What's New at the CBC?
February 12, 2024
New publication: The influence of scale-dependent geodiversity on species distribution models in a biodiversity hotspot
The Philosophical Transactions A issue on ‘Geodiversity science for society’ features a new publication by CBC scientist Dr. Mary Blair and colleagues that highlights how incorporating metrics of geodiversity, or how topographically complex a place is, can improve species distribution model performance and therefore its predictions, making these methods even more useful for spatial conservation planning and priority setting.
January 3, 2024
We've just released version 1.7.0 of DotDotGoose! DotDotGoose is a free, open source tool to assist with manually counting objects in images.
November 30, 2023
New publication: Exploring the relationship between plural values of nature, human well-being, and conservation and development intervention: Why it matters and how to do it?
In 2021, CBC researchers examined what constitutes a "good life," reviewing literature on human well-being frameworks that consider equity and interrelationships between humans and the environment. These findings are now integrated into a synthesis published in the British Ecological Society's People and Nature journal about the many values people have for the natural world. Understanding these values is central to building just and sustainable futures.
October 25, 2023
New publication: Assessing evidence on the impacts of nature-based interventions for climate change mitigation: a systematic map of primary and secondary research from subtropical and tropical terrestrial regions
Nature-Based Interventions (NBIs) for climate change mitigation are crucial for meeting climate goals. A new evidence map developed by the CBC and our partners is the first systematic look at the state of the evidence base on NBIs to guide research and support implementation at scale.
October 17, 2023
The CBC's Fall 2023 Progress Update is now available for download.
October 4-6, 2023
The Marshall M. Weinberg Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York
The 14th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science—New York (SCCS-NY) convened nearly 200 participants from 21 countries at the first fully on-site student conference in four years. Virtual attendance was supported by live-watch parties of presentations, interactive Q&A sessions, and virtual workshops and mentoring sessions. To learn more about the SCCS-NY, visit: amnh.org/sccsny.
July 5, 2023
New publication: Exploring Changes in Foodscapes in Western Province, Solomon Islands
Food connects people and place, and weaves together issues of resource use, culture, and sovereignty. As part of a multi-year effort to support land- and seascapes in the Solomon Islands, CBC and collaborators share how Indigenous knowledge and practice, along with access to land, builds essential resilience to environmental and economic shocks.
May 22, 2023
The Spring 2023 CBC Progress Report is now available for download.
April 1, 2023
From the field: CBC Associate Director Dr. Felicity Arengo
Dr. Arengo with colleagues from Argentina conducted a field expedition to the wetlands of the high Andean plateau in an ongoing effort to monitor flamingo and other waterbird populations in these unique high altitude landscapes. The team surveyed 10 wetland sites in Catamarca province and found 14,000 adult Puna flamingos, 1,000 active nests, and 500 chicks at Laguna Grande. Nearby, in the Salar del Hombre Muerto basin, lithium mining has taken off. Eight new mining projects here are poised to increase production by an order of magnitude over what has been extracted from the salt flats since 1998. Global demand for lithium has skyrocketed to supply batteries required for the energy transition to renewable sources. The team is working on monitoring the impacts of brine & freshwater extraction from mining on these wetlands that support unique biodiversity & human livelihoods.
March 3, 2023
New species: the Northern pygmy loris
Led by Dr. Mary Blair, the CBC's Director for Biodiversity Informatics Research, researchers have used museum collections to identify a new species: the Northern pygmy loris! The Northern pygmy loris has a shorter muzzle and longer fur than its souther cousin, and can be found in northern Vietnam, Laos, and southern China. Pygmy lorises are globally threatened with extinction due to high demand for illegal wildlife trade. Genetic analysis allows museum scientists to unlock hidden information stored inside historical collections to help conserve these endangered species.
March 1, 2023
The call for applications to present a talk, speed talk, or poster at the Student Conference on Conservation Science–New York (SCCS–NY) is open March 1 through April 1, 2023. Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or early-career professionals pursuing or considering the field of conservation are encouraged to present their work. Undergraduate students conducting thesis-level research may also apply.
