for extreme heat, Arizona State University senior sustainability scientists Jenni Vanos and Ariane Middel were part of a team that measured and mapped out microclimates along the marathon course to identify hot spots where spectators may face discomfort or illness.

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ASU collaborates on virtual field trip to Makalawena, Hawai'i

July 3, 2019

Makalawena beachThanks to a partnership between Arizona State University and Kamehameha Schools in Hawai’i, people around the world can visit two of Hawai’i's natural and cultural sites without having to leave their computer.

ASU’s School of Sustainability and Center for Education Through eXploration (ETX Center) have collaborated with Kamehameha Schools on two virtual field trips (VFTs), including the recently released interactive and educational excursion to Makalawena. Makalawena is a beautiful, remote beach with many environmental and cultural resources located in West Hawai‘i.

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Learn environmental communication and leadership

June 24, 2019

Two executives hands shaking with world map projected on their skinThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, a partnership between the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the School of Life Sciences, are now accepting applications to the new Graduate Certificate in Environmental Communication and Leadership.

The certificate courses will train graduate students in communicating environmental science to the public and corporate decision-makers. Students will also obtain training in leadership skills to interact with the public, policy makers and relevant stakeholders.

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Designing for community and sustainability

ASU Now | June 24, 2019

University Assistant Professors Paul Coseo and Chingwen Cheng asking for community input for the redesign Old Stadium Park in HawaiiIt’s a common story: Developers start transforming public spaces with little to no input from the community — and it doesn’t end happily. But, as Arizona State University Assistant Professors Paul Coseo and Chingwen Cheng (both in The Design School, part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts) have demonstrated, there are inclusive approaches to community design. For the 2018–2019 academic year, they led a group of four landscape architecture students and one design student in a project to collaboratively redesign Old Stadium Park in Hawaii.

The team was invited to collaborate on this project because of longstanding relationships between The Design School and Hawaii initially built through the University of Hawaii’s “Make the Ala Wai Awesome” competition in 2017. Another ASU team, led by senior sustainability scientists Coseo, Cheng and Darren Petrucci (also a professor in The Design School), won first prize out of 40 submissions to this international competition seeking design solutions to challenges facing the Ala Wai Watershed.

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Plastic, friend or foe?

June 7, 2019

View of colorful microplastics beads on top of white surfaceASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Faculty Affiliate Rolf Halden’s work on microplastics pollution in oceans was recently featured in an ASU Now article titled “Pervasive polymers of the deep blue sea.”

Halden and his team determined the concentration of microplastics, broken down pieces of plastic products, in various depths of the ocean. They discovered the most concentrated plastic was found between 600 and 2,000 feet below the water’s surface and mostly consisted of plastic resistant to further breakdown.

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Refugees in Uganda learn agribusiness through online initiative

View Source | June 7, 2019

Refugees in Uganda taking online Agribusiness 250 courseA group of 30 people who live in a refugee settlement in Uganda are the first to take the online Agribusiness 250 course through Education for Humanity, an initiative of Arizona State University that is offering higher education to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Uganda and Rwanda. Education for Humanity is managed by EdPlus, the unit at ASU that creates technology and forges partnerships to develop new ways of teaching and learning.

More than 68 million people are displaced around the globe, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, and fewer than 1% have access to higher education. Education for Humanity is trying to address that need.

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UN’s grim warning on extinction: Is there still time?

May 16, 2019

Barbary ApeAccording to a new report published recently by the United Nations, Earth’s biodiversity is on a rapid decline more than ever recorded in human history.

The UN warns, one eighth of animal and plant species could vanish completely if human habits continue down the same trajectory. The report points to factors like climate change, ecosystem fragmentation and natural resource pollution for accelerating species extinction.

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Dolphinaris, deadliest facility in the U.S.

May 15, 2019

Dolphin in captivity showing head above waterAccording to new details, bottlenose dolphins at Dolphinaris Arizona die at one of the highest rates recorded at a U.S. facility exhibiting marine mammals. For the two years Dolphinaris was open, four of their eight dolphins passed way. Two of the dolphins succumbed to an infection and two of the dolphins’ deaths still yet to be determined.

Arizona State University’s Leah Gerber, a professor in the School of Life Sciences, a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and founding director of the  Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, shares her insight in a recent article by AZ Central.

