Past Distributed Graduate Seminars

Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Services in Managed Landscapes
Data-driven Review of Ecosystem-based Management Efforts

Economic Impact of Non-native Forest Pests and Pathogens in North America
Habitat Conservation Planning for Endangered Species | A Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity |
Prospectus for an Analysis of Recovery Plans and Delisting
 
Ushering in a New Era of Functional Ecology:  Dynamics in a Changing Environment

Recent Distributed Graduate Seminars  



Habitat Conservation Planning for Endangered Species

Investigators


Kareiva, Peter

Products

Final Report

Using Science in Habitat Conservation Plans
Online (free)

Additional Publications
Lisa T. 1998. Innovative national graduate student seminar analyzes habitat conservation plans. Integrative Biology: Issues, News and Reviews 1(2): Pages 45-48

Data Sets
via NCEAS Data Depository

NCEAS collaborated with the American Institute of Biological Sciences to examine the scientific basis of Habitat Conservation Plans prepared under the Endangered Species Act. This one-year Working Group project included a Distributed Graduate Seminar held at eight universities. The seminars included 119 researches, including 106 students and 13 faculty members.

The group reviewed Habitat Conservation Plans to evaluate the extent to which scientific data and methods were used in developing and justifying the agreements, and also recommended ways to strengthen the role of science in conservation planning.

In addition to multiple scientific publications the research prompted wide coverage in the popular press.

Participating Universities
Fall 1997

Florida State University
North Carolina State University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Yale University

 Prospectus for an Analysis of Recovery Plans and Delisting

Investigators

Boersma, Dee
Kareiva, Peter

Products

Project Web Site (Archived)

Additional Publications
P. Dee Boersma, and Sarah DeWeerdt. 2001. Tapping the ivory tower; how academic-agency partnerships can advance conservation. Conservation Biology in Practice 2(3): 28-32
Data Sets
via NCEAS Data Repository

Data Collection

NCEAS, In collaboration with the Society for Conservation Biology, developed a Distributed Graduate Seminar involving 19 universities, 23 faculty and over 200 graduate students who together evaluated the effectiveness of recovery plans for endangered species. Graduate students gathered data and developed a large database of a representative sample of recovery plans. Recovery plans for 181 species were reviewed during the project. Using only the information presented in the recovery plan and the original listing document for the species, seminar participants recorded more than 2600 specific data about each recovery plan. Student representatives from each school came to NCEAS to participate in analyzing the data and developing scientific publications and policy recommendations to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, based on this analysis.

The project provided a unique opportunity to undertake a large collaboration among graduate students and faculty at multiple universities, and to facilitate communication between academic scientists and USFWS policy makers and resource managers.

The project successfully accomplished the most detailed and comprehensive review of endangered species recovery plans yet conducted, and produced a rich database of information on the content and characteristics of these planning documents. Analyses of the database have identified many positive aspects of recovery plans, and also suggested specific ways in which the recovery planning process could be improved.

Participating Universities
Spring 1999 

 

 

A Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity

Investigators

Andelman, Sandy

Products

Background
Course Reading List
Course Syllabus

Publications
S.J. Andelman, C.M Bowles, M.R. Willig and R.B. Waide. 2004. Understanding environmental complexity through a distributed knowledge network. BioScience 54(3):240-246

Data Sets

KNB Web Site


Understanding biocomplexity and other dimensions of ecological systems necessitates a holistic approach that can be achieved only by identifying, retrieving, and synthesizing diverse data from distributed sources and by collaboration among scientists from a broad range of disciplines, investigating many different systems.

In a series of multi-campus graduate seminars, students in ecology, natural resource management, informatics, and statistics explored a variety of topics related to biocomplexity research and ecological synthesis. Participants used newly developed ecoinformatics tools and principles to investigate the relationship between species richness and productivity, and to test the efficacy of the tools. Data were derived from local LTER sites and student representatives from each university participated at NCEAS in comparing results across sites.