February 20, 2023
The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation is deeply saddened to share the passing of Dr. Eleanor J. Sterling. A brilliant and creative mind, a tireless and visionary collaborator, a champion for equity and inclusion, a devoted mentor, and a beloved colleague and friend, Eleanor was a trail-blazing conservationist and an innovative and prolific scientist of global influence. She worked to advance conservation through teaching and mentoring, research, on-the-ground conservation, public outreach, and policy. She changed the minds and lives of staff, interns, students, and partners around the world—and of all who knew her. She will be deeply, deeply missed but will continue to inspire us, always.
February 6, 2023
Congratulations to Dr. Eleanor Sterling, CBC Jaffe Chief Conservation Scientist Emerita, recipient of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award! The award is in recognition of Dr. Sterling's extraordinary contributions to conservation in protected areas around the world.
January 31, 2023
We've just released version 1.6.0 of DotDotGoose! DotDotGoose is a free, open source tool to assist with manually counting objects in images. New features include:
- Translations for Chinese, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese
- Undo and redo capabilities
- Export image display area (image, points, grid) to new jpg
- Dirty data check on close to prevent loss of unsaved changes
- Export point coordinates as geographic coordinates
- Certificate signed Windows binary to help prevent false positives from virus/malware scanners
- Support for INTEL - Big Sur (11.0) Monterey (12.0) Ventura (13.0)
- Support for ARM - Monterey (12.0) Ventura (13.0)
December 22, 2022
New publication: Lessons in Conservation, Volume 12: The Network Issue
NCEP’s open-access journal Lessons in Conservation has a new issue out! The "Systems Thinking" issue features a suite of materials created by NCEP Studio participants, including case studies on the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and exercises engaging with issues of human-wildlife coexistence through mapping and stakeholder role-play. Indicative of the times, these materials include recommendations for implementation in both in-person and online classroom settings, and instructor guidance, solutions, and notes are available for download by registered educators.
December 19, 2022
New publication: changeRangeR: An R package for reproducible biodiversity change metrics from species distribution estimates
Out today in Conservation Science and Practice, CBC visiting scientist Pete Galante, Biodiversity Informatics Research Director Mary Blair, and colleagues have published a new R package. changeRangeR translates species’ current distributions into meaningful conservation metrics in repeatable and transparent ways. changeRangeR package development was funded by the NASA ROSES award No. 80NSSCK0406 to collaboratively improve the utility of the Colombia BON-in-a-Box toolkit as well as build capacity for conservation practitioners and educators.
November 7, 2022
The Fall 2022 CBC Progress Report is now available for download.
October 26, 2022
New publications: Cultural Ecosystem Services in Estuary Stewardship and Management
The CBC and partners published two reports on work we are doing with local stewards of estuarine systems in Alaska and Hawai’i: a White Paper on Expanding and Deepening the Application of Cultural Ecosystem Services in Estuary Stewardship and Management, and a Methods Pilot Summary that outlines lessons learned during a small exchange and exploration with members of the Heʻeia and Kachemak Bay Reserves. The work we, and many others, are doing is part of a global reframing in how we value nature and how we can measure that value so that we can better factor it into our decision-making across scales.
October 3-7, 2022
The Marshall M. Weinberg Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York
The 13th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York (SCCS-NY) was held both virtually and in person at the Museum this year. Nearly 200 attendees from 47 countries participated in the online conference. To learn more about the SCCS-NY, visit: amnh.org/sccsny.
July 13, 2022
New Publication: Human-Wildlife Conflict: Assessing the Complexity of Stakeholder Perspectives
NCEP's newest module is a collection of case study-based exercises (including remote learning adaptations) about a fictional community facing conflict related to living with carnivores. The activities provide an opportunity for students to explore diverse stakeholder perspectives on living with wildlife, predator conservation, and how interests, values, and needs might vary within a community.
June 30, 2022
NCEP Studio: The Nuts and Bolts of Active Teaching
In June 2022, we held our 9th annual NCEP Conservation Teaching and Learning Studio in a virtual format. Over the course of two weeks, conservation educators engaged with the principles of evidence-based teaching and connected with a community of practice.