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Birding the future: Messages of migration, connectivity and extinction

May 14, 2019

Male cardinal bird standing on arched metal pieceIt is estimated that almost a third of all bird species will have disappeared by the end of this century. What might happen in the future as messages of birds are increasingly silenced? How can art be a voice for conservation?

Declining bird populations in practically all habitat types signal profound changes over our entire planet, changes that affect our ecologically-bound cultural identities.

Join artist-researchers Krista Caballero and Frank Ekeberg on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Desert Botanical Garden for a talk titled "Birding the future: Messages of migration, connectivity and extinction."

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Why biodiversity matters

View Source | May 6, 2019

Young toucan standing on branchOn May 6 at the UNESCO world headquarters in Paris, the United Nations released a global assessment on biodiversity as part of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It is the first large-scale global assessment on biodiversity since 2005.

Arizona State University’s Leah Gerber, a professor in the School of Life Sciences, a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and founding director of the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, was one of the lead authors of the IPBES global assessment. In an interview with ASU Now, Gerber provides her thoughts on the assessment and what needs to be done to improve biodiversity of the planet.

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Rewilding landscapes for sustainable ecosystems

April 29, 2019

Snake River IdahoASU-Conservation International Postdoctoral Research Associate Krista Kemppinen, was recently interviewed by KJZZ News, Phoenix's NPR member station, about an article published in Science journal titled “Rewilding complex ecosystems.”

The practice of rewilding is an approach in the restoration of human-altered landscapes that seeks to promote self-sustaining ecosystems with minimal human intervention. In the context of the current extinction crisis, both the protection of wild landscapes and their restoration are urgently needed.

Click here to listen to the radio story.

Now hiring! Ocean futures postdoctoral fellow

April 29, 2019

Close up view of fluorescent coral reefThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is excited to announce a new full-time postdoctoral research fellowship to be housed in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

This position is funded by a joint Belmont Forum Collaborative Research grant secured in partnership with Arizona State University, Conservation International, the University of Hawai‘i and a dozen international research institutions involved in an ambitious ocean futures initiative that seeks to assess coral reef ecosystem services in the Anthropocene.

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Partnership with Planet to give ASU Researchers Global Perspective

April 23, 2019

Spatial view of satellite orbiting EarthStudents, faculty and researchers at ASU will soon have access to an unprecedented stream of daily high-resolution images covering Earth’s entire landmass and coral reefs.

ASU has partnered with Planet, a San Francisco-based Earth-imaging company, as their first institutional data partner for higher education. Planet operates the largest constellation of satellites in orbit today.

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24 hours of sustainability streaming

April 23, 2019

Red alarm clock sitting on green grassOn Earth Day 2019 (April 22), Arizona State University partnered with Wells Fargo to stream 24 hours of continuous Facebook Live broadcasts focused on sustainability issues, research, outreach, K-16 education, including contests and even certification courses to enhance your resume.

The full-day streaming featured ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes affiliated projects, such as the plastics pollution and sustainable fisheries initiative spearheaded by Associate Director of Biodiversity Valuation and Assessments Beth Polidoro.

Click here to learn more and watch all the videos!

Student thesis: whales, coffee and seaweed

April 20, 2019

Hand of student making ASU sign with white pain on palm after paining letter A in A MountainA group of three ASU honors students successfully defended their conservation-themed thesis at the end of spring 2019. Below is a summary of each of their research topics and highlights from their presentations:

Attitudes of Lobstermen in Maine Regarding the Conservation of Right Whales [Madison Bolduc]

North Atlantic right whale populations are rapidly declining, with only around 450 individuals left in the world. There have been many instances of right whales getting caught in the vertical line lobstermen use to connect the lobster trap at the bottom of the ocean to a buoy at the surface.

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To save life on Earth, here’s the $100 billion-a-year solution

View Source | April 19, 2019

Keauhou ForestThere have been five mass extinctions in the history of the Earth. But in the 21st century, scientists now estimate that society must urgently come to grips this coming decade to stop the very first human-made biodiversity catastrophe.

“The sixth extinction is on our societyʻs shoulders; it really is,” said ecologist Greg Asner, who serves on the faculty of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Earth and Space Exploration and came to Arizona State University this past January to lead the new Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science.

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