Participating Universities
Arizona State University
Michigan State University
Stanford University
Texas Tech University
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Louisiana
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina
University of Notre Dame
Winter 2001

Data-driven Review of Ecosystem-based Management Efforts

Investigators

Andelman, Sandy

Products

Data Sets
via NCEAS Data Repository

Over the last decade there have been a wide range of efforts to implement ecosystem management in various systems (e.g., the Everglades, Greater Yellowstone, the Interior Columbia Basin, Serengeti-Mara, and the Great Barrier Reef). Although there have been several recent reviews of ecosystem management, these have not been quantitative or deeply analytical. This project used a distributed graduate seminar model to examine information regarding past ecosystem-based management efforts. Participants considered factors such as explicit goals, key elements and sequencing of the process, institutional attributes, implementation, degree of integration of science and decision-making, and outcomes. Faculty and graduate students from seven universities collaborated to assess successes and failures. They evaluated why particular efforts succeeded and failed, and identified lessons learned for management of coastal-marine systems. Locally, participants in each seminar collaborated to synthesize data for a particular example of ecosystem-based management and to develop a database of EBM activities and attributes. Participants in each seminar collaborated to synthesize data for a particular example of ecosystem-based management and to develop a database of EBM activities and attributes. A final working group meeting, involving 43 graduate students and faculty members from all participating universities, was held at NCEAS in February of 2005 to synthesize information from all case studies.

Participating Universities
Ben Gurion University, Israel
Florida International University
University of New Hampshire
University of Queensland, Australia
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Washington
Virgina Institute of Marine Science
Fall 2005
 

Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Services in Managed Landscapes

Investigators

De Clerck, Fabrice

Products

Loss of functional diversity under land use intensification across multiple taxa
Dan F. B. Flynn et al.
Ecology Letters 2008
Volume 12(1) 22 - 33
Abstract

Functional richness and ecosystem services: bird predation on arthropods in tropical agroecosystems
Stacy M. Philpott et al.
Ecological Applications 2009
19(7) 1858-1867
Abstract

Beyond yield: plant disease in the context of ecosystem services
M.R. Cheatham et al.
Phytopathology 2009
99(11) 1228-1236
Abstract

 

Fabrice De Clerk from Turrialba, Costa Rica, is based at the Centro Agronónomico Tropical de Investigación Enseñanza (CATIE). He teamed up with 7 other scientists from the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast of the United States to conduct a seminar for graduate students on the role of biodiversity in the landscapes that humans manage intensively. They reviewed the evidence for and against the idea that biodiversity can enhance the value humans receive from heavily managed landscapes, such as agriculture or cattle production. and then came to NCEAS to synthesize their findings.

Participating Universities
Winter-Spring 2007

 

Investigators

Aukema, Juliann

 

 

We are conducting a distributed graduate seminar to determine the extent to which ecological and economic impacts of non-native forest pests and pathogens can be quantified. The seminar involves groups of students at seven universities: Northern Arizona University, Colorado State University, University of Minnesota, University of Montana, State University of New York, North Carolina State University, and Oregon State University. Each university-based seminar has two leaders, an ecologist and an economist. Each university has selected one to several forest pests or pathogens of local to regional concern. They are gathering key data and evaluating ecological and economic impacts. We will bring together representatives from each university for a comparison and synthesis of results, modeling approaches, and data gaps.

Participating Universities

 

Colorado State University, Fort Collins
North Carolina State University
Northern Arizona University
Oregon State University
State University of New York, Syracuse
University of Minnesota
University of Montana

Winter 2008  


Ushering in a New Era of Functional Ecology:  Dynamics in a Changing Environment

Investigators

Cleland, Elsa E.
Collins, Scott L.
Suding, Katharine Nash 

 

Human activities are increasingly altering the environment in ways that impact plant communities and ecosystems. Climate change, invasive species, and nutrient enrichment of natural ecosystems are all examples of such environmental changes. The seminar will focus on emerging areas of research that are advancing functional ecology. A major goal of the DGS is to develop approaches to help predict how plant species and communities will shift in response to environmental changes. In particular the team will seek to connect plant traits, which reflect both ecological function and evolutionary history, to species responses to altered environmental conditions. To accomplish this goal they will bring together datasets from numerous locations throughout North America, including experimental manipulations of nitrogen, water, temperature and species composition, as well as observational datasets along existing environmental gradients. The capstone NCEAS meeting will combine analyses and techniques from each institution to generate predictions regarding national-level responses of plant communities to environmental change such as invasive species and nitrogen enrichment.

Participating Universities

Columbia University
Florida International University, Miami
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Houston, Texas
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Fall 2007 

 
DGS Contact: hampton [at] nceas [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Stephanie Hampton)