April 12, 2022
New publication: The arid Andean plateau waterscapes and the lithium triangle: flamingos as flagships for conservation of high-altitude wetlands under pressure from mining development
Out today in Wetlands Ecology & Management, this paper highlights a complex conservation issue facing the wetlands of the high Andean plateau: the region's unique biodiversity and ecosystems are now confronted with an unprecedented level of lithium mining used for rechargeable batteries. This research brings attention to the social and environmental impacts of mining, identifies knowledge gaps relevant to conservation, management, and wise use of these wetlands and their resources. CBC's Dr. Felicity Arengo was a co-author on this paper.
March 30, 2022
Collaboration with Colombia’s Humboldt Institute
The American Museum of Natural History signed a memorandum of understanding with Colombia's Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute to collaborate on a project to monitor and conserve biodiversity. This NASA-funded grant will incorporate a satellite-data-based biodiversity monitoring system into Colombian conservation practices, in an effort to meet and maintain Colombia's biodiversity conservation targets. The grant builds on a current NASA-funded Museum project with the Colombia Biodiversity Observation Network to expand tools to measure and model wildlife biodiversity in the country.
March 2, 2022
New publication: Transboundary Conservation Under Climate Change - Special Issue
Out this week, Frontiers of Biogeography's Special Issue on transboundary conservation under climate change was compiled by CBC Director of Biodiversity Informatics Research Mary Blair, with collaborators Minh D. Le and Ming Xu.
March 1, 2022
SCCS-NY 2021: Call for Applications
Applications to present a talk, speed talk, or poster at the hybrid 2022 Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York (SCCS-NY) are now being accepted through April 15, 2022. Visit the SCCS-NY website for more information on the application and registration process.
January 13, 2022
Our NCEP team hosted a webinar for educators who have attended past Conservation Teaching and Learning Studios. We exchanged challenges and tips for research and teaching in Covid times, shared new educational resources and updates, and brainstormed ideas for the new semester.
January 12, 2022
News article: Inside the simple counting software that makes biologists’ jobs a little easier
January 6, 2022
New year, new release! DotDotGoose 1.5.3 is available for download. The new release includes a minor bug fix and added support for Apple M1 (arm64) architecture. Happy counting!
December 21, 2021
New publication: Assessing human well-being constructs with environmental and equity aspects: A review of the landscape
What does published literature say about measuring human well-being, equity, and interrelationships between humans and the environment? In this paper published this week in People and Nature, CBC researchers and collaborators assess this literature, and make recommendations to help guide equitable sustainability policy.
December 21, 2021
New publication: The state of capacity development evaluation in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management
Training and education are key to biodiversity conservation projects, but how are these efforts evaluated? We undertook a review of capacity development evaluation projects to better understand who is doing this work, what they are evaluating, and how to help inform future efforts.
Dive deeper into the landscape of capacity development evaluation in the field of biodiversity conservation in Oryx's blog post on this paper.
December 3, 2021
New publication: How should conservation be professionalized?
In this publication out this week in Oryx, the authors propose a more inclusive approach to professionalization in conservation that reflects the full range of practitioners in the sector, including increased recognition in countries of high biodiversity. They also provide recommendations for building a more effective, inclusive, and representative profession. CBC Chief Conservation Scientist Dr. Eleanor Sterling was a co-author on this paper.
November 9, 2021
New publication: Using Case Studies to Improve the Critical Thinking Skills of Undergraduate Conservation Biology Students
New research by CBC Director Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski and Jaffe Chief Conservation Scientist Dr. Eleanor Sterling, together with a team of collaborators, shows how combining case studies with guided reflection can lead to measurable gains in critical thinking skills for undergraduate students in conservation biology classes. Data from over 200 students from five institutions showed an increase in students’ critical thinking performance over a single term, under both light and intensive interventions.
November 6, 2021
Mapping the evidence on impacts of natural climate solutions on climate change mitigation
Natural Climate Solutions can potentially capture or avoid the emission of at least 11 Gt of CO2 equivalent per year. A team of researchers from the CBC (the US CEE Centre) and Conservation International are conducting an evidence-bases assessment of the links between Natural Climate Solutions and climate change mitigation outcomes using using systematic mapping. Learn more about this project and about our role as an an affiliated center with the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE).
