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Supporting sustainable development in Myanmar

Biodiversity News

March 27, 2017

Myanmar lake with house to the left and mountains in the backgroundOn March 27-30, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) researchers will lead a workshop in Myanmar to identify ways in which biodiversity conservation can enhance human well-being (e.g. food security, climate regulation, flood protection) in the country. This workshop is part of CBO’s Ecosystem Services and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) project, supported by the Science for Nature and People Partnership.

Myanmar is a biodiversity hotspot, abundant in unique species and ecosystems. 2015 democratic elections in this country have led to rapid political, social and economic change. In recognizing that their social and economic success depends on their natural wealth, last year Myanmar stated its commitment to the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

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Now hiring! Sustainable fisheries postdoctoral fellow

Biodiversity News

March 27, 2017

Underwater photograph showing coral reef and various fishIn partnership with Conservation International (CI) and the Nereus Program, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is hiring a full-time postdoctoral research associate to work in the Honolulu, CI Hawaii offices.

This postdoctoral fellow will develop high-impact science to support sustainable management and conservation interventions in global fisheries and aquaculture.

The fellow will directly support the three goals of the ASU-CI Knowledge Partnership: protect biodiversity, promote sustainable development (particularly in food production and fisheries), and train the next generation of conservation biologists

For more information and to apply, click here>>

Mapping impacts of conservation on human well-being

Biodiversity News

March 22, 2017

This week, Samantha M. Cheng with the Science for Nature and People Partnership at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara is visiting ASU.

During her visit, Cheng will meet with faculty to explore opportunities for collaboration. On Wednesday, March 22, she will be presenting her research on mapping evidence for impacts of conservation on human well-being at a Hugh Hanson Seminar, sponsored by the School of Life Sciences.

During the presentation, Cheng will discuss how their team developed a map of 1000+ relevant studies linking conservation interventions to human well-being. She will explain how to interpret the map, key findings and ways to explore it.

ASU, Conservation International team up to protect biodiversity

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Biodiversity News

March 22, 2017

Group photo of President Crow with CBO staff and Professors of PracticeAs a key program within the Knowledge Partnership between the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and Conservation International, ASU welcomed seven Professors of Practice last week.

These scientists will devote time to teaching, mentoring and service initiatives at the university, all aligned toward advancing the three goals of the partnership: protecting biodiversity; promoting sustainable development, particularly in food production and fisheries; and training the next generation of conservation biologists.

“Right now we’re in a race, a race that will not be easily won,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “The forces of nature and the negative force of our impact on nature are accelerating. The acceleration of those forces are such that they will contribute to our need to have something we don’t have, which are better theories, better ideas, better tools, better solutions, better implementation, better translation – none of which comes naturally.”

As the New American University, ASU supports local and global partnerships to ignite innovative solutions to pressing biodiversity conservation issues around the world.


ASU welcomes Professors of Practice

ASU Wrigley Institute News Biodiversity News

March 8, 2017

Collage of professors of practice headshots with ASU and CI logosNext week, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO), in partnership with Conservation International (CI), will welcome six scientists from CI’s Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans as Professors of Practice (PoPs). The PoPs will be instrumental in advancing the three goals of the Knowledge Partnership established with CI in September 2016:

  1. Protecting essential natural capital for human well-being.
  2. Transitioning producers to sustainable production methods through science, engagement and technology.
  3. Training the next generation of conservation leaders.

During their welcome week, PoPs will participate in a series of planning workshops to strategize research and teaching. They will present lightning talks and discussion, followed by one-on-one meetings with faculty.  They will also facilitate undergraduate and graduate student workshops.

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Catchers in the Rye: Sustainability, Science and Solutions in the Anthropocene

Biodiversity News

February 23, 2017

Headshot of Dr. TewksburyOn Friday, Feb. 24, Josh Tewksbury, PhD, will be sharing insights about his work on creating solutions by bringing science together across disciplines, as well as increasing the impact of science on decision-making.

Dr. Tewksbury is the Director of the Colorado Global Hub of Future Earth; Executive Editor of Anthropocene – Innovation in the Human Age; Research Professor in the Sustainability Innovation Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder; and Senior Scholar in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University.

