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Environmental communication and leadership

December 18, 2019

Snow owl standing on leafless tree branchAre you a graduate student who is passionate about conserving nature? Do you sometimes wonder about the most effective way to influence change? Are you ready to take your communication and leadership skills to the next level? If so, the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Communication and Leadership (ECL) may be for you.

The ECL graduate certificate is a compilation of key courses designed to train graduate students in honing their leadership skills and communicating environmental science to the general public, stakeholders and decision-makers.

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Nature in Crisis

December 9, 2019

Gray image of dried up treesOn December 5, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber shared her insight on identifying key priorities in biodiversity efforts through a high-level conversation on Politico.

This talk called “Nature in Crisis” was joined by Rep. Raúl Grijalva from The House Committee of Natural Resources, Linda Krueger from The Nature Conservancy, and Nick Juliano from Politico, moderating the talk.

Much of the conversation addressed the dire consequences from the findings of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services global assessment, stating 1 million species of the estimated 8 million species of plants and animals on Earth are threatened with extinction.

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Bin less, recycle more

December 5, 2019

Miscellaneous glass containers to be recycledOn December 5, 2019, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes hosted Lucas Mariacher, the Zero Waste coordinator in the City of Phoenix.

Zero waste is an educational outreach program aiming to achieve zero waste by 2050. To achieve this goal, Mariacher discussed the common misconceptions about recycling and how to recycle properly.

“Arizona landfills produce 47 million cubic feet [of waste] per day, with landfills being the third largest producer of methane in the United States,” Mariacher explained.

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Environmental leadership in action

December 5, 2019

ocean water horizon against clear skyOn December 5, 2019, students from the ASU Graduate Certificate in Environmental Communication and Leadership (ECL) presented their group projects to representatives of the SEEOP Argo Research Sailing Vessel and the City of Phoenix’s Zero Waste initiative.

The core course in the ECL curriculum is taught by Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director and School of Life Sciences Professor Leah Gerber. Some of the training conservation students receive as part of this certificate includes honing leadership skills and learning how to address non-scientific audiences and stakeholders for increased reach and impact.

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Biodiversity present, Homecoming 2019

November 25, 2019

Girl stands by table and participates in hands on activity while volunteers assist herOn Saturday, September 23, 2019, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes participated in the university’s annual Homecoming block party.

The block party had 14 acres of over 100 tents with fun games, food and hands-on educational activities. Conservation students at our booth interacted with families and engaged them in biodiversity conservation related activities to educate them on its importance.

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The Natural Capital Commitment

November 5, 2019

Farmers working the land on green pasturesASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes’ partner The Natural Capital Coalition has recently released The Natural Capital Commitment, which asks businesses to commit to conservation and sustainable decision-making within their organization.

In the past, our partnership with them led to the development of The Natural Capital Protocol for the Ocean. This protocol is a decision-making framework that helps organizations identify their direct impacts and dependencies on natural capital.

This commitment aims to enable businesses to act on their impacts, which will sufficiently restore their relationship with nature.

For more information, click here.

Marine wildlife conservation in Galapagos

October 28, 2019

Dr. Cardenas Diaz delivering talk in front of room filled with students and facultyOn October 24, 2019, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes partnered with the School of Life Sciences to host a Hugh Hanson Seminar by Professor Susana Cárdenas Díaz from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.

Cárdenas Díaz directs the university’s Institute of Applied Ecology and is a professor in the College of Biology and Environmental Sciences.

During the presentation, which was attended by 25 people, Cárdenas Díaz discussed preference data from a survey of tourists in the Galapagos National Park and its Marine Reserve. Their research investigated tourists’ willingness to pay for the recovery of two marine endangered species—the hammerhead shark and green sea turtle—through visitor fees and donations.

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Valuation of marine wildlife in the Galapagos Islands

October 16, 2019

Susana Cardenas sitting on boat, wearing hat and sun glassesThe ASU School of Life Sciences and the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes invite you to a Hugh Hanson Seminar to learn about marine wildlife conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.

This presentation will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the School of Life Sciences, Wing-C, room 202, ASU Tempe campus.

Light refreshments will be served. RSVP is required.

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Conservation Solutions Laboratory scientists pen new commentary

View Source | September 24, 2019

Aerial view of deforestationMichael Brown, Samantha Cheng and Jim Tolisano, along with dozens of conservation and development researchers and practitioners representing ASU's Conservation Solutions Lab, have penned a new opinion piece, released September 24, 2019, on Mongabay. The scientists call for a crucial change in the way conservation efforts are undertaken.

The scientists argue that conservation efforts must specifically engage frontline communities – those people intimately situated in and around landscapes targeted for conservation – and elevate their role such that they can take the lead in planning and directing nature conservation.

Co-developing solutions with frontline communities requires groups that fund, implement and research conservation to revise their role and approach. In addition, learning from community experiences and adapting solutions over time can improve conservation efforts globally.

Exploring the effectiveness of Blue Water MPAs

September 20, 2019

Surface view of blue ocean water with mild wavesASU-Conservation International Professor of Practice Jack Kittinger, along with a team of experts from The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and California Environmental Associates have built a research agenda on Blue Water Marine Protected Areas via a report titled "Developing a Shared Research Agenda for Blue Water MPAs."

Blue Water MPAs are open ocean areas designated to protect marine biodiversity and other cultural and natural resources. The efficacy of marine reserves varies greatly depending on where they are located and how they are managed.

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Burning questions about the Amazon fires

August 30, 2019

Satellite view of Amazon fires at nightASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Faculty Affiliate David Manuel-Navarrete’s expertise on Amazonian biodiversity was featured in an Arizona PBS special of the television program Arizona Horizon.

During the interview, he answered pressing questions regarding the environmental impact of the current Amazon fires. He also explained why this year’s fires are more devastating than previous ones and how this crisis will affect us at national and global scales.

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ASU, CI and Potsdam researchers explore future of Alto Mayo, Peru

August 29, 2019

People sitting around table talking and brainstormingWhat is the future of coffee in a changing climate? How can we enhance the livelihoods of farmers while protecting the nature that surrounds them?

Conservation International and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research partnered with Arizona State University to help answer these questions.

“Farmers and government planners are making decisions today based on their past experience,” ASU-CI Professor of Practice and CI Peru's Director of Science and Development Percy Summers said. “This works in a [short-term, predictable] world, but increasingly change has become the new norm.”

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Changes to the ESA puts species at-risk

August 19, 2019

Picture of an endangered deerASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber was quoted this week in a Time article addressing the recent changes made by the U.S. federal government to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

The article, titled “The Trump Administration’s Changes to the Endangered Species Act Risks Pushing More Species to Extinction” echoes the concern of various conservation scientists who fear the changes will further threaten imperiled species.

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Here’s the catch on urban fishing

August 15, 2019

Polidoro wears lab coat and smiles at camera while leaning against lab counterBeth Polidoro, ASU New College professor and Center for Biodiversity Outcomes associate director of biodiversity valuation and assessments, was recently featured in an ASU Now article about her recent discovery of chemical pollutants in the urban lakes of Phoenix.

Polidoro and her team found contaminants in fish such as phlates (microplastics), PAHs (such as car emissions or forest fire combusted materials), pesticides and metals.

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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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