November 3, 2021
New publication: Hydroclimatological Patterns and Limnological Characteristics of Unique Wetland Systems on the Argentine High Andean Plateau
A team of researchers, including CBC Associate Director Dr. Felicity Arengo, describe hydroclimatological, geochemical, and limnological features of wetlands in Argentina's High Andean Plateau, out this month in Hydrology.
October 28, 2021
New publication: Centering Equity in Sustainable Food Systems Education
The CBC, in collaboration with other members of the Teaching Food Systems Community of Practice, recently published a paper aimed at providing guidance and examples for sustainable food system educators who want to center equity in their pedagogy.
October 25, 2021
New publication: The evolution of tinamous (Palaeognathae: Tinamidae) in light of molecular and combined analyses
A detailed phylogenetic analysis and divergence-date estimation including a significant number of tinamou species, both extant and fossil, was published this month in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. This publication represents great collaboration by colleagues in Argentina and the Museum, including CBC Director Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski and Curator-in-Charge of the Department of Ornithology, Dr. Joel Cracraft.
October 24, 2021
New publication: Assessment of climate change impacts on one of the rarest apes on Earth, the Cao Vit Gibbon Nomascus nasutus
What impacts will climate change have on one of the rarest apes on Earth, the Cao Vit Gibbon (Nomascus nasutus)? In this study published this month in Frontiers in Biogeography, director of bioinformatics research Dr. Mary Blair and partners in Vietnam and China use species distribution modeling to predict suitable habitat for N. nasutus under a range of future climate scenarios.
October 5-8, 2021
The Marshall M. Weinberg Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York
The 12th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York (SCCS-NY) was held entirely virtually this year. Nearly 200 attendees from 27 countries participated in the online conference. To learn more about the SCCS-NY, visit: amnh.org/sccsny.
October 2, 2021
New publication: Forest and landscape restoration monitoring frameworks: how principled are they?
Out this month in Restoration Ecology, a team of scientists including Jaffe chief conservation scientist Dr. Eleanor Sterling examined if and to what extent the principles of forest and landscape restoration (FLR) monitoring and their interdependencies are captured in frameworks currently used to monitor FLR. They found that no FLR monitoring frameworks currently exist for understanding and operationalizing all six FLR principles, and integrating the interconnected processes underpinning FLR planning, monitoring, and assessment.
September 29, 2021
New publication: Limited Progress in Improving Gender and Geographic Representation in Coral Reef Science
A team of scientists, including CBC biodiversity scientist Dr. Samantha Cheng, examined gender and geographic representation in coral reef science over the past 16 years in this new paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science. Their results show that local scientists from countries with some of the greatest extent of coral reefs, and with intimate knowledge of their reef systems, need to be better included and represented in research outputs. The authors also offer solutions to combat biases, stereotypes, and inequities in coral reef research.
September 5, 2021
New publication: Location probing by males complicates sexual dynamics and successful mate-guarding in squid groups
Bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) appear to scout out nesting sites and intimidate rivals when pursuing a mate, according to a new study out this month in the journal Ecology. CBC biodiversity scientist Dr. Samantha Cheng, a co-author on this paper, thinks that this "probing behavior" could be a type of mate-guarding, a mating strategy in which males attempt to prevent a mate’s eggs from becoming fertilized by a rival.
September 2, 2021
New publication: The role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in effective and equitable conservation
CBC Chief Conservation Scientist Dr. Eleanor Sterling was a co-author on this systematic review and narrative synthesis of 169 publications investigating how different forms of governance, particularly the role of Indigenous peoples and local communities, influence conservation outcomes. The review's findings suggest that primary pathway to effective, long-term conservation lies in empowering and supporting the environmental stewardship of Indigenous peoples and local communities.
