NCEAS News and Announcements

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April 26, 2016

With an increased demand for seafood, marine-based aquaculture, also known as mariculture, has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world. However, changing oceanic conditions could threaten the success of this rapidly growing industry. To better understand which species will be most sustainable, Froehlich et al. analyzed tolerance and life-history relationships of 178 farmed mariculture species. More>

April 22, 2016

Only 5% of global threat data sets meet a “gold standard”

A Policy Forum piece recently published in Science found that threat data is not readily available, making it difficult to fully understand the threats to biodiversity and how to alleviate them. The authors identified that very few data sets actually meet the basic requirements to be useful, let alone achieve the ‘gold standard’. The team identified where information gaps exist and provide suggestions on how to address these data gaps to aid conservation planning efforts. More>

April 19, 2016

Mangroves and coral reefs provide significant coastal protection benefits. The valuation of these services can provide a strong incentive for policy-makers to better manage these critical ecosystems. The World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services global partnership, has released a new report that sheds light on how to best value natural solutions for coastal protection. These Guidelines can help leaders understand how cost-effective natural habitats can be at reducing flood risks, and can hopefully inspire more investment in their conservation worldwide. More >


March 23, 2016

The National Science Foundation has made a 5-year, $5.9 million award to a national partnership, led by NCEAS at the University of California Santa Barbara, to develop and curate the NSF Arctic Data Center, a new archive for Arctic scientific data as well as other related research documents. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and the NSF-funded Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) are partners in the Arctic Data Center cooperative agreement between NSF and NCEAS. More>


March 22, 2016

To tackle how to best cope with the increasing droughts of the future, the USGS, The Nature Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Society are launching the Ecological Drought Working Group as part of the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP). Composed of drought, climate change, economic and conservation experts from these and other institutions, this working group will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the ecological impacts of drought on ecosystems and wildlife as well as the effects on people and their livelihoods. The group will propose methods to lessen such impacts, both ecologically and economically. More >


March 3, 2016

Technological tools and informatics now exist that could produce essential high-resolution global-scale data on the functional biodiversity of the Earth’s vegetation. The NASA sponsored Prospects and priorities for satellite monitoring of global terrestrial biodiversity Working Group identified the ecological priorities for future monitoring and imagery from space. Working Group recommendations "Monitoring plant functional diversity from space" were published in Nature Plants. The authors call for a satellite mission designed to track global changes in plant functional diversity. A mission of this nature would improve predictions of future change and fill critical knowledge gaps on the pace and consequences of the changes. More>


February 23, 2016

Mike Velings, serial entrepreneur and member of the SNAP Partnership Sustainable Open-Ocean Aquaculture Working Group, discusses how aquaculture is part of the solution to providing a sustainable protein source to the increasing world population. More>


February 23, 2016

The newly published book, “Ecosystems of California” (UC Press, 2016) evaluates the natural processes of California's natural ecosystems, drivers of change and how California's unique ecosystems may react to these drivers in the future. This book provides a comprehensive synthesis of this biologically diverse state examining its myriad landscapes through multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Frank Davis, NCEAS director, contributed the chapter on Oak Woodlands. More>


February 4, 2016

Selective logging practices like reduced-impact logging may lessen environmental effects, but impacts are difficult to detect and quantify with satellite imagery. The SNAPP Forest Sharing or Sparing Working Group tested airborne lidar, a tool that has an active sensor and gives three-dimensional results that help quantify the impact of selective logging practices. Their findings are published in Forest and Ecology Management. More>


January 29, 2016

DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth) provides cyberinfrastucture for open, persistent, robust and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data. Earlier this week, DataONE launched version 2.0. Version 2.0 will continue to ensure preservation and access to multi-scale, multi-discipline and international science data, and now also supports many new features in response to user input. More>

January 26, 2016, a redesigned website published by the Ocean Health Index team, and offers the opportunity to learn more about the science of the Ocean Health Index and how to conduct your own assessment. This resource gives you access to downloadable code, models, and the ability to learn more about this assessment, its mechanics, and how you can utilize it.
January 7, 2016

NCEAS is excited to announce that Martha "Marty" Downs has been appointed as the Communications Officer of the LTER Network Communications Office (NCO). In her role as Communications Officer she has lead responsibility for developing and coordinating communications across the LTER network, serves as the point of contact between the communications office and LTER community, supervises communications and outreach staff and interns, and works with the NCO Director and other team members to ensure that all communication functions of the LTER Network Communications office are operating efficiently and effectively. More>
January 1, 2016

A letter from NCEAS Director, Frank Davis, looking back on highlights and accomplishments from 2015 and what is to come in 2016.   More>


December 17, 2015

A recent publication by the Ocean Heath Index group in PeerJ presents four best practice tips which have evolved from the group's experience while developing and supporting OHI assessments. More>


December 16, 2015

In May 2015, the People’s Republic of China announced a phase out of the domestic trade of ivory, which will result in a complete ban on commercial trade. As a key participant in the ivory trade, this ban will have widespread effects on Chinese ivory carving companies, trade association and retailers. Working with the Chinese government, the new SNAPP Economics of the Chinese Ivory Trade Working Group will assess the true drivers of the ivory trade and model various forms of regulation and enforcement. These analyses will result in recommendations for a domestic ivory ban implementation plan for China. More>


December 8, 2015

Many conservation projects and policies aim to conserve nature while enhancing the well-being of people. However, very little research documenting the effectiveness of these projects and policies exits. The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) Evidence Based Conservation Working Group has created an interactive map that depicts the current evidence of the impact nature conservation policies and projects have had on human well-being. The map, published in Nature Comment, presents the extent and distribution of available evidence and shows trends across studies and geographies. More>


December 4, 2015

A new study published in Science reveals that more than 90% of the world’s migratory birds are inadequately protected due to poorly coordinated conservation around the world. The research discovered huge gaps in the conservation of migratory birds particularly across China, India, and parts of Africa and South America. Lead author, Claire Runge, is a new NCEAS Postdoctoral Associate from University of Queensland, and is working on the SNAPP Better Land Use Planning Working Group. More>


December 3, 2015

Despite the growing implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), the first comprehensive assessment of the protection provided by current MPAs reveals more than 17,000 marine species remain largely unprotected worldwide.The study identifies that the U.S.,Canada, and Brazil have the largest number of “gap species.” Co-authored by NCEAS Center Associate, Ben Halpern, the study emphasizes that new MPA locations need to be systematically identified based on which species have already been protected in other areas, the socioeconomic costs of implementation, and the feasibility of success of the MPA. More>

December 2, 2015

In a new report, the SNAPP Coastal Defenses Working Group evaluates coastal hazards and possible solutions, opportunities, barriers, and constraints to achieving sustainable coastal protection and climate change adaptation in the Manus and New Ireland provinces of Papua New Guinea. More>

December 1, 2015

The words “marine debris” conjure up images of plastic bottles and detergent jugs floating in the open ocean, or cigarette butts and soda cans littering beaches. Studies are now finding that tiny fibers shed from clothing in the laundry – each about the size of a grain of sand – are some of the more prevalent waste products recovered on shorelines and water samples. Mark A. Browne, a former NCEAS postdoc who participated in the Marine Debris Working Group, discussed the damage these fibers can inflict on animal and human health in the Opinion section of The New York Times. Read his opinion here.



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