News and Notes

Half-Earth Project to Speak at Global Ecology Meeting

This week, the Ecological Society of America and Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution will meet in Montreal, Canada to discuss important research, scientific topics, and developments in conservation biology, ecology studies, and more as part of the ESACSEE Joint Meeting, August 14-19. The Half-Earth Project will be represented by Dr. Dennis Liu, VP of Education, and Dr. Walter Jetz, Scientific Chair of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

In the Community-Based Learning session, Dr. Liu will present Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation Education Using the Half-Earth Concept, Aug 16, 10:30am EDT. “Our driving question has been to understand if the Half-Earth Map can be also be used to engage instructors and learners in GIS skills, guided biodiversity-oriented inquiry, and conservation decision-making. A resulting objective is to probe how important supplementary educational materials are to support instructional use of the digital map.” Dr. Liu will share the lesson plans and results of the Half-Earth Project map engagement with educators as part of the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program.

Dr. Walter Jetz will participate in several symposia, talks, and sessions as a Presenting Author and Co-Author, and throughout the week on topics ranging from evolutionary biodiversity, and species distribution innovation. Jetz will also co-lead a symposium on “30×30” in the United States and improving resolution of species in area-based conservation. Dr. Jetz, leads the Map of Life team at Yale University, is also a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and Director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change.

Dr. Jetz’s participation include:

Toward a detection system for alien species occurrence records, Aug. 15, 2:00pm EDT (co-author)

The Covid-19 anthropause reveals mechanisms of human impacts on animal movement, Aug. 16, 9:00am EDT (co-author)

Integrating evolutionary history with species distribution models significantly improves data-deficient species predictions, Aug. 16 9:00am EDT (co-author)

Animal-borne sensors offer a biologically informed lens of fine-scale climate dynamics, Aug. 16, 10:15am EDT (co-author)

Predicting global biodiversity dynamics with animal sensors, Aug. 16, 11:15am EDT (presenting author)

Of special note, Dr. Walter Jetz, is co-organizer of the symposium Toward 30×30 – a science-based strategy for area-based conservation in North America, with co-organizer Dr. Jennifer McGowan of the Nature Conservancy. This symposium will feature several speakers from the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, NatureServe, The Nature Conservancy, Boston University, and Yale University. Topics in the symposium will cover the COP15 targets, biodiversity monitoring, area-based conservation, and conservation in the United States. View the full symposium agenda and references here. The symposium will run from 3:30 pm – 5:00pm EDT on Aug. 18.

Toward 30×30 References:

Nolte, C. 2020. High-resolution land value maps reveal underestimation of conservation costs in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117:29577-29583.

Jetz, W., J. McGowan, D. S. Rinnan, H. P. Possingham, P. Visconti, B. O’Donnell, M.C. Londoño-Murcia (2021): Include biodiversity representation indicators in area-based conservation targets. Nature Ecology & Evolution.



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