Hugh Possingham, Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, visits ASU

Biodiversity News

February 16, 2017

Medium shot of Dr. Possingham holding binoculars while bird-watchingOn Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) will host a series of talks with Hugh Possingham, PhD, Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy — the world’s largest environmental non-government organization.

Dr. Possingham is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland. In 2016, he was elected a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious science academy in the world. He is one of less than 500 foreign associates — and the only one resident in Queensland.

In the afternoon, he will tell us “Four Real Stories on How Science Impacts Environmental Policy (Or Not!),” followed by a Graduate Workshop. The day will close with an evening presentation at the Arizona Science Center as part of the ASU Sustainability Solutions Festival, titled “How Math Helps Save Species.”

“We are looking forward to engaging Hugh in discussions about innovative approaches to achieve outcomes in conservation science,” said Leah Gerber, CBO Founding Director. “We hope everyone can join!”

Dr. Gerber named Fellow of Ecological Society of America

ASU Wrigley Institute News Biodiversity News

February 6, 2017

Dr. Gerber holding binoculars, doing field research on boat at open seaSenior Sustainability Scientist Leah Gerber, founding director of ASU’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, has been named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America, according to an announcement released by the ESA. Gerber was selected for her pioneering efforts to integrate marine ecology and conservation science into tenable policy and decision-making tools.

Gerber's notable achievements include a publication portfolio of more than 100 papers, receiving the “Inspirational Faculty Award” from ASU, and her role as a lead author for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Now Hiring! Postdoctoral Research Associate

Biodiversity News

January 11, 2017

Swirling green plant stemIn partnership with The Nature Conservancy's NatureNet program, ASU's Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is hiring a postdoctoral research associate.

The fellow will partner with a team of interdisciplinary faculty to address multiple aspects of biodiversity conservation in the business sector. They will also have an opportunity to work closely with CBO’s Knowledge Partners: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the International Union on the Conservation of Nature and Conservation International.

Why companies should care about biodiversity

Biodiversity News

January 11, 2017

macro shot of green leaf tip with drops of waterOn January 18, 2017, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Director Leah Gerber will facilitate a free webinar exploring how biodiversity thinking not only benefits companies’ public image, but also their profitability and compliance with emerging regulations.

Panelists from corporate (Monsanto, Dow Chemical), NGO (The Nature Conservancy) and academic (ASU School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences and Center for Biodiversity Outcomes) sectors will share insights. This event is sponsored by the Security and Sustainability Forum and ASU's School of Sustainability.

Redefining corporate value

Biodiversity News

January 11, 2017

Desert background image with GreenBiz conference dates: February 14-16 at JW Marriott Desert Ridge ResortIn collaboration with The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, GreenBiz17 and the ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, CBO will host a pre-conference session titled “Redefining Corporate Value: Changing the Equation for Cities, Food, Materials and Climate by Placing True Value on Natural and Social Capital.”

This first convening of WBCSD and ASU scholars will take place on February 13, 2017. It will focus on issues ranging from natural capital to sustainable supply chains. Attendees will learn about the work of WBCSD in redefining corporate sustainability and cutting-edge applied research from ASU scientists.

A goodbye to giraffes? The decline of Earth's gentle giants

ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Biodiversity News

December 16, 2016

Two giraffes standing in tall grass, their necks intertwinedWith giraffe populations diminishing 40 percent over the last 30 years, and numerous other species facing grave population declines, humans must re-evaluate and adapt our behavior to safeguard the planet's biodiversity.

In a recent interview with ASU Now, Senior Sustainability Scientist Leah Gerber indicates that humans will not only have to act swiftly to halt threatened species' declines, but will also have to choose which species to preserve. She adds that how we make those decisions – whether we base them on charisma, cost-effectiveness or ecosystem significance – is up to us.

Gerber, who is also the founding director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, is working to find ways to address these biodiversity challenges at ASU.