August 18, 2021
Updated NCEP publication: Observed Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity
Updated with 2021 data, NCEP's open-access module includes a synthesis and presentation that reviews case studies from the primary scientific literature on the observed effects of climate change on biodiversity and an exercise that has participants explore the communication and interpretation of climate change science through role-playing as climate scientists or journalists.
July 29, 2021
New publication: Trace metals and metalloids in Andean flamingos (Phoenicoparrus andinus) and Puna flamingos (P. jamesi) at two wetlands with different risk of exposure in the Bolivian Altiplano
BIOTA scientists with co-author Dr. Felicity Arengo have established benchmarks for trace metal bioaccumulation in Andean and Puna flamingos. Found in Bolivia's high altitude wetlands, both flamingo species had similar concentrations of trace metals, suggesting similar capacities of bioaccumulating. Trace metals in flamingo chicks were different than adults, likely showing exposure at the local breeding site.
NCEP Conservation Teaching and Learning Studio: Learning and Creating Collaboratively
In July 2021, we held our 8th annual NCEP Conservation Teaching and Learning Studio in a virtual format. Over the course of four weeks, Studio participants explored evidence-based tools and approaches of relevance to their own teaching practice, and then applied these tools and techniques to the collaborative creation of active learning experiences for their own classrooms.
July 16, 2021
New publication: Karst as an abiotic driver of François’ langur distribution, with predictions for biological communities on karst under climate change
The CBC's Biodiversity Informatics team uses ecological niche models (ENMs) to help inform conservation efforts by projecting changes in species’ distributions under climate change. In this study out in Frontiers of Biogeography, the team and partners built ENMs for a group of leaf monkeys adapted to limestone karst forests. Their results underscore the importance of considering abiotic factors beyond climate in projections of suitable habitat under climate change for species in complex landscapes.
April 21, 2021
New publication: Sea turtles across the North Pacific are exposed to perfluoroalkyl substances
A team of researchers led by Hawai’i Pacific University's Center for Marine Debris Research led a study assessing perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) concentrations in green and hawksbill turtles from the North Pacific. They found that PFASs levels in sea turtles were correlated with human population and land use, and that the chemicals were maternally transferred to hawksbill eggs. CBC Chief Conservation Scientist Dr. Eleanor Sterling was a co-author on this paper.
April 16, 2021
Publication award: Creating a space for place and multidimensional well-being: lessons learned from localizing the SDGs
Our paper published in the journal Sustainability Science was selected for the 2020 Sustainability Science Best Paper Awards. This paper examined the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, and dimensions of well-being in the Pacific Islands. The study team (a collaboration across 27 authors, including customary chiefs, ministry representatives, social and biological scientists, and sustainable development professionals) systematically compared the SDGs indicators with factors contributing to well-being in Pacific Islands to see how well the SDGs can inform sustainable development in this region. This research shows that there are overlaps, but also significant gaps. As a result, internationally generated indicators may result in misdiagnosis and design of on-the-ground interventions with unintended and negative outcomes, including natural resource degradation, displacement of communities, or loss of food security.
April 1, 2021
Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in Nature, Ecology and Conservation
A team of scholars led by the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation has launched a crowdsourced document with resources encompassing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in the context of the environmental movement, including nature, ecology, and conservation (NEC).
The global environmental movement needs to be inclusive of diverse perspectives, cultures, and approaches. Mainstream efforts have long been criticized for highlighting white voices to the exclusion of those belonging to people of color and other marginalized communities. Minoritized individuals have made integral and irreplaceable contributions to the movement and given voice to those most affected by it. Therefore, this crowdsourced document aims to amplify these contributions while providing resources on the links between DEIJ and NEC.
The tool’s creators emphasize the inclusion of resources from both established and nontraditional sources. “Environmental disciplines often rely on information filtered through scholars and academic institutions; this document will challenge this model by promoting direct participation in and access to DEIJ and NEC resources,” says Alex Moore (PhD), one of the creators of the document.
The document includes resources on readings, recorded lectures, research groups, etc. “DEIJ is central to our work as environmentalists and environmental scholars. This new document will provide resources and strategies to help scholars put these values into practice both in their research and at their institutions,” says Michaela Foster (PhD), a recent graduate from the Yale School of the Environment.
