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What's New at the CBC?

     

June 2019 

The CBC celebrates Cephalopod Week!

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.

June 2019 

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

A douc looks down from a tree

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

  

Read the full commentary »  

June 2019 

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

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. 

  

Read the full paper »  

May 2019 

CBC Director, Ana Luz Porzecanski, discuss UN report on MSNBC

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. 

CBC Director Ana Porzecanski interview at the MSNBC
    

Check out the story here! »

May 2019

New software release: DotDotGoose

DotDotGoose interface

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! 

  

Download and start counting! »

May 2019

New publication: Developing Biocultural Indicators for Resource Management

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

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.

  

Read the full paper »  

October 2018

Student Conference on Conservation Science-New York 2018

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

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.

   

Check out the SCCS-NY 2018 summary! »  

April 2018

New From the Field blog post! 

areal view of the Andean wetlands

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.

   

Learn more »

April 2018

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

group photo of the award winners

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.

      
Learn more »
April 2018

The CBC hosts the first meeting of the Action Group on Knowledge Systems and Indicators of Wellbeing. 

Group photo of the action group participants

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.

   

Learn more »

April 2018

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

slow loris on a tree branch

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 interactionsin 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. 

       

Read the full paper »

March 2018

Symposium on primate conservation and wildlife trade 

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. 

March 2018

Night of the Big Cat at the Explorers Club in NYC

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.  

February 2018

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

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.

    

Read the full paper »

January 2018

New Issue of Lessons in Conservation!

LinC Volume 8 cover

The latest issue of the Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP) Journal Lessons in Conservation is out! This "Student Learning" volume features open-access materials focusing on the development of oral communication, data analysis, and critical thinking skills. 

Full issue »

November 2017

NCEP launches new website!

The Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP) just launched its brand new website, featuring 160+ modules.

  

Learn more »

November 2017

New AMNH podcast on wildlife trade!

slow loris in the hands of a caretaker

Some animals may be too popular for their own good—whether it’s doe-eyed slow lorises, nocturnal primates often sold as pets, or pangolins prized for meat or medicine. Despite increased enforcement, a profitable market continues to threaten these and other endangered species. In this podcast, CBC conservation biologist Dr. Mary Blair, who is working with colleagues to understand the dynamics of illegal wildlife trade, suggests that biologists need to team up with economists and anthropologists to better understand and address wildlife trafficking.

     

Tune in here »

October 2017 

Facebook live: CBC scientist Mary Blair talked about her recent paper on using an interdisciplinary approach to address complex illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia

October 2017

Student Conference on Conservation Science-New York 2017

The 8th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science-New York (SCCS-NY) took place at the Museum October 11-13, 2017. The conference was a great success, gathering students and emerging and established conservation professionals for three days of student presentations, poster sessions, special events, and more!

Group photo of SCCS-NY 2017 participants
      

Learn more »

October 2017

SciCafe: Humans and Conflicts With Bears: Oh My!

CBC scientist Rae Wynn-Grant shared her research on human impacts on black bear ecology at the season opener of the Museum's popular SciCafe with her talk Humans and Conflicts With Bears: Oh My!

June 2016

Workshop on teaching about food systems: Community of Practice II

Panelists on stage at the Columbia food systems workshop ii

On June 8 and 9, we gathered for the second Foods Systems Workshops: Community of Practice (CoP II) at Columbia University. The workshop featured two full days of panels, presentations on existing work and lessons learned, and active curriculum development on teaching about food systems.

  

Learn more »

May 2017

Community-based conservation in Catamarca

A group of flamingos are looking for food in the wetlands of Argentina

CBC scientist Felicity Arengo returned to Argentina to work with colleagues there to train community members to monitor flamingo populations and wetland habitats and to investigate the emerging lithium mining development.

    

Learn more »  

April 2017

March for Science 

The CBC team celebrated the 2017 Earth day by participating in the New York and Washington D.C. March for Science. The CBC promotes and actively works to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. 

CBC in the march for science
     

Read more about achieving inclusive science in this Union of Concerned Scientists blog post by CBC staff and collaborators. 

April 2017

CBC at the Earth Optimism Summit  

The CBC's Director, Ana Luz Porzecanski and Chief Conservation Scientist Eleanor J. Sterling highlighted the importance of Museums in conservation as speakers in the Earth Optimism Summit plenary: Science, Conservation, Inspiration

   

 

April 2017

Nature Works Everywhere: Virtual Career Panel

CBC Scientist Rae Wynn-Grant joined fellow STEM professionals in a live virtual panel about their careers in engineering, ecology, and advocacy, and how they got to where they are today, hosted by the Nature Conservancy and EarthEcho International.

    
April 2017

NCEP Vietnam featured on PANORAMA 

NCEP vietnam panorama

The CBC's Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP) pilot training program in biodiversity conservation and protected area management in Vietnam was recently highlighted as a featured solution on PANORAMA.

