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Study abroad in Botswana

Biodiversity News

February 3, 2018

Aerial view of Okavango Delta BotswanaLearn from the top water resource academic experts in the world through this ASU Study Abroad initiative, while exploring the intersection of water, ecosystems and governance.

This program is a part of the PLuS Alliance, Connected River Basins with University of New South Wales, Sydney and Kings College London.

ASU students will be joining students and faculty from the two other universities as well as the University of Botswana to participate in an interdisciplinary course centered on water resource management.

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Conservation science in practice

Biodiversity News

January 31, 2018

ASU-CI Professors of Practice group photo by ASU statueThis spring, as part of the Knowledge Partnership between Arizona State University and Conservation International, six CI scientists began teaching a course for 38 undergraduate and graduate students at ASU.

The course, titled Biodiversity Conservation in Practice, is designed and taught by the CI-ASU Professors of Practice: Jorge Ahumada, David Hole, Miroslav Honzák, Jack KittingerRosimeiry Portela and Percy Summers.

The course brings CI’s science, experience and field conservation issues into the classroom, giving students an opportunity to learn from and question leading conservationists in their fields of research and practice.

The course syllabus builds on the first-hand experience of these scientists and covers a range of cutting-edge conservation science applications, including species population assessments, ecosystem services, landscape conservation planning, sustainable production, ocean conservation and nature’s role in global sustainability.

Ecosystem Services and Key Biodiversity Areas

Biodiversity News

January 4, 2018

Working group discusses paper around tableThe Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) working group on Ecosystem Services and Key Biodiversity Areas, co-led by Penny Langhammer and  Leah Gerber of the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, hosted an international science workshop with the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas on November 7-10, 2017 in Quebec City, Canada.

The workshop brought together international and Canadian scientists, Canadian federal, provincial and territorial protected area and conservation agencies, experts in Aboriginal and community land-use planning, national and international non-governmental conservation experts and land stewardship experts.

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Marine reserves connectivity and global warming

Biodiversity News

January 3, 2018

Reef in Gulf of CaliforniaASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber and Faculty Associate Maria del Mar Mancha-Cisneros recently co-authored a publication led by Jorge Alvarez Romero and other conservation scientists around the world titled “Designing connected marine reserves in the face of global warming.”

Larval connectivity between marine reserves is instrumental in providing a healthy network of habitats for some of the world’s most protected species — including fish, which is the most traded food commodity in the world and primary source of income for fishing communities.

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New publications shed light on translational ecology

Biodiversity News

December 7, 2017

Two geese flying right above waterASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber co-authored two publications in the December 2017 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment aimed at cultivating a scientific community engaged in translational ecology. That is, as the authors define it, “a research approach that yields useful scientific outcomes through ongoing collaboration between scientists and stakeholders.”

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Bright spots among the world's coral reefs

Biodiversity News

December 7, 2017

Close-up view of colorful corals in reefASU-Conservation International Professor of Practice Jack Kittinger recently co-authored a journal publication titled “Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs” in Nature.

The paper presents compiled data and analysis from research conducted in more than 2,500 coral reefs around the world. This novel approach seeks to find solutions to reef degradation due to human activity by studying what the authors refer to as ‘outliers.’ These are identified coral reef areas that are either doing extremely well (bright spots) or very poorly (dark spots).

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Science-based approaches to soil health

Biodiversity News

December 5, 2017

View of rangeland surrounding Sawtooth MountainsManagement practices that promote soil health in croplands can deliver multiple benefits for nature and people, including cleaner air and water and greater crop yield stability.

In the United States alone, one or more of these practices – which include cover cropping, reduced tillage, nutrient management, and more – could potentially be implemented on nearly 400 million cropland acres. Yet, rangelands in the US occupy nearly twice the area that croplands do, and some rangelands have also experienced soil degradation issues, such as erosion.

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Small donations helped save an endangered species

Biodiversity News

November 16, 2017

Atelopus varius frog on grassy rockASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Faculty Affiliate Jan Schipper led an online PitchFunder campaign to save the Atelopus varius last year. Through this successful initiative and philanthropic support, these harlequin frogs continue to breed.

“The ethics of saving a species is a new one for humanity,” Schipper said. “We have a moral imperative to not let any species go extinct due to our reckless nature and heavy footprint on Earth, but we are also finding the value of the species is far more than just intrinsic.”

