Achieving a sustainable industrial economic system is the defining challenge of our age, one that requires understanding both of human-made systems that generate stresses on the environment and of the natural systems that absorb them. Industrial ecology (IE) is a synthesis field that seeks to understand the sustainability implications of decisions made in the context of human systems (businesses, households, public agencies). The main organizing principle in IE research is the boundary that separates the natural environment from the domain of human activity (aka the “technosphere”). Though natural systems are necessarily spatial, human systems are often more readily thought of as graphs, where different activities happen at distinct points in order to satisfy demand for products and services in the economy.
I will introduce the core methodologies of IE, material flow analysis and life cycle assessment, describe data collection and analysis in comparison to the natural sciences, and discuss how the operational concerns of businesses influence how IE investigations are designed and how knowledge is shared.
Brandon Kuczenski, Ph.D.
University of California at Santa Barbara
Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Environmental Research
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131
The professional work of data and records creation occurs within a specific context that is bounded by a number of factors. These factors contribute to the shape, form, and other aspects of the data. This discussion will talk about translating and reading co-created data from a particular community of practice, and then turn to a broader conversation about evaluating the context of records.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at DataONE
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
A changing climate will make the conservation of marine biodiversity increasingly difficult as policies designed for current climatic conditions may not reflect those in the future. Larval dispersal and movements among populations is a crucial factor in planning networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) as it greatly affects population persistence and recovery. I will present some of my work quantifying larval behavior in the laboratory, to using a biophysical larval dispersal model (ROMS/LTRANS, etc) to identify patterns of larval connectivity in the present and future climate scenarios. Identifying mechanisms that drive larval dispersal and connectivity, quantifying their sensitivity to climate change, and incorporating this into planning strategies are key to developing networks of MPAs which have sound design principles that consider population connectivity and are more robust to the effects of climate change.
University of Toronto, McGill University
This presentation will be by three students in the BREN Environmental Science and Management program at UCSB: Jane Ballard, Jennifer Pezda and Devin Spencer.
It is targeted towards a general audience, rather than the NCEAS community, since we are practicing for our public thesis presentations. However, we will be happy to answer any in-depth questions about our project. We are also looking for any feedback that will guide us towards greater success as we present to a public audience.
Southern California’s coastal wetlands contain a variety of habitats that provide a range of services which benefit human well-being, as well as the surrounding local and regional environment. These habitats provide ecosystem services such as flood protection, carbon sequestration, pollution buffering, and critical habitat for plant and animal species. While the physical extent of Southern California coastal wetlands is federally protected, the quality is being degraded by surrounding development, impacts from a growing population pressures, and impacts from climate change. Degraded habitats do not provide the same level of benefits and ecosystem services as healthy systems, therefore Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project (SCWRP) in conjunction with the Bren School, developed this thesis project to increase the communication and transparency of land use decisions that are impacting wetland habitats along the Southern California coast. In this presentation we will discuss the importance of valuing coastal wetlands as well as demonstrate how we went about determining the value of Southern California’s coastal wetlands.
The Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) is an NSF-supported DataNet project which is developing a distributed framework and sustainable cyberinfrastructure to meet the needs of science and society for open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data. Now in its seventh year of funding, DataONE has released a number of tools, services and programs that support users in their data management, discovery, preservation and education needs. This overview will provide a brief history of DataONE, its guiding principles and showcase the tools and services available to the community. I will also summarize the education and outreach activities of the project and the opportunities for community participation.
Director for Community Engagement and Outreach
Global policy initiatives and international conservation organizations are increasingly emphasizing the link between the conservation of natural ecosystems and human development. However, despite heavy investment of time, funds, and research in these linkages, the strength of evidence supporting the impacts of conservation on human well-being, is still scattered, inconsistent and inaccessible. Rigorous and comprehensive evidence is necessary to inform effective decisions and investment in achieving improved well-being of nature and people in conservation. This presentation will discuss the efforts of the SNAP working group on evidence-based conservation to take on a synthetic approach to evaluate the existing evidence for conservation’s impact on human well-being and provide coherent and useful frameworks and tools to increase the use of evidence in conservation decision-making. I will present a systematic map of over 1000+ relevant studies linking conservation interventions to human well-being. I will discuss the value of the systematic map as a decision support tool for rapidly locating data on policy impacts and targeting knowledge gaps to guide future research efforts.
