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What's New at the CBC?

The CBC Celebrates Cephalopod Week!

June 2019  In honor of Cephalopod week, the CBC and the Museum teamed up with Science Friday for an evening of tentacle talk at Caveat in New York. The AMNH debuted a never-before-seen video, “The ABCs of Cephalopods,” featuring CBC biodiversity scientist Samantha Cheng.


New publication: Toward More Equitable and Inclusive Spaces for Primatology and Primate Conservation

A douc looks down from a tree

June 2019:  Commentary by CBC scientist Dr. Mary E. Blair, published in the International Journal of Primatology.


New Publication: Species Distribution Modeling in Latin America: A 25-Year Retrospective Review

June 2019:  Species distribution modeling (SDM) is a booming area of research that has had an exponential increase in use and development in recent years. In this paper, CBC scientists and co-authors performed a search of scientific literature to look at the most frequently used modeling methods and realms of application, and how SDM research and use for decision-making could be improved. 


CBC Director, Ana Luz Porzecanski, Discusses UN Report on MSNBC

CBC Director Ana Porzecanski interview at the MSNBC

May 2019   A new United Nations report says that up to 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction because of human activity. Ana Luz Porzecanski, Director of the CBC, joined Chris Jansing on MSNBC to take a closer look at the report and its implications.


New Software Release: DotDotGoose

DotDotGoose interface

May 2019:  DotDotGoose is a free, opensource tool for counting objects in images. The tool has broad conservation applications, making it easy to identify, count, and classify objects - ranging from elephants to coral polyps and cells! 


New Publication: Developing Biocultural Indicators for Resource Management

A photo of the hands of people working together in the soil

May 2019: Resource management and conservation interventions are increasingly embracing social-ecological systems (SES) concepts. While SES frameworks recognize the connectedness of humans and nature, many fail to acknowledge the complex role of sociocultural factors in influencing people's interactions with the environment. As such, when indicators in SES frameworks are used to measure the social dimension, easy to measure, socioeconomic indicators are the norms, while more complex social and cultural indicators are rare.

To develop meaningful indicators of resilience in SES we need to understand local definitions of resilience. In this paper, CBC scientists Eleanor Sterling and Pua'ala Pascua, together with co-authors, describe methods used in a biocultural approach to illuminate sociocultural factors that Pacific Islanders identify as important for resilient communities and offer examples of indicators that may be appropriate to measure under these dimensions.


Student Conference on Conservation Science-New York 2018

SCCS-NY 2018 participants gathered for a group photo in front of the museum

October 2018:  The ninth annual Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York took place at the American Museum of Natural History on October 24-26, 2018. Over 300 students, postdocs, and early-career scientists, representing 25 countries and 25 U.S states, got together at the museum to take part in the only international series of conservation conferences featuring students.


New "From the Field" Blog Post

areal view of the Andean wetlands

April 2018: It's flamingo baby season in the high-altitude plateau of the Andes and CBC Associate Director, Felicity Arengo, uses drones to survey colonies (and count chicks!) as the birds move to new nesting areas after an unusually wet winter.


Eleanor Sterling Receives the Wings WorldQuest 2018 Women of Discovery Award! 

group photo of the award winners

April 2018:  The Wings WorldQuest Women of Discovery Awards was established in 2013 to recognize extraordinary women making significant contributions to world knowledge and science through exploration. Dr. Sterling received the Humanity Award for her work to strengthen connections, between people and place, across communities, and through time.


The CBC Hosts the First Meeting of the Action Group on Knowledge Systems and Indicators of Wellbeing

Group photo of the action group participants
Nearly 100 participants engaged in a cross-cutting exploration of knowledge and well-being themes during the Action Group meeting at the Museum in April 2018. © Denis Finnin/AMNH

April 2018:  The CBC convened a diverse group of people involved with management and protection of nature and culture (including indigenous peoples and local community members, policymakers, researchers, and conservation professionals) at the Museum for the first meeting of the Action Group on Knowledge Systems and Indicators of Wellbeing.

As a community of practice, the Action Group aims to inspire action and promote dialogue, exchange, and co-creation of knowledge among different stakeholders regarding the linkages between nature and culture, with a specific focus on community-based monitoring and approaches that link biological and cultural indicators.


New Publication: Slow Loris Trade in Vietnam: Exploring Diverse Knowledge and Values

slow loris on a tree branch

April 2018:  Wildlife trade can present a major threat to primate populations. In Vietnam, slow lorises (genus Nycticebus) are subject to local, regional and international demand for diverse uses including as medicine, as meat and for pets. Ethnographic approaches explore the nuances of human-primate interactions in complex sociocultural contexts.

In this paper, CBC scientists Dr. Mary Blair and Dr. Eleanor Sterling et al. combined ethnographic interviews of key informants with information from questionnaires, focus groups and a movie broadcast on Vietnamese television to explore diverse knowledge and values related to slow lorises and their use in trade in Vietnam. z


Symposium on Primate Conservation and Wildlife Trade 

April 2018:  CBC primatologist Dr. Mary Blair hosted a public symposium on primate conservation and how science can help in the fight against illegal wildlife trade at NYU. Learn more about CBC's research on primates and wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. 


Night of the Big Cat at the Explorers Club in NYC

March 2018:  In honor of this year's World Wildlife Day, CBC Conservation Scientist Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant spoke about wildlife conservation at The Explorers Club Wildlife Council's Night of the Big Cat—an evening in celebration of ongoing big cat conservation efforts around the world. Learn more about Dr. Wynn-Grant's work and research on human impacts on the ecology of black bears


New Publication: Biocultural approaches to developing well-being indicators in Solomon Islands

February 2018:  To meet local and global aspirations toward sustainable resource management, we must first understand what success looks like. At global levels, well-being can be narrowly defined, which may clash with local values and cause adverse impacts. Melanesia is home to a complex mosaic of resource management systems, and finding locally appropriate indicators of success poses particular challenges.

CBC scientist Eleanor Sterling and collaborators propose that biocultural approaches, which frame issues from the perspectives of place-based communities and work with resource users to develop desired outcomes, can assist in developing grounded and appropriate well-being indicators.

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