March 24, 2021
Call for Applications: NCEP's 2021 Conservation Teaching and Learning Studio
Through interactive online meetings and assignments over the course of four weeks in June, educators will learn about effective tools and approaches from facilitators and peers, discuss challenges, and create plans to apply these techniques to their own teaching. The 2021 Studio will cover the basics of active learning and evidence-based teaching, with a focus on online teaching, but the Studio theme will be adjusted based on the priorities of the selected applicants. Educators of undergraduate or adult students are encouraged to apply online.
March 17, 2021
New publication: Climate change threatens the conservation of one of the world's most endangered transboundary tree species: Magnolia grandis
The CBC's biodiversity informatics team collaborated with partners in Vietnam to publish important results on how climate change threatens the conservation of one of the world’s most endangered transboundary tree species: Magnolia grandis.
March 1, 2021
SCCS-NY 2021: Call for Applications
Applications to present a talk, speed talk, or poster at the hybrid 2021 Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York (SCCS-NY) are now being accepted through April 16, 2021. Visit the SCCS-NY website for more information on the application and registration process.
March 1, 2021
New publication: Preparing conservation practitioners for the Anthropocene
What professional competencies do conservation practitioners need to address the challenges in conservation today? In this collaborative effort published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the authors emphasize the importance of developing leadership capacity that is socially aware, scientifically diverse, and cross-culturally proficient. CBC scientist Dr. Sam Cheng was a co-author on this publication.
January 28, 2021
Indicators of Well-being webinar series: New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority Mātauranga Framework
The Indicators of Well-being webinar series provides a virtual platform for learning and exchange among practitioners who are using place-based monitoring and reporting indicators on well-being that bridge social and ecological dimensions, nature and culture, people and place. The January 2021 webinar focused on well-being and multiple evidence-based decision making via the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority’s Mātauranga Framework.
January 25, 2021
New publication: Lessons in Conservation, Volume 11: Systems Thinking Issue
NCEP’s open-access journal Lessons in Conservation has a new issue out! The "Systems Thinking" issue features a suite of materials designed to foster systems thinking in students. These resources provide a valuable introduction to systems thinking, both as a way of seeing the world, and a specific set of tools. Through exercises, the materials in this issue also promote engagement with the complexity of biodiversity conservation problems.
January 21, 2021
Save-the-date: the 12th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York (SCCS-NY) will be held October 5-8, 2021!
January 11, 2021
New Publication: A global review of the impact of forest property rights interventions on poverty
This review of the impact of property rights interventions on poverty in forest landscapes assesses evidence from 91 case studies across 24 countries around the world. While the evidence base has grown over the past few decades, most studied the impacts of rights to access or withdraw forest resources – with relatively less study effort on more extensive property rights (e.g. exclusion and alienation) that are associated with greater resource security. Most studies reported improvements or mixed impacts – signifying that the impacts of property rights interventions are often heterogenous across populations. This review is part of a wider evidence synthesis project on the links between forests and poverty led by the Program on Forests at the World Bank. CBC scientist Dr. Sam Cheng was a co-author on this paper. Learn more about Dr. Cheng's work and the CBC's Evidence Initiative.
December 23, 2020
We've just released a new version of DotDotGoose, a free, open-source tool to assist with manually counting objects in images. The latest version offers support for Big Sur.
December 22, 2020
Learn all about why reindeer are cornerstones of life and lifeways in the Arctic with CBC Director of Bioinformatics Research Dr. Mary Blair.
November 13, 2020
A new version of Maxent (v3.4.3) is now available! Maxent is an open source species distribution modeling tool for conservation practitioners that applies a machine learning technique called maximum entropy modeling. This new version fixes various bugs and improves functionality when running with the dismo package in R.
November 12, 2020
The Scientist Is In: Squids!
Learn all about the important role squids play in the health of our oceans with CBC scientist Dr. Sam Cheng.
