Open Science for Synthesis: Gulf Research Program

Training in Open Science Enables Synthetic Science within the Gulf Research Program

Director's Letter January 2018

NCEAS Portrait: Jensen Montambault, a Voyager in Conservation Science

Nicaragua, Rwanda, Tonga, Botswana, Guyana – Jensen Montambault’s passion for conservation has taken her to many remote places, such as these, to understand how human conflict and behaviors impact natural resources. The journey of figuring out the answers to intractable problems fuels her passion for this work.

Recently, Montambault has ventured into a new role, as the interim executive director for the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP). We spoke to Montambault for this month’s Portrait to get a better idea of what’s to come under her leadership.

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Broadening Horizons through Environmental Data Science

A letter from the Director

Executive Director Ben Halpern offers a message for the new year, highlighting the growing importance of environmental data science for making a difference in people's lives and how NCEAS is advancing this emerging discipline.      

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Rachel Carlson

Putting tipping points science into practice

The detrimental consequences of tipping points in ocean systems, such as the collapse of a New England lobster fishery in the 1990s, are well known, but they can sometimes be difficult to anticipate, identify and, thus, manage. To help ocean managers better deal with this challenge, the Ocean Tipping Points (OTP) project recently held a three-day workshop on its namesake concept as an effort to bridge science and management.

This workshop was a culminating event for the five-year, multi-partner project, which was co-led by NCEAS and focused on understanding tipping points in oceans and infusing that science into ocean management. Here is a spotlight on a couple of the insights gained at the workshop.   

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Figure for Thought: Translational Ecology

Figure for thought: How translational ecology can help science make a difference

How can we link ecological knowledge and decision-making more effectively? A recent paper from an NCEAS working group explores translational ecology, an emerging approach that has promise for helping science influence environmental conservation and management decisions.   

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data task force slider

A search and rescue team for salmon data

A simple hook and line can be all one needs to catch salmon, but fishing for data about salmon is often more complicated. With a multitude of organizations collecting data all around the world, typically following differing protocols, the result can be a sea of data obstructed by a tangled mess of mismatched standards and different collection methods.

Fortunately there is an army of data scientists now focused on gathering, disentangling, and aligning data for other researchers called the Data Task Force. An NCEAS initiative launched in 2015 and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Data Task Force rose from the realization that data collection, standardization, and management are often major constraints for big-data projects and can slow down researchers’ ability to produce results.

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