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Plastic pollution: emissions and mitigation strategies

March 10, 2020

Borelle smiles at cameraOn Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 4-5 p.m., David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow Stephanie Borelle  will be presenting a talk titled "Plastic Futures: plastic emissions and the impact of mitigation strategies for reducing plastic pollution."

Marine litter is a complex socio-ecological problem, with numerous land-based and sea-based sources, impacts and many proposed solutions. Diverse strategies are necessary to meet place-based goals, but there should also be quantitative evidence or calculated evaluation to inform which individual mitigation strategies will be the most effective in specific contexts, whether they are achievable, and if they are enough to meet their plastic pollution reduction targets.

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3000-year record of coral reef degradation

March 2, 2020

Two fish swim in coral reefOn February 24, 2020, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes hosted a presentation titled “The past, present and future of coral reefs,” by Assistant Research Professor Katie Cramer. Cramer’s presentation focused on her recent publication exploring a 3000-year record of coral reef degradation to investigate the role of human and natural disturbance.

Cramer is a marine conservation ecologist and Oceans Science Fellow at Conservation International. She joined the center in November 2019 as part of the ASU-Conservation International partnership.

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Joining forces with IUCN, new membership

March 2, 2020

Geese flying during sunsetIn September 2016, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes became an official partner of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. As of February 2020, we are proud to announce the center is an official IUCN member.

Many of the research projects we conduct revolve around ecosystem restoration, reversing the global biodiversity crisis and improving human wellbeing. The IUCN membership provides an exciting platform to interact with other organizations around the globe to discover and implement solutions to alleviate environmental challenges.

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Opening the door to biodiversity conservation

March 2, 2020

CBO staff smile while at table with puzzle and Jenga setOn February 22, 2020, the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes participated in ASU Open Door at the Tempe campus.

Every year, ASU hosts this event for the local community to explore the university's campuses while participating in hundreds of interactive activities facilitated by faculty, students and staff.

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes' activities included a “which fish is which?” poster designed to help identify mislabeled seafood, an ocean conservation facts poster board, a jungle-themed large print puzzle for children and a new activity of marine biodiversity Jenga.

Monterrey Bay Aquarium pocket-size seafood watch guides were handed out to participants, along with other fun participation incentives.

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The past, present and future of coral reefs

February 13, 2020

Fish swimming in coral reefASU-Conservation International's Assistant Research Professor Katie Cramer will be delivering a talk on Monday, February 24, 2020, titled "The past, present and future of coral reefs."

This talk will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the School of Life Sciences, C-wing, room 202 (LSC 202), ASU Tempe campus.

Coral reefs provide vital ecosystem services to humanity but are imperiled globally due to local and global human disturbances. Despite broad scientific consensus on the anthropogenic activities responsible for the coral reef crisis, this knowledge has not been effectively translated into policy and management actions to reverse reef declines.

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Now hiring! Decision support for endangered species pesticide risk

February 13, 2020

Butterfly standing on a flowerThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is currently hiring a postdoctoral research associate to lead the development of a decision tool for assessing pesticide risk for species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The ESA requires explicit consideration of the potential pesticide impacts on threatened and endangered species. However, this process is currently hindered by agency limitations on resources, data and inter-agency coordination.

The postdoctoral research associate will work with the stakeholders to bring a decision-theoretic approach to the problem and identify bottlenecks that can be enhanced by explicitly incorporating efficiency and developing robust and transparent decision support techniques to achieve efficiency, both now and into the future.

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ASU present, OdySea Aquarium Conservation Expo

February 12, 2020

Team members assisting kids with activitiesOn Saturday, January 18, 2020, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes’ employees represented Arizona State University at the third annual OdySea Aquarium Conservation Expo, held in the aquarium's courtyard.

Over 40 local organizations were featured, sharing their conservation efforts. Activities included live animal interactions, pet adoptions (two dogs), didactic games, raffles and sustainable fish sampling by the aquarium's chef (1,500 samples).

Close to 9,000 people attended this event and many of them donated much-needed supplies to support conservation efforts in the region. The aquarium was also able to raise funds to support its education and conservation initiatives.

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CBO takes on GreenBiz

February 12, 2020

Hand holds piece of white paper template of the world against trees backgroundASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber and School for the Future of Innovation in Society’s Innovation in Global Development PhD program student Chris Barton attended GreenBiz 2020 to present a micro-session on “Biodiversity and Profitability: Mapping the natural environment's influence on your firm's profitability."

The GreenBiz conference took place on February 4-5 at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn, convening sustainable companies to advance the intersection between technology, sustainability and business.

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3000-year record of coral reef degradation

February 5, 2020

Degrated coral reefsASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Assistant Research Professor Katie Cramer recently co-authored a paper in Ecography titled the “Millennial‐scale change in the structure of a Caribbean reef ecosystem and the role of human and natural disturbance.”


Caribbean coral reefs have transformed into algal‐dominated habitats over the past half‐century, but the role of specific anthropogenic drivers is unresolved due to the lack of ecosystem‐level data predating human disturbance.

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Gerber joins Defenders of Wildlife

January 13, 2020

Wolf close upASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber joined Defenders of Wildlife as one of their science advisors to help expand the organization’s scientific capacity, guiding science-based conservation policy that protects wildlife.

Defenders of Wildlife is a non-profit conservation organization with a mission to protect all wild animals and plants in their natural environments. Through policy and innovative solutions, they envision a future where wildlife thrives.

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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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Welcome Alice Letcher, new CBO project manager

December 2, 2019

Headshot of Alice LetcherThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes team is excited to introduce you to their new member, Project Manager Alice Letcher.

As the center's project manager, Alice will be in charge of developing and implementing projects, partnerships and strategies to further our strategic goals.

Alice has a professional background in geology and isotope geochemistry. Prior to joining the center, Alice worked for the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU for two years, as a research specialist and then project manager in the W. M. Keck Foundation Laboratory for Environmental Biogeochemistry.

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Congressional testimony advocates for endangered species

November 25, 2019

DWL representatives and Gerber address the audienceOn October 21, 2019, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber delivered a congressional briefing funding needs to implement the Endangered Species Act 2019.

The congressional testimony titled was “Solving the Biodiversity Crisis and Saving Endangered Species: The critical need for federal funding.” The event took place in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington D.C.

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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.