NCEAS News and Announcements

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June 3, 2016

As part of its mission to enhance collaboration across the Long Term Ecological Research network, the Network Communications Office (LTER NCO) has selected three Synthesis Working Group Proposals for funding. January’s call for proposals elicited a group of highly competitive proposals that together harnessed data from all 25 LTER sites. Congratulations to the principal investigators of the three proposals funded at this time. A new Call for Proposals will be issued in July 2016. More>


May 27, 2016

Despite major efforts to recover some of the world’s most charismatic megafauna, restoration practitioners have had limited success. Recovery of apex predators is critical because they provide fundamental services such as disease regulation, the maintenance of biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. A new publication in Science Advances by members of the Ocean Tipping Points team at NCEAS provides key recommendations to address this problem. More>


May 16, 2016

Over the past year, the SNAPP Evidence-Based Conservation Working Group has been constructing a systematic map, documenting available evidence on the impact of conservation interventions on human well-being. The Working Group has been developing a data portal for this information to make it easier for scientists and conservation practitioners to explore the evidence.A beta version of the Evidence-Based Conservation Data Portal is now available online. The team welcomes your feedback. More>



May 12, 2016

Coral reefs are in danger of reaching “tipping points” in which a series of small changes become significant enough to cause a larger and more drastic effect. Once this occurs, it is particularly difficult for the ecosystem to recover. The Ocean Tipping Points (OTP) team's work on Hawaiian coral reefs was recently featured in PNAS "Inner Workings". Scientists from NCEAS, University of Hawaii, Bangor University, Cal Poly, NOAA, Stanford University, and the Stockholm Resilience Center have been collaborating to identify coral reef tipping points to help inform strategies to prevent reefs from undergoing undesirable ecosystem shifts. More>


May 10, 2016

Due in large part to science-base management, the salmon fishery of Alaska is robust. However, climate change, ocean acidification, and human development are just a few of the growing threats to the sustainability of the Alaskan salmon fishery. Few resources exist to share interdisciplinary knowledge on the species that could help ensure the future health of the fishery. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awarded NCEAS $2.4 million in order to gain a better understanding of the ecological and social systems associated with salmon management in Alaska. More>


May 3, 2016

Ecologists seeking to measure temporal dynamics often need to write their own R code from scratch, leading to differences in implementation, as well as inefficiencies from the duplicated work. Hallett et al. published a new article in Methods in Ecology and Evolution that examines how new analytical tools can be applied to long-term data to demonstrate the dynamics of ecological communities over time. The authors developed an associated R package, "codyn" (short for "community dynamics"), to help ecologists easily use these metrics and gain broader insights into ecological community dynamics. More>


April 26, 2016

Coastal habitats are being increasingly used and managed for protection against storms, coastal flooding and erosion. However, little information has been synthesized to identify when, where and how these nature-based defenses are successful and cost effective. To fill this information gap, the SNAPP Coastal Defenses Working Group released a new study in, PLOS ONE, that analyses data from projects and field measurements in coastal habitats world-wide. More>


April 26, 2016

Coral reefs are well known for their biodiversity, however, the genetic diversity contained within these unique ecosystems is not well understood. Kimberly Selkoe, a long-time NCEAS associate, and her research team, recently published a paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , investigating how patterns of genetic diversity vary across the Hawaiian Archipelago. Additionally, they analyzed if this variation in genetic diversity could be ascribed to characteristics and stressors related to location. More>

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>


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