    

Learn more »

 

March 2017
Two researchers and their dog searching for Coyote scat by a hiking trail

The Gotham Coyote Project receives the Urban Park Service Partnership Award!

Mark Weckel’s Gotham Coyote Project was awarded the Urban Park Service Partnership Award, based on his work and dedication supporting the Urban Park Rangers in their mission to connect New Yorkers to the natural world through environmental education, outdoor adventure, and wildlife management. 

  

Learn more »

March 2017

Open-source release of Maxent software 

Maxent

The Maxent software for modeling species niches and distributions is now available open source hosted by the CBC, where the idea for the software originated.

        

Learn more »

March 2017

New publication! 

Interested in involving stakeholders in conservation activities? Check out newly published results of a comprehensive literature review of the evidence regarding the role of stakeholder engagement in achieving biodiversity conservation goals at the local scale.

  

Read the full publication »

March 2017

New publication!

CBC Software Developer Pete Ersts contributed to the study Multiple processes drive genetic structure of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) populations across spatial scales, which looked at population structure in humpback whales in the south Atlantic and Indian oceans. The researchers found that geographic distance drove genetic structure, there were stronger differences among female breeding stocks than in males, and whales breeding in the Arabian seem to be distinct from the other basins studied. This new information can help in the management of whale populations that are still recovering from commercial whaling.

  

Read the full publication »

March 2017 

SciCafe: The Search for Slow Lorises

CBC primatologist and Director of Biodiversity Informatics Research, Dr. Mary Blair, gave an AMNH SciCafe talk on slow lorises and how research on these endangered animals can contribute to a better understanding of wildlife trafficking, including the risk of zoonotic disease spread. 

  
January 2017

New podcast! 

Rae Wynn-grant

CBC Scientist Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant shared why it’s cool to love science, bears, and lions on Trailblazers.FM podcast, which explores stories of successful black professionals, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. 

    

Listen to the podcast »

January 2017

Facebook Live:

Conservation biologist Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant talks bears, hibernation, and her latest field work

        
December 2016

The CBC at the CBD COP 13

Dr. Eleanor Sterling giving a presentation at the CBD COP 13

Chief Conservation Scientist, Dr. Eleanor Sterling, gave a presentation about her work on biocultural indicators at the "Muuchtambal" Indigenous Persons Forum during the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13) in Cancun, Mexico. 

    

Watch the forum presentations »

November 2016

New publication!

"Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation" by CBC scientist Dr. Georgina Cullman et al. describes the unique contributions that the social sciences can make to conservation. 

     

Read the paper »

November 2016

Columbia announces a series of new courses

“Food: An Interdisciplinary Perspective", organized in collaboration with the CBC

The courses will focus on the interplay between food and the environment, individual and public health, economics and public policy. By providing students with a holistic understanding of the modern food system, the curriculum is intended to broaden students’ global awareness and consideration of their own social responsibilities, while also providing a basis for understanding one of the largest economic sectors. The courses will be offered as science electives for non-science majors and will be targeted towards sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The first course will likely be offered in Spring 2017. 

   

Learn more »

October 2016

Cuba! 

Cuban poster artist Michele Hollands meets with CBC Director Ana Luz Porzecanski to discuss the art and a design on display in the Museum's Cuba! Exhibition, which opens at the Museum next month.

   
October 2016

Illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam

Illegal wildlife trade poses a major threat to a group of nocturnal primates called slow lorises. Find out how researchers from the CBC are working with partners in Vietnam to protect these animals.    

October 2016

New publication! 

The book Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Changewith the chapter Food and Water Exhibitions: Lenses on Climate Change by the CBC's Eleanor Sterling and Erin Betley, is now available! The book explores the way museums tackle the broad global issue of climate change, including the power of real objects and collections to stir hearts and minds, to engage communities affected by change.

   

Learn more »

September 2016

Dr. Eleanor Sterling receives Yale University's Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal

CBC Chief Conservation Scientist, Dr. Eleanor Sterling was the recipient of the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, an honor presented each year by the Graduate School Alumni Association of Yale University to a small number of outstanding alumni. The medal recognizes distinguished achievements in scholarship, teaching, academic administration, and public service–all areas in which the legendary Dean Cross excelled. 

    

Learn more »

September 2016

CBC collaborator recognized as "Hotspot Hero" at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

David Boseto

CBC Pacific Programs research collaborator David Boseto was recognized by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) as a “Hotspot” Hero.  The award was granted on September 5, 2016 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii. David was one of fifteen conservationists selected from the over 2000 grantee organizations funded by CEPF globally and was recognized for his exemplary work with Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands (ESSI), of which he is a founder and current co-director. 