Center for Biodiversity Outcomes welcomes new project manager

Biodiversity News

October 28, 2016

Photo of Amy Scoville-Weaver seating outdoors on a park benchThe Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is excited to welcome its new Project Manager, Amy Scoville-Weaver.

Amy brings a professional background in brand management, strategic planning and community outreach, and has worked in a variety of positions within the humanitarian and environmental space.

She has a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Amy has conducted research at University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute. She is interested in the intersection between people and nature in urban environments and in understanding policy implications for strengthening community and ecological resilience.

Welcome aboard, Amy!

Fall Forum: Climate Variability, Water and Land Use

Biodiversity News

October 12, 2016

Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack giving presentation at ASU Wrigley InstituteDuring a recent visit to the ASU Wrigley Institute, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack emphasized the importance of continuous collaboration among different sectors to guarantee the nation’s food security in the face of increasing climate change.

The expert panel agreed that universities, in particular, have a unique capacity to work across disciplines to provide evidence-based solutions to protect farms against storms, invasive species and droughts.

This event was hosted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A full video is available here.

Welcome Kelly Gravuer, recipient of NatureNet Science Fellowship

Biodiversity News

October 12, 2016

Photo of Kelly Gravuer doing field workIn collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO), Kelly Gravuer began her Postdoctoral NatureNet Science Fellowship on September 26, 2016.

Kelly is investigating how food production areas can assist in climate mitigation. Kelly is committed to developing sustainable solutions that include ecological and sociological considerations. Details on this research project can be found here.

CBO will be announcing a series to share updates on its various research projects soon.

ASU scientists lead cost-effective water conservation efforts

Biodiversity News

October 12, 2016

Brazos River sky viewThe Earth Genome (EG) is an organization that exists to facilitate the understanding and exchange of large and complex scientific data in support of decision-making that preserves the environment, while adverting economic and social disruptions caused by mismanagement of natural resources.

In partnership with ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) scientists and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), EG created the first tool focused on revealing options for corporate decisions on water use.

This tool, called the Green Infrastructure Support Tool (GIST), was piloted in the Brazos River Basin in Texas. EG stated, “Reactions to GIST have been overwhelmingly positive. GIST will soon cover the United States, Mexico and Canada as we roll it out globally.”

Save the Date: WBCSD North American meeting with ASU and GreenBiz

Biodiversity News

October 12, 2016

Desert background image with GreenBiz conference dates: February 14-16 at JW Marriott Desert Ridge ResortASU's Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) recently launched a Knowledge Partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

On February 13, 2017, WBCSD will be partnering on a North American meeting with ASU and GreenBiz on the eve of the annual GreenBiz conference.

This event is still in the planning phase, but promises to be engaging and informative for WBCSD member companies.

Partnership to increase pool of plant biology experts

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News Biodiversity News

October 12, 2016

Two ASU faculty talking and walking on Desert Botanical GardenAlthough plants are an essential species in our ecosystem – sustaining us by contributing oxygen, food, medicine, materials and fibers – we experience a shortage of plant experts that can help conduct research to inform important biodiversity conservation efforts.

To address this shortage of experts, ASU's School of Life Sciences launched a new master’s degree program in plant biology and conservation in partnership with the Desert Botanical Garden.

“Plants are an incredibly important part of the ecosystem,” said Julie Stromberg, a senior sustainability scientist and director of the program. “Unfortunately, people don’t really think about the fact that plants contribute oxygen, the food we eat, the materials and fibers we use, as well as medicines. As a society, we need to look at plants as the key elements that sustain us, spiritually as well as in more tangible ways.”


Conserving dry tropical forest in Latin America

Biodiversity News

October 12, 2016

Dry forest at sunsetDry forests in Latin America are among the world’s most threatened tropical forests. Less than 10 percent of their original prevalence remains in many countries.

The Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network, in partnership with other organizations, engaged more than 50 scientists and conservationists from Latin America and the Caribbean to develop an unprecedented database of dry forest tree species.

Janet Franklin – distinguished sustainability scientist and Regents’ Professor in ASU's School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning – was one of the many contributors to this project, sharing inventory data collected on a National Science Foundation-sponsored project.