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Sustainable Cities Network receives Ponderosa Pine Partnership Award

May 15, 2017

By Erin Rugland

Anne ReichmanThe Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management awarded the Sustainable Cities Network and partners with the department’s first Ponderosa Pine Partnership Award for the Regional Tree & Shade Summit 2.0: Branching Out One Community at a Time.

This award was given at the 2017 Arizona State Arbor Day Celebration, which included winners of the Arbor Day K-12 Poster Contest, as well as recognition for 29 Tree City USA communities, 2 Tree Campus USA sites, 2 Tree Line USA utilities and 4 Urban Forestry Awards.

The Ponderosa Pine Award is one of the Urban Forestry Awards presented at the celebration, given “to increase the recognition of outstanding urban forestry projects in Arizona." It is presented for the innovative, strategic and/or pioneering collaborative efforts of organizations. It recognizes a project for the exceptional involvement of multiple organizations that was implemented during the past year.

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Sustainable Cities Network receives Ponderosa Pine Partnership Award

May 15, 2017

Anne Reichman

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management awarded the Sustainable Cities Network and partners with the department’s first Ponderosa Pine Partnership Award for the Regional Tree & Shade Summit 2.0: Branching Out One Community at a Time.

This award was given at the 2017 Arizona State Arbor Day Celebration, which included winners of the Arbor Day K-12 Poster Contest, as well as recognition for 29 Tree City USA communities, 2 Tree Campus USA sites, 2 Tree Line USA utilities and 4 Urban Forestry Awards.

The Ponderosa Pine Award is one of the Urban Forestry Awards presented at the celebration, given “to increase the recognition of outstanding urban forestry projects in Arizona." It is presented for the innovative, strategic and/or pioneering collaborative efforts of organizations. It recognizes a project for the exceptional involvement of multiple organizations that was implemented during the past year.

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2017 Algae Industry Magazine’s International Readers’ Poll

May 13, 2017

Algae Industry Magazine’s (A.I.M.) International Readers’ Poll is an assessment of where the algae industry is today, and what dominated 2016. It singles out those who are driving the industry’s progress, as well as those who are making the most valuable contributions through their dedication, skills, ideas and high achievement.

The 2017 International Readers’ Poll surveys the perspectives of A.I.M. readers, who have invaluable firsthand knowledge in recognizing the trends and technologies that will enable algae development and applications.

This year, Arizona State University won four Gold Awards: Algae Educational Institution and Algae Laboratory awarded to the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI), Scientist or Research awarded to Dr. Thomas Dempster, and Laboratory Equipment awarded to Dr. Bruce Rittmann and Dr. Klaus Lackner.

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ASU alumni joins Conservation International

View Source | May 12, 2017

Jorge Ramos next to President Michael Crow during graduation greets audienceRecently graduated ASU student and Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) GRA, Jorge Ramos-Holguín, is the new Manager for the Oceans and Climate team inside Conservation International in Washington, D.C.

Jorge graduated from the Environmental Life Sciences Ph.D. program in May, 2017, where he also worked in the Wetland Ecosystem Ecology Lab with Dr. Dan Childers. His investigation focused on quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions (methane and nitrous oxide) from a newly constructed treatment wetland in Phoenix, AZ.

In his own words, Jorge shared an open letter about his experience working with CBO:

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Charrettes at ASU and Earth Day Texas: Interview with ASU LightWorks®

May 10, 2017

A national series of charrettes is being held to drive acceleration of all profitable clean solutions in different industries, such as oil and gas, transportation, etc.

The goal of these charrettes is to identify and explore proposals for utilizing tax cuts to reduce emissions of air pollutants. At Arizona State University’s ASU Wrigley Institute, ASU LightWorks® hosted a charrette with the goal of developing policy proposals for clean tax cuts that would benefit research and development in clean technology, particularly technology that reduces concentrations of air pollutants in the atmosphere.

“Universities can create new technologies, but it is companies that will need to bring these to markets," says  Bill Brandt, director of ASU LightWorks®. "The charrette process is a way of asking the question 'what if' and then thinking through how that helps create jobs and opportunity.”

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CBO Distinguished Professor of Practice named new CEO of Conservation International

View Source | May 10, 2017

Headshot of M. Sanjayan against green leafy backgroundASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and Conservation International (CI) Distinguished Professor of Practice, M. Sanjayan, was named new CI Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The new CI executive team was announced in May 4, 2017 and it will become effective July 1, 2017.

“It is both a privilege and deeply humbling to step into the role of chief executive officer,” said Sanjayan. “Peter Seligmann’s founding vision, that people need nature to thrive, created a global movement that has helped change the trajectory of our planet. I’m honored to partner with Jennifer Morris, our new president, Sebastian Troëng, our new executive vice president, and all of CI’s talented staff on the journey ahead.”

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Center for Biodiversity Outcomes among MacArthur’s Top 200 problem solvers

View Source | May 5, 2017

Man in supermarket aisle reaching out to grab a product on the shelfThe John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently unveiled their 100&Change Top 200 proposals, a philanthropic initiative committed to funding $100 million to an initiative or organization willing to fix a world problem forever. The ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) was among the 25 percent of submissions that received the highest scores.

CBO proposed a market-based approach to sustaining natural capital. This approach suggests informing consumers via product labels about the impact production has in biodiversity conservation. Derived from the notion that people love nature, better informed consumers can drive market demand for products and services created with minimal impact on the environment.

