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Recent Publications

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Ecology and Society, 2018

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.

Ecological applications vol 28 cover
Ecological Applications, December 2017

Purpose, processes, partnerships, and products: four Ps to advance participatory socio-environmental modeling

Including stakeholders in environmental model building and analysis is an increasingly popular approach to understanding ecological change. However, although the number of participatory modeling (PM) case studies and the number of researchers adopting these approaches has grown in recent years, the lack of standardized reporting and limited reproducibility have prevented PM's establishment and advancement as a cohesive field of study. In this paper, the authors suggest a four-dimensional framework and demonstrate how standardizing communication about PM case studies can lead to innovation and new insights about model-based reasoning in support of ecological policy development.

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BioScience, November 2017

The Importance of an Interdisciplinary Research Approach to Inform Wildlife Trade Management in Southeast Asia

Wildlife trade represents a major threat to endangered-species populations, especially in Southeast Asia, where trade continues at high levels despite increased efforts to control illegal activities. To identify management strategies that better mitigate the threat of this trade, research must address knowledge gaps about the complexity of established trade networks. This requires a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach that integrates biological, anthropological, socioeconomic, and other kinds of data and involves multiple stakeholders across sectors. CBC scientist Mary Blair and collaborators present here an interdisciplinary research framework for developing such an approach.

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Nature Ecology & Evolution, October 2017 

Biocultural approaches to well-being and sustainability indicators across scales

Monitoring and evaluation are central to ensuring that innovative, multi-scale, and interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability are effective. The development of relevant indicators for local sustainable management outcomes, and the ability to link these to broader national and international policy targets, are key challenges for resource managers, policymakers, and scientists. Sets of indicators that capture both ecological and social-cultural factors, and the feedbacks between them, can underpin cross-scale linkages that help bridge local and global scale initiatives to increase resilience of both humans and ecosystems. In this study, Eleanor Sterling, CBC Chief Conservation Scientist, and collaborators argue that biocultural approaches, in combination with methods for synthesizing across evidence from multiple sources, are critical to developing metrics that facilitate linkages across scales and dimensions. 

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Ecography, August 2017

The challenge of modeling niches and distributions for data-poor species: a comprehensive approach to model complexity

Models of species ecological niches and geographic distributions now represent a widely used tool in ecology, evolution, and biogeography. However, the very common situation of species with few available occurrence localities presents major challenges for such modeling techniques, in particular regarding model complexity and evaluation. In this study, CBC Biodiversity Informatics Specialist Peter Galante et al. summarize the state of the field regarding these issues and provide a worked example using the technique Maxent for a small mammal endemic to Madagascar (the nesomyine rodent Eliurus majori). 

Myanmar forest cover
Plos ONE, May 2017

Losing a jewel—Rapid declines in Myanmar’s intact forests from 2002-2014

New and rapid political and economic changes in Myanmar are increasing the pressures on the country’s forests. Yet, little is known about the past and current condition of these forests and how fast they are declining. CBC scientist Ned Horning took part in a study mapping forest cover in Myanmar through a consortium of international organizations and environmental non-governmental groups, using freely-available public domain data and open source software tools. 

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Biological Conservation, May 2017 

Assessing the evidence for stakeholder engagement in biodiversity conservation

A comprehensive literature review by CBC researchers and collaborators, looking at the evidence regarding the role of local stakeholder engagement in achieving biodiversity conservation goals and identifying six dimensions of engagement processes that are critical for successful outcomes when a project is externally-driven.

View all staff publications.


Lessons in Conservation 

Cover of LinC Issue 7
January 2017

Issue VII of Lessons in Conservation

The latest issue of Lessons in Conservation features topics that reflect the dynamic, continually evolving and interconnected nature of people and place. Across varying backdrops—from dam construction in rural India to conservation in New York City—each module examines the diverse range of stakeholders and perspectives involved in negotiating environmental issues.

View all issues of Lessons in Conservation.