October 13-15, 2020
Consultation Workshop III: Expanding Wallace biodiversity modeling software to support Colombia BON assessment and reporting
Held virtually this year, the purpose of this third annual workshop was to consult with invited biodiversity experts for their feedback on a preliminary expanded version of Wallace software that includes new functionality to connect with the Colombia BON web application BioModelos and functions from two new R packages: maskRangeR and changeRangeR, which we designed based on the input of participants in our 2018 and 2019 consultation workshops. maskRangeR processes species distribution models to estimate current species’ ranges using remotely-sensed data or other user input. changeRangeR allows users to calculate metrics of biodiversity and its change over space and time. Participants provided expertise and input to test the new software developed and also discussed opportunities to collaborate on a synthesis publication based upon our workshop series.
October 7-9, 2020
The Marshall M. Weinberg Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York
The 11th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York (SCCS-NY) was held entirely virtually this year! The CBC’s SCCS-NY team adapted all aspects of the conference to an online format, including presentations, workshops, dedicated mentoring feedback, and mentoring cafés, and convened a vibrant conference with a diversity of participants. With the aid of a custom conference website designed in-house, we engaged over 300 participants, an increase of over 65% from the number of participants who attended in person in 2019. To learn more about the conference, visit: amnh.org/sccsny.
September 6, 2020
New Publication: The CEEDER database of evidence reviews: An open-access evidence service for researchers and decision-makers
How can you evaluate the reliability of evidence reviews in environmental disciplines? A collaborative effort by all of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) centres, this paper introduces a new online, freely available evidence service: the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence Database of Evidence Reviews (CEEDER). CEEDER aims to transform communication of evidence review reliability to researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners through independent assessment of key aspects of available evidence reviews claiming to assess environmental impacts. Learn more about the CBC's Evidence Initiative and our role as the CEE-US centre.
August 24, 2020
New Publication: Parasite Biodiversity
In NCEP's newest module, students have the opportunity to discover the hidden world of parasites: they will come face to face with living parasites, learn about what differentiates parasites from free-living species, observe some common adaptations to a parasitic lifestyle, explore the ecological role of parasites in food webs, and assess how parasite abundance might change in a changing world. This timely module, which includes two interactive labs and a video lecture, can easily be adapted to online/remote learning scenarios.
August 6, 2020
Dr. Alex Moore, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the CBC, was featured in a Nature article on the trials of global research under the coronavirus. Learn more about Dr. Moore's research on mangrove restoration and mangrove biocultural knowledge.
July 31, 2020
The Terrapin Tracker was selected as a finalist for the Con X Tech Prize! Developed by Ned Horning, Director of Applied Biodiversity Informatics at the CBC, the Terrapin Tracker is one of just 20 finalists for this global conservation technology prototyping competition.
July 23, 2020
New Publication: Conservation Leadership Capacity Building: a Landscape Study
As we develop the capacity of conservation leaders, what are the needs, gaps, and opportunities for future initiatives? A team of us joined forces with National Geographic, Global Wildlife Conservation, and the Smithsonian Institution to find out. This report describes the key findings of a landscape study of capacity development initiatives focused on conservation leadership.
July 16, 2020
New Publication: Towards an equity competency model for sustainable food systems education programs
The CBC, in collaboration with other members of the Teaching Food Systems Community of Practice, recently published a paper aimed at increasing equity-related competencies in students of sustainable food systems education (SFSE) programs. We found that in the US and Canada, the vast majority of undergraduate and graduate programs do not explicitly including equity in their curricula. Our results show that it is unlikely that future professionals will have the capacity to help dismantle systemic inequities, and may result in the re-entrenchment of on-going forms of oppression. Our findings indicate a clear need for equity to be explicitly integrated in required courses in SFSE programs. Given this concerning gap, as a starting point we propose declarative and procedural elements of an equity competency model. It is our hope that our model will be shared, critiqued, adapted, and integrated into SFSE programs to support constructive alignment among learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, and assessment strategies, within individual courses and across degree programs.
