Feb. 8 [Wed] – Obstacles to Groundwater Treatment at Santa Susana Field Laboratory: Assessing Water Management Options and Ecosystem Questions

The RocketOutfall team is working in collaboration with Boeing to advance the groundwater treatment process at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. This project analyzes five methods Boeing could use to discharge this water, and investigates what impacts the most viable option (discharging treated water to a dry streambed) might have on the arid landscape. Boeing has previously pursued this option, but the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has asked them to consider the impacts on the receiving creek’s vegetation before a final permit is granted. Boeing is partnering with the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management to answer CDFW’s questions, and consider alternative discharge options.

Presenters are members of the RocketOutfall team – a group of 4 graduate students from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management specializing in Pollution Prevention and Remediation and Conservation Planning.

Feb 1, 2017 – Aligning coastal restoration with ecological and societal needs

Coastal habitats play critical ecological and societal roles in nearshore and estuarine systems.  Yet despite their importance, reefs, marshes and coastal forests around the world have been highly degraded and reduced to a small fraction of their historic extent.  In the United States and elsewhere, billions of dollars are being invested in coastal habitat restoration.  New policies emphasize planning processes that work across sectors and jurisdictions to fund projects that provide the greatest returns for people and nature.  As a result, state, county and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations and industry are facing hard questions about where to invest and how to set targets to meet these dual goals.  We have formed a multi-agency and NGO partner working group aimed at increasing understanding agency needs for decision-making, assessing past restoration projects, and developing achievable metrics and approaches for aligning ecological and social goals in future efforts.

Jonathan Grabowski, Ph.D.
J.Grabowski@northeastern.edu

Jon

 My research interests span issues in ecology, fisheries and conservation biology, social-ecological coupling, environmental policy, and ecological economics. I have used a variety of estuarine (oyster reef, seagrass, salt marsh, mud bottom) and marine (kelp bed, cobble-ledge) systems to examine how resource availability, habitat heterogeneity and predation risk affect population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functioning. Much of this work focuses on economically important species such as lobsters, cod, herring, monkfish, and oysters, and consequently is relevant for fisheries and ecosystem management. My lab also focuses on how habitat degradation and restoration influence benthic community structure, population structure, and the transfer of energy to higher trophic levels. In addition, we are interested in how fisheries management initiatives such as the design of closed areas, delineation of stock boundaries, fishing gear modifications, and quota setting impact fish population structure and fisheries productivity, essential fish habitat protection, community structure, and the social capital of stakeholders.

 

My lab’s research involves highly coupled social-ecological systems and integrates social and natural science approaches. For instance, we are examining the ecological consequences of shoreline hardening on ecosystem service provisioning while also investigating how the environmental connectedness of coastal residents influences their decision-making around this issue. We are also examining factors that influence coastal fishing communities’ perceptions of and trust in management to help improve their buy in and identify potential barriers. Finally, we are determining how factors such as urbanization and resource specialization influence the perceptions and values of coastal residents so that we can design more effective environmental policies around issues such as climate hazard preparedness and coastal habitat and resource management.

Wed. Jan. 25 – Summer fog patterns of Santa Barbara County

Sunrise 3-15-13

During the dry summer months, coastal shrubs in California receive little to no rain. However, shrub-dominated plant communities can be inundated by periodic fog events. I will be sharing my dissertation work examining the patterns of summer fog deposition, chemical make-up of fog and plant uptake of fog water. Come on by and let’s talk fog while reminiscing about those sunny summer months.

Speaker:
Nate Emery
Doctoral candidate
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Wed. Jan. 11 – Alaska’s salmon and people in the (rapidly changing) 21st century

Elmendorf Salmon Viewing Platform

This talk is an informal sketch of the emergent State of Alaska’s Salmon and People (SASAP) initiative, jointly told by many of the project’s leads. In addition to providing listeners with an understanding of the SASAP process, we aim to provide insights into our own motivations for joining the work, sketches of work in our laboratories, and a general sense of the importance of salmon to the overall health of Alaska.

Presenters: Peter Westley, Jessica Black, Courtney Carothers, and Tobias Schwoerer

Peter Westley
Assistant Professor
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Web: http://www.uaf.edu/sfos/people/faculty/detail/index.xml?id=76
Email: pwestley@alaska.edu

Measuring the status of fisheries and factors leading to success

This talk will summarize the results to date of our SNAPP group of the same title.  We will summarize the data we have available on the status of fish stocks,  and how they are managed.
We now have reliable data from national and international scientific institutions on stocks constituting over 50% of global fish catch, with Asia south of Japan the major area that is not covered.  We also have less reliable estimates from  statistical models of most fisheries not covered by scientific assessments.  We have also collected data on how fisheries are managed in major fishing countries and international fisheries.  Our best estimates are that globally fish stock abundance has been stable for the last several decades,  but increasing in places were good scientific data are available and likely decreasing where such data is not available.  Our preliminary results suggest that there is not a strong relationship between the intensity of fisheries management and stock status because intensive management seems to result from poor stock status.  If we focus on stocks that are overfished then a clear relationship between intensity of management and stock recovery emerges.
At our current meeting we are asking two key questions.  (1) what factors have led to recovery of overexploited species and (2) Does science advice improve fisheries outcomes.
Speakers:
Ray Hilborn
Mike Melnychuk
Maite Pons
Ray Hilborn