Proposals were assessed on four criteria: meaningful, verifiable, feasible, and durable. CBO is proud to join the list of creative problem solvers via this recognition and will work to incorporate the feedback received from MacArthur’s Board of Directors to develop this proposal for future funding opportunities.

The eight semi-finalists selected offer bold solutions to a variety of humanitarian issues, including health, hunger, and refugee crises.

2017 International Congress for Conservation Biology

May 4, 2017

ICCB 2017 logo showing clown frogFrom July 23-27, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) Founding Director Leah Gerber will join leading sustainability experts at the 28th International Congress for Conservation Biology in Cartagena, Colombia. The theme of this year’s conference is Insights for Sustaining Life on Earth, which the website describes as “a response to the need for conservation science to help create a better tomorrow for both biodiversity and the people who depend on it.”

Following a competitive application, the proposal titled “Partnership for Conservation: The importance of government, private sector, donor, community, academic and NGO collaboration” was selected. The workshop will consist of a panel discussion on opportunities and challenges inherent to cross-sector collaboration.

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Breaking the code in social-ecological systems research

May 3, 2017

Group photo of people participating in conferenceA collaboration between the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) and the Center for Behavior, Institutions, and the Environment (CBIE) at ASU aims to unify social and biological science research and provide a more unified methodology to analyze and code coupled social-ecological systems (SES) in order to mitigate biodiversity declines.

Two CBO- and CBIE-affiliated graduate students, Maria del Mar Mancha-Cisneros and Ute Brady, are working with other graduate students and postdoctoral research associates at ASU and other U.S. and Canadian universities to begin standardizing analytical practices for SES in order to attain more successful conservation outcomes.

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Top Arizona high school grad plans to study sustainability

View Source | April 26, 2017

Ashley DussaultOne of 10 Flinn Scholars committed to being a SunDevil, Ashley Dussault wants to use her major — sustainability — to help people.

“The program is about change, which is what I want to do. I want to plan cities to be better and to help with poverty,” said Dussault, who will graduate from Hamilton High School in the Chandler Unified School District.

She’s especially interested in the social-justice component of sustainability.

“I want to show the people of the world that just because sustainability is happening, they don’t have to be pushed out of their homes and that there’s a place for them in the world.”

ASU in world's Top 3 for sustainability initiatives

View Source | April 26, 2017

AASHE's Sustainability RankingASU is third in the world and second in the U.S. for sustainability initiatives, according to a 2017 rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, known as STARS, rated ASU highest with the following percentages of available points: 87 percent in academics and research, and 95 percent in campus and public engagement.

AASHE STARS is a comprehensive tool for measuring sustainability at more than 800 colleges and universities around the world. It benchmarks institutions in over 1,000 data points covering academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

To achieve gold, ASU built campus and community collaborations to provide world-class education and research sustainability with the first School of Sustainability more than a decade ago. Now, 12.5 percent of ASU’s courses are recognized as sustainability or sustainability-related and 74 percent of academic departments offer sustainability courses.

Enhanced categorization of species aiding conservation efforts

April 25, 2017

Lar gibbon in Laos resting on a tree branchThe King’s College of London, on behalf of the PLuS Alliance organization, hosted a workshop to develop ecosystem typologies for the new Global Red List of Ecosystems in April 2017. This initiative was born from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Although many typologies of species already exist in the world, most are based on biogeographic and bioclimatic data. These are useful features, but they present limitations to endangered species conservation efforts by lacking representation of “ecological processes, especially those that operate at the scales of landscapes and seascapes,” explained Professor David Keith from the Center of Ecosystem Science at the University of New South Wales.

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Which endangered species are most important to protect

View Source | April 25, 2017

Close up of young panda bearScientists argue that funding allocation for saving endangered species is failing, costing many more species to go extinct. Dr. Leah Gerber, Founding Director of ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, makes that case in a recently published article in Outside.

Although the idea of prioritizing species conservation efforts might seem controversial, decisions need to be made during this time of rapid biophysical, institutional, and cultural change. “There’s a level of discomfort with this, but we have to face hard choices,” explains Gerber.

For the last couple of years, Dr. Gerber has been working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help develop a decision-making tool to assist with effective funding allocation for rescuing endangered species.

Myanmar at a turning point for natural capital and human wellbeing

View Source | April 24, 2017

Myanmar Leah BiodiversityA Thought Leader Series Piece

by Leah Gerber & Penny Langhammer

After a half-century of isolation, the Republic of Myanmar has reengaged with the international community following democratic elections in 2015. The country is experiencing rapid political, social and economic change, presenting it with both risks and opportunities.

Comprising a large portion of the Indo-Burma region, Myanmar is home to a remarkable diversity of unique species and ecosystems. While the country has maintained this rich biodiversity for centuries, Myanmar now faces challenges in sustainably managing its natural life-support systems and must address climate variability, water scarcity, agricultural productivity and energy security.

Recognizing that biodiversity underpins a range of ecosystem services that are required for sustainable development, Myanmar updated its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan in 2015 and confirmed its commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals last year.

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Promoting gender equity and diversity at ASU

April 21, 2017

Participants sitting around table having a discussionThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology have partnered to host a series of dialogues exploring ways in which institutional transformation can lead to diversity and inclusiveness in STEAM+H (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and health) opportunities.

The series, titled “Community of Scholars Committed to Inclusive STEAM+H Pathways,” has drawn active participation from approximately 25 faculty and deans.

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