Samantha H. Cheng, PhD
SNAP Evidence-Based Conservation Group
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), UCSB
Santa Barbara, CA
Senior Research Fellow
Center for Tropical Research, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA
In 2012 and 2013, the National Academy of Sciences organized two meetings that surveyed the state of the art of empirical research in science communication. The meetings focused on research in psychology, decision science, mass communication, risk communication, health communication, political science, sociology, and related fields. The talks, papers, and discussions that followed reaffirmed the Academy’s commitment to evidence-based science communication and offer a grounding in the science of science communication for working communicators and scientists.
I’ll review a few highlights from the meetings and lead a discussion of how they might apply to the communications challenges of NCEAS projects.
Lead Communications Officer
Long Term Ecological Research Network Communications Office (LTER NCO)
NCEAS, Santa Barbara, CA
This week’s Roundtable features two talks about salmon ecology and management in Alaska by Drs Milo Adkison and Anne Beaudreau, both of whom are members of the Gulf of Alaska Portfolio Effects working group.
Why is salmon management so hard?
Dr. Milo Adkison
Managers of Alaskan salmon fisheries open and close fisheries on short notice, with the objectives of maximizing catch and achieving their goal for spawners escaping the fishery. Uncertain run strength has long been recognized as an impediment to their success. I’ll show that uncertain run timing is just as big of a problem. Finally, I’ll examine a constant fishing schedule as an alternative to the current management approach.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Long-term community responses to nutrient additions and water quality changes in Afognak Lake, Alaska
Dr. Anne Beaudreau
The Afognak Lake sockeye salmon run historically supported one of the largest subsistence fisheries in the Kodiak Archipelago, Alaska. Declining abundance during the 1980s led to a decade of lake fertilization (i.e., additions of phosphorus and nitrogen) and intermittent stocking. The central goal of this study was to characterize changes in prey and habitat quality for lake-rearing juvenile sockeye salmon in Afognak Lake since the late-1980s. We synthesized long-term data collected by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to address two questions: (1) What environmental and ecological factors explain patterns of production for zooplankton and juvenile sockeye salmon in Afognak Lake? (2) Are patterns of production consistent with the expected community response to fertilization? We found that total phosphorous concentration was an important predictor of variation in density and size of dominant zooplankton species. Primary and secondary production showed a response to lake nutrient additions, but there was no discernable effect of fertilization on juvenile sockeye size and condition. Additionally, there was little support for the hypothesis that larger size at outmigration led to enhanced survival in the ocean. As a whole, our results suggest that nutrient additions are unlikely to result in increased population productivity of Afognak sockeye and that the ecological role of insects, which compose a large proportion of sockeye fry diets in Afognak Lake, deserves greater attention.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
17101 Point Lena Loop Road
Juneau, AK 99801
Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) has been a major topic in ecology for years. Nevertheless, there is still considerable debate about which mechanisms drive the relationship. Although most scientists agree on the existence of two underlying mechanisms, complementarity and selection, experimental studies keep producing contrasting results on the relative contributions of the two effects. My colleagues and I implemented a spatially explicit resource competition model to investigate how the strength of these effects and underlying mechanisms are influenced by trait and environmental variability, resource distribution, and species pool size. I will mainly present the model outcomes and then show a couple of BEF related projects I have been working on recently.
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM)
Many species move around land and seascapes. In this talk I’ll look at how these patterns of movement change the way we design conservation projects, and the outcomes for migratory species in contemporary conservation schemes. Often these species cross jurisdictions, and collaboration across diverse groups of people is essential to their persistence in a rapidly changing world.
I’ll explore these issues with three case studies – nomadic desert birds, a critically endangered koala population and mining development in southern Australia.
Be prepared for gratuitous photos of birds and cute fluffy things.
SNAP Better Land-Use Decisions working group
National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS),
University of California Santa Barbara
Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), University of Queensland
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