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New certificate, Environmental Communication and Leadership

Biodiversity News

October 27, 2017

Man paddling in lake at sunsetThe 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.

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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Empowering ASU female directors

Biodiversity News

October 4, 2017

ASU female director group photo with guest presenterOn October 3, 2017, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes co-sponsored a semi-annual event with the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST) designed to bring together all female center directors within ASU.

This event, hosted by US law firm Quarles & Brady under Nicole Stanton’s leadership, saw 20 ASU female center directors discuss the opportunities and challenges women face in aspiring to positions of leadership. The event was attended by faculty, students, staff and lawyers.  Take the Lead Executive Director Gloria Feldt led the discussion, which was moderated by CGEST Director Kimberly Scott and Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Associate Director of Social Science Abigail York.

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Effective tracking of US seafood imports

Biodiversity News

September 20, 2017

Close up of wood fishing boatNew ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Associate Research Professor Samantha Cheng recently published a paper titled “Delivering on seafood traceability under the new U.S. import monitoring program.”

The U.S. is the world’s largest fish importer. However, recent reports indicate that 25-30% of wild-caught seafood imported into the U.S. is illegally caught, raising concern for the country’s role in driving unregulated fishing.

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Innovative financing for the High Seas

Biodiversity News

September 20, 2017

Seagulls flying closely over ocean against cloudy skyASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber recently published a paper titled “Innovative financing for the High Seas,” along with co-author Torsten Thiele, of London School of Economics.

The publication is part of a special issue emerging from a session on innovative financing mechanisms to achieve the United Nation’s Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, during the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress session in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

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Evidence of climate change in Mesoamerica

Biodiversity News

September 20, 2017

Aerial view of Lake Atitlan in GuatemalaOn September 15, 2017, Edwin Castellanos, PhD, Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental Studies and Biodiversity at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, visited ASU to deliver a talk titled “No Need for Persuasion: Evidence of Mesoamerica’s Changing Climate.”

Castellanos has researched adaptation and mitigation to climate change in Guatemala for the past 20 years. He was a lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report on climate change for the chapter on Central and South America.

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Broadening diversity in biodiversity science

Biodiversity News

September 14, 2017

Three minority children conducting fieldwork experimentIn August 2015, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber and graduate student affiliate Beth Tellman from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning organized a panel titled “Expanding diversity in the next generation of ecology.” This event attracted dozens of minority students who have led a paper just out in Science titled “Without inclusion, diversity initiatives might not be enough.”

Fewer young people are pursuing conservation science degrees and working in their professions after graduation – even as platforms to increase diversity persist.  What is behind this disconnect?

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Biodiversity monitoring promotes sustainable development

Biodiversity News

August 9, 2017

Close up of ant standing on green leaf against green backgroundASU-Conservation International Professor of Practice, Dr. Jorge Ahumada, recently published a paper in Biological Reviews titled “Building essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) of species distribution and abundance at a global scale.”

The study assesses some of the challenges of developing a large, global database focused on species distribution and abundance. It proposes eleven workflow steps to operationalize this process while offering concrete examples from existing projects, including the TEAM Network.

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Uncovering the blue economy in coral reef fisheries

Biodiversity News

August 8, 2017

Underwater photo of coral reef and small yellow tropical fish swimming around ASU-Conservation International Professor of Practice, Dr. Jack Kittinger, recently published a paper in PLoS ONE titled “Follow that fish: Uncovering the hidden blue economy in coral reef fisheries.”

The study sheds light on the economic and social value of small-scale coral reef fisheries in Hawai’i with the intention to incentivize sustainability efforts in the region.

Although human well-being depends greatly on nearshore fisheries, these natural resources are often undervalued. Insufficient data exists to support effective policy and development programs.

“This work is the result of a three-year effort to assess the value chain in coral reef fisheries and is one of the four publications that are forthcoming from this project,” explained Kittinger.

Kittinger et al., estimate the economic value of Hawaiian coral reef fisheries at $10.3-$16.4 million, providing over $7 million annually in meals.

Students advance collaborations in biodiversity conservation

Biodiversity News

August 4, 2017

Group photo of graduate students participating in conferenceAffiliated graduate students, Maria del Mar Mancha-Cisneros and Ute Brady, attended the 16th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) to develop a set of standard variables for social-ecological systems (SES) that facilitates more effective and sustainable conservation outcomes.

The conference took place in July 2017 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Mancha-Cisneros and Brady organized the interdisciplinary panel as part of a collaboration between the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) and the Center for Behavior, Institutions, and the Environment (CBIE).

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Advancing conservation partnerships in Colombia

Biodiversity News

August 1, 2017

Thick yellow wall with arched doorway facing street with colonial buildingsIn July 2017, a delegation of the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes faculty, professors of practice, postdoctoral research associates and students attended the Partnerships for Conservation workshop sponsored by the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Cartagena, Colombia.

During the meeting, attendees from the center and Conservation International (CI) exchanged ideas following scientific presentations. Samantha Cheng, the center’s new Associate Director of Conservation Evidence, launched a new tool called Colandr, a computer-assisted program for conducting evidence synthesis, as part of the Science for Nature and People Partnership. Founding Director Leah Gerber contributed to the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions International Advisory Board.

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Professor Grimm, new American Geophysical Union Fellow

Biodiversity News

July 31, 2017

Outdoors headshot of Dr. GrimmNancy Grimm, ASU School of Life Sciences professor and Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Affiliate Faculty, was recently named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. This recognition is awarded to individuals who have made exceptional contributions in the field.

“It is an honor to join such a great group,” Grimm said. “I am thrilled to be recognized for my contributions and am grateful to all the terrific students, postdocs and colleagues I’ve worked with over the years for helping shape those contributions.”

Congratulations Professor Grimm!

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