July 6, 2020
New Publication: The Harvest of Tropical Wildlife for Bushmeat and Traditional Medicine
Wildlife is an important source of food security, medicine and income for many rural people globally. In this review paper, the CBC's Amanda Sigouin and her co-authors explore the multidimensional issues surrounding the trade in wild animals, including how the unsustainable trade threatens rural livelihoods as well as biodiversity conservation and global public health. The review compiles evidence for approaches that can help stem the trade, including improved harvest monitoring, local delegation of resource management, alternative sources of protein and medicine, and combating illegal trade.
June 30, 2020
Indicators of Well-being webinar series: Household and Community Food Sovereignty and Security
The Indicators of Well-being webinars provide a virtual platform for learning and exchange among practitioners who are using place-based monitoring and reporting indicators on well-being that bridge social and ecological dimensions, nature and culture, people and place. In this highly interactive webinar, the CBC’s Biocultural Conservation Planning team focused on well-being in action as we shared and exchanged place-based examples and experiences with household and community food sovereignty and security.
June 3, 2020
New Publication: Academic leaders must support inclusive scientific communities during COVID-19
The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation’s Dr. Alex Moore and Dr. Eleanor Sterling, together with a team of international scientists, call for a collective effort by the entire scientific community, especially those in leadership positions, to actively support the retention and diversity of early-career scientists during and after COVID-19.
In this Nature Ecology & Evolution article, the team of authors identify a set of key actions for scientific workplaces, communities, and broader policy to clearly show what can be done to support early-career scientists during and after the crisis. The authors also emphasize that overcoming the acute and long-term challenges of this pandemic calls for a strong international scientific community that understands that diversity and equity are key factors in promoting healthy, resilient ecosystems as the cornerstones of human health and well-being.
May 26, 2020
New Publication: Creating a space for place and multidimensional well-being: lessons learned from localizing the SDGs
CBC scientists published a new study in the journal Sustainability Science which examines the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, and dimensions of well-being in the Pacific Islands. The study team (a collaboration across 27 authors, including customary chiefs, ministry representatives, social and biological scientists, and sustainable development professionals) systematically compared the SDGs indicators with factors contributing to well-being in Pacific Islands to see how well the SDGs can inform sustainable development in this region.
Their research shows that there are overlaps, but also significant gaps. As a result, internationally generated indicators may result in misdiagnosis and design of on-the-ground interventions with unintended and negative outcomes, including natural resource degradation, displacement of communities, or loss of food security. The research has already had significant impact in modifying regional development strategies. To support policy makers, the CBC also launched a series of guides on culturally attuned metrics for countries reporting on sustainable development.
May 20, 2020
The latest version of DotDotGoose is now available! DotDotGoose is a free, open source counting tool developed by the CBC to assist with manually counting objects in images.
May 19, 2020
The Spring 2020 CBC Progress Report is now available for download.
March 20, 2020
New Publication: Strengthen causal models for better conservation outcomes for human well-being
Causal models are useful tools for understanding pathways from conservation actions to impacts on nature and people. In this PLOS ONE paper, the CBC’s Dr. Samantha Cheng and co-authors reviewed recent studies on links between nature-based conservation actions and human well-being impacts and found that causal models were not widely used and were rarely tested for validity with empirical data. This paper provides criteria for credible models and gives recommendations for promoting, using and reporting on causal models.
February 21, 2020
New Publication: Consumer impacts on ecosystem functions in coastal wetlands: The data gap
What are the impacts of consumers on coastal wetland ecosystems? In this Innovative Viewpoint, the CBC’s Dr. Alex Moore and AMNH Science Research Mentoring Program student mentees identify the current gaps in knowledge relating to ecosystem properties and functions and provide additional impetus for the study of community and ecosystem ecology within these globally important ecosystems.
February 7, 2020
New Publication: Lessons in Conservation: Conservation and Technology
NCEP’s open-access journal Lessons in Conservation has a new issue out! Technologies are changing the way conservation is practiced—and students should be familiar with technologies—not only how to use them, but also whether, when, and where to use them, and how to manage the massive amounts of data they produce. The "Conservation and Technology" issue features exercises that familiarize students with these challenges. In addition to manipulating and analyzing real data, the exercises allow students to reflect and think critically about the remarkable potential and realistic limitations of these technologies.