Ray Hilborn

Ray Hilborn is a Professor in the School of  Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington specializing in natural resource management and conservation. He  teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in food sustainability, conservation and quantitative population dynamics.  He authored several books including “Overfishing: what everyone needs to know” (with Ulrike Hilborn) in 2012,  “Quantitative fisheries stock assessment” with Carl Walters in 1992, and “The Ecological Detective: confronting models with data” with Marc Mangel, in 1997 and has published over 300 peer reviewed articles.  He has served on the Editorial Boards of numerous journals including  7 years on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science Magazine.    He has received the Volvo Environmental Prize, the American Fisheries Societies Award of Excellence, The Ecological Society of America’s Sustainability Science Award,  and the International Fisheries Science Prize.    He is a Fellow of the American Fisheries Society, the Washington State Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
mikem2
Mike Melnychuk is a Research Scientist at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, working with Ray Hilborn. His research focuses on characterizing the variability in fisheries management systems around the world and assessing the consequences of that variability for fish stocks and fisheries. In previous lives, Mike completed his PhD at UBC with Carl Walters and Villy Christensen, studying migration and mortality patterns of juvenile salmon, and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at UW with Tim Essington, quantifying ecological impacts of catch share fisheries.
img_5820
Maite Pons is a PhD. student working with Ray Hilborn in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington. She is originally from Uruguay where she completed her undergrad in biology and masters in ecology. Her research focuses in stock assessment and management of large pelagic species such as tunas and billfishes. She is interested not only in the performance of different assessment models but also in how different management measures impact current stock status.
As usual, Roundtable will take place in the NCEAS lounge at 735 State Street, Suite 300.
OR Join us virtually by connecting to
Or dial in using your phone. United States : +1 (408) 650-3123
Access Code: 653-578-053

Using social media to advance your research career

Most of us use social media as an effective way to connect with
friends and family. For academics though, social media can be even
more effective at advancing professional goals. In this roundtable, I
will illustrate the many ways that roundtable participants can use
social media to powerfully further their career objectives. These
objectives include things like: keeping track of the latest
developments in the field, increasing awareness among colleagues of
your research, and furthering outreach goals. I will be focusing on
Twitter, though the principles are roughly the same across social
media platforms. At the end of the roundtable, my intention is that
participants will have gained actionable information about social
media that they can immediately put to work to further career goals.
This roundtable will involve some interactive activities, but
participants will not need to bring computers (or anything else) to
take part in these activities.

Jai Ranganathan

Center Associate
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
jai.ranganathan@gmail.com

 

Introduction to Jupyter notebooks and quick dive into Python

Presenter: Julien Brun

Jupyter notebooks are a great way to share your data analysis and promote reproducible science.  These interactive notebooks mix executable computer code (e.g. Python, R, Julia, Bash, …) with rich text and data visualizations. Have a look here for some examples: https://nbviewer.jupyter.org. We will use this tool to do a quick dive into Python with specific tips for R users.

Note that the hands-on participation is space-limited and you need to register here. However, everybody is welcome to follow the session in person or remotely. The hands-on participants  will need to bring their laptop to connect to NCEAS’ server, but no specific installation is required.

Plant Community Responses to Global Change Drivers

Global change will alter resources, which are predicted to change the composition and functioning of plant communities. Here, I present the results of several projects studying plant community changes in response to resource manipulations. First, I present data from an experiment at Konza Prairie Biological Station in Manhattan Kansas. In this experiment, nutrient additions (nitrogen and phosphorus) turned the tallgrass prairie from being dominate by C4 grasses to C3 forbs. Next, I detail plant community responses to resource manipulations across ~100 experiments world-wide. This data synthesis found that when 5 factors are simultaneously manipulated, there are drastic changes in the plant community. Additionally, the greater number of factors that are manipulated, the greater the change in productivity. Lastly, I review my current postdoctoral work, focused on developing new ways to study patterns of community change using rank abundance curves.

plants

Photo of the phosphorus plots experiment at Konza Prairie Biological Station. Photo Credit: Melinda Smith

Carbon Neutrality at University California: The TomKat Project

Abstract

In 2013, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which declares that all ten campuses in the University of California will have zero net emissions by the year 2025. Through a generous donation from the TomKat Foundation and supplemental funding from the University of California Office of the President, two groups of researchers have assembled to help address different facets of this multidimensional initiative. These two teams of the TomKat Project are hosted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and supported by the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UCSB.

The Exit Strategies for Natural Gas working group is focusing on the challenge of eliminating natural gas emissions from the ten UC campuses and their medical centers. This is made difficult by the lock-in situation that exists at six campuses which rely on cogeneration power plants for heating and power. The Net-Zero Comm Strategy working group will work to develop and test best communication techniques for the University of California to achieve zero net emissions by 2025. This process will involve performing audience research on key stakeholders at the University of California, testing messages, and analyzing barriers to gaining support for the Carbon Neutrality Initiative.

 

Speakers

celine
Celine Mol is an undergraduate student at UC Santa Barbara, where she is graduating this coming June with a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics and Applied Probability. In her future, Celine would like to be able to use her strengths in data science to find solutions that demand a more sustainable future. Through the Net-Zero Comm Strategy Working Group, Celine is excited to focus on approaches to leveraging influencers and developing outreach and engagement strategies to implement a successful carbon neutrality model at the UC.

charlie
Charlie Diamond is a second year MESM student at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. He has an undergraduate degree in environmental economics, and is specializing in water resources management at the Bren School. Charlie is interested in water and climate policy in California, and feels lucky to be part of an exciting research effort to evaluate decarbonization strategies at the University of California as a TomKat intern.

evan
Evan Ritzinger is serving as an Intern for the TomKat Project on strategies for natural gas removal. He is a Master’s candidate of Environmental Science and Management at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara, where he is pursuing a dual specialization in Conservation Planning and Energy & Climate. His research interests include energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. Previously, Evan worked for roughly two years as a Home Energy Advisor for a Boston based energy efficiency firm, where