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New certificate, Environmental Communication and Leadership

Biodiversity News

October 27, 2017

Illustration of river stream in grassland with colorful treesThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes recently launched a new graduate certificate titled “Environmental Communication and Leadership” to help conservation students develop important leadership and communication skills needed to increase their influence and reach above and beyond academia.

The certificate is designed to train students in environmental disciplines how to go beyond scientific journal publications to communicate relevant discoveries to society, including the press, the public, policy makers and other key stakeholders.

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New class, Biodiversity Conservation in Practice

Biodiversity News

October 27, 2017

Close up view of green leaves against sun lightIn partnership with Conservation International, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is excited to launch a new class in spring 2018 targeted to undergraduate and graduate students titled “Biodiversity Conservation in Practice.

The course will be taught by the ASU-Conservation International Professors or Practice and is designed for students interested in exploring practical applications of biodiversity conservation. By learning directly from global conservation field practitioners, students will gain a better understanding on the link between academia and practice.

This course is cross-listed as BIO 412/BIO 598/SOS 598 and GPH 598. It will be taught Tuesday and Thursdays, from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the School of Life Sciences, wing E, room B52.

The effect of conservation spending

Biodiversity News

October 25, 2017

Small plant sprouts coming out of pile of coinsLeah Gerber, Founding Director of the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, recently co-authored a publication with Hugh Possingham, Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, in News and Views titled “The effect of conservation spending.”

Gerber and Possingham discuss a statistical analysis published earlier this year by Waldron et al, explaining how this model “demonstrates a statistically significant, positive correlation between how much a country invests in the protection of threatened species and its success in limiting biodiversity declines.”

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Advancing global corporate biodiversity

Biodiversity News

October 23, 2017

Socalo plaza in Mexico City with cathedral on the back and people walking around vendor tentsLast week, Founding Director Leah Gerber represented the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) 2017 Council Meeting in Mexico City as part of our knowledge partnership.

With representatives from Yale, Monterrey Tech, Environmental Resources Management and Solvay, Gerber participated in a panel cultivating talent and leadership between academic and industry sectors. There was tremendous enthusiasm among the approximately 50 participants, who have aspirations for collaborative online learning platforms.

A post-event website was created by WBCSD including videos and program updates.

Talent and leadership for a sustainable world

Biodiversity News

October 20, 2017

WBCSD education representatives group photoOn October 15, 2017, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber represented the university as a panelist in a World Business Council on Sustainable Development hosted discussion titled “Talent and Leadership for a Sustainable World” in Mexico City.

Discussions aimed at fine-tuning and communicating a roadmap for companies seeking to implement sustainability at scale and emphasized the importance of talent and leadership development. More specifically, the session focused on three core areas: careers/recruitment, curriculum development and business school sustainability ranking.

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ASU, a new IUCN Red List training center

Biodiversity News

October 19, 2017

Participants group photo sitting around ASU welcoming statueThe week of October 13-18, 2017, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes facilitated IUCN Red List of Threatened Species training certification for 10 people from across the United States as part of its commitment to our advancing knowledge partnership.

The Red List is the world’s standard for quantifying species extinction risk and is used around the world to inform policy, planning and conservation action. Beth Polidoro, the center’s Deputy Director, has been spearheading the university’s partnership with IUCN Red List.

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Incentives for Galápagos protection

Biodiversity News

October 19, 2017

Small Galapagos island hill surrounded by sea waterASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes’ Founding Director Leah Gerber and Dean Diego Quiroga of the San Francisco de Quito University in Ecuador published a paper this week in Science magazine titled “Incentives for Galápagos protection.”

Ecuador is one of the world’s most diverse ecological systems, supporting an abundance of biological diversity. At present, approximately 36% of the mainland of the country is designated as Key Biodiversity Areas.

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The Spirit of Science brings history to life

Biodiversity News

October 18, 2017

Group of volunteers dressed up as historical science charactersOn October 17, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Project Manager Amy Scoville-Weaver volunteered in a unique educational event, “The Spirit of Science” at in Jacobsen Elementary in Chandler.

Over 150 children participated, having “face to face” encounters with the most influential scientific minds throughout history, from Ada Lovelace to Hypatia of Alexandria. Scientists from across the Valley acted the part, leading discussions with the children about the history of science and the value diversity and inclusion play in advancing scientific thought and discovery.

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