The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation's (CBC) eighth annual Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS-NY) took place at the American Museum of Natural History, October 11-13, 2017.
Over 300 students, postdocs, and early-career scientists, representing 22 countries and 26 U.S. states, convened at the Museum to take part in the only international series of conservation conferences featuring students. SCCS-NY provides opportunities for emerging scientists to present and get feedback on their work, gain experience, and make contacts to help launch their careers.
Plenary talks delivered by leaders in the conservation field are a cornerstone of SCCS-NY, bringing dynamic, innovative perspectives on contemporary conservation issues.
This year’s conference featured two leaders in coastal and marine management, recognized for their understanding of the relationship between humans and our oceans. Dr. Jeremy Jackson, a prominent marine ecologist, paleontologist, and oceanographer who is Professor Emeritus of Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California and Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, explored how to shift political conversations from problems to solutions for environmental management. Social entrepreneur, artist, and Creative Director of 84 and Sunny, Naiʻa Lewis shared her experience supporting stakeholder engagement and catalyzing a wave of large marine reserve designations under the umbrella of Big Ocean.
Students from a variety of disciplines presented their research in 96 talks, speed talks, and poster presentations.
11 awards were distributed to outstanding student presentations. Learn more about this year's award winners!
Special Public Program
This year's conference featured the 2017 Mack Lipkin Man and Nature Series Panel Discussion Waves of Changes: Challenges and Solutions as a special public evening event.
A panel of experts joined CBC Director Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski to explore how managing the oceans through innovative policies and conservation approaches can help sustain seascapes and species—including the billions of people who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods and well-being. Panelists included the two SCCS-NY 2017 plenary speakers Dr. Jeremy Jackson and Naiʻa Lewis, as well as Dr. Merry Camhi, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Seascape and recognized expert in marine conservation and management of large ocean fishes.
SCCS-NY gives attendees the option to attend in-depth, interactive workshops on a variety of conservation topics. This year’s workshops spanned from planning careers in the conservation field to incorporating biocultural perspectives into conservation projects.
A highly valued and unique aspect of SCCS is its platform for participants to connect with mentors—established conservationists from policy, management, and academia. Overall, 67 mentors provided reviews and advice before and throughout the conference. This opportunity encourages collaborations, inspires further research, and launches lasting associations.
Resource & Career Fair
Conference participants had the opportunity to meet with representatives from 26 leading U.S. and international conservation and environmental organizations, academic programs, fellowships, and publishers at the SCCS-NY 2017 Resource and Career Fair. The fair is designed for students, postdocs, and early-career professionals to network and gather information about future careers and opportunities in conservation science.
A highlight for SCCS-NY participants is a behind-the-scenes visit to one of five of the Museum’s collections. This year included tours of the Herpetology, Anthropology, Ornithology, Ichthyology, and Entomology collections, and the Sackler Genomics Laboratory.
Participant response showed that SCCS-NY 2017 was very well received. Below is a selection of quotes from our post-conference evaluation survey:
Participants also shared their thoughts and experiences from the conference via Twitter. Overall, more than 400 tweets with the official conference hashtag #SCCSNY2017 were used to cover presentations and events, share inspiration, and connect with other conference participants and those following from afar.
Below are some of our favorite tweets:
Organizers, Partners, and Contributors
The 2017 Student Conference on Conservation Science – New York was organized by the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History.
Major funding for the 2017 Student Conference on Conservation Science has been provided by Marshall M. Weinberg.
Conference Contributor: Pace University
Conference participation of students in the Museum’s Science Research Mentoring Program is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.