   

Learn more »

September 2016

CBC scientist receives prestigious award at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

Eleanor receiving the CEESP award at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

CBC Chief Conservation Scientist, Dr. Eleanor Sterling, received the inaugural IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic & Social Policy (CEESP) Meritorious Research Award, in recognition of her outstanding and inspirational research over a career specializing in the importance of inter-disciplinary collaboration, bridging science and social science, research and practice in the pursuit of beneficial, equitable and just forms of biodiversity conservation. The award was given during the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, on 6 September. The CEESP Awards Committee unanimously decided that Dr. Sterling’s lifetime work was more than deserving of recognition and thanks. Congratulations Eleanor Sterling!

September 2016

Upcoming exhibition: ¡Cuba!

CBC Director Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski with a model of a Cuban tody

This November, the Museum will be opening a new exhibition on the natural history and culture of Cuba. ¡Cuba! is co-curated by CBC Director, Ana Luz Porzecanski, and Curator-in-charge of Herpetology, Dr. Chris Raxworthy. 

   

Read the story here »

August 2016

Field notes: Expedition to Cuba

CBC Director Ana Porzecanski and Spencer Galen prepare field samples in Cuba.

CBC Director, Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski, co-organized with AMNH scientists and colleagues from the Museo de Historia Natural de Cuba, an expedition to Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, on the northeastern end of Cuba.

    

Read about the expedition in the Mongabay interview with Dr. Porzecanski here

July 2016

Blog post: How to Collar a Bear

large male black bear

CBC postdoctoral fellow Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant blogged from the field during her research on the impacts of human activity on landscape use, habitat suitability, and habitat connectivity of black bears in Nevada.

   

Learn more »

July 2016

SciCafe Explore21: Cuba

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and home to an astonishingly diverse and unique set of animals and plants. CBC Director Dr. Ana Porzecanski and colleague Dr. Angelo Soto-Centeno discussed their recent expedition to Cuba and the new avenues for scientific collaboration on the island at the museum's SciCafe event Explore:21 Cuba.

July 2016

Blog post: Art and Participatory Modelling

A group of workshop participants drawing art in a scenario planning and visioning workshop.

What can art contribute to participatory modeling? Over the past decade, participatory visual and narrative arts have been more frequently and effectively incorporated into scenario planning and visioning workshops. Read more in the Integration and Implementation Insights blog post by Hara W. Woltz and the CBC's Chief Conservation Scientist Dr. Eleanor J. Sterling.

June 2016

Interactive workshop on food systems teaching 

A poster for the food systems workshop

Do you teach or want to teach about food systems using cross-disciplinary systems thinking? Join us at Columbia University in NYC on July 26 & 27 for a workshop on food systems teaching.

We will gather for a full day of panels and presentations on existing work and lessons learned, and a second day of collaborative exchange workshops. The primary purpose of the event will be to 1) create a community of practice of people working on developing and implementing curricula in food systems courses, 2) review and develop materials using systems thinking frameworks in teaching about food systems, and 3) share or develop assessment tools on student learning in systems thinking. 

  

Learn more »

June 2016

Recent Publications

Can we do more to develop data analysis skills in undergraduate conservation students? The CBC’s scientists along with colleagues from around the country developed teaching materials to promote data analysis skills in college students and assessed performance before and after their use. Students improved their skills in a single semester while also learning about ecological principles!

    

Learn more »  

    

CBC researcher Dr. Mark Weckel’s paper "Urban Conservation: the northeastern coyote as a flagship species" uses the natural history of this wild canid as a lens by which to approach and understand the issues and challenges that face the emerging field of urban conservation. It was recently chosen as the Editor’s Choice for Landscape and Urban Planning's 150th volume.

    

Learn more »

December 2015

Meet the Scientist 

CBC Director, Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski on her interest in science and the exciting work of the CBC.

September 2015

Blog series: From the Field

Guadalcanal evening

Dr. Chris Filardi, Director of Pacific Programs at the CBC, blogged from the field during the AMNH expedition to the remote highlands of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

   

 

Learn more »

September 2015

Blog post: The Link Between Conservation and Nutrition

Shucking clams with community

Dr. Georgina Cullman, Postdoctoral Fellow at the CBC, blogged from the field during this summer's expedition to the Solomon Islands to do research on the relationship between food, nutrition, and the environment. 

   

Learn more »

July 2015

Blog series: From the Field

Pygmy loris Vietnam nocturnal

Dr. Mary Blair, Assistant Director for Research and Strategic Planning at the CBC, blogged from the field during this summer's expedition to Vietnam to survey lorises. 

   

Learn more »

July 2015

The National Science Foundation highlights the CBC's work in Vietnam 

Vietnam team with Blair, Sterling

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of resuming diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is highlighting the CBC’s biodiversity and conservation work in Vietnam, which has been ongoing since 1996, on social media. 

   

Check out our work on NSF's blog and in NSF Discoveries News.

January 2015

Blog series: From the Field

Dr. Felicity Arengo, Associate Director of the CBC, blogged from the field during the 5th International Flamingo Census in South America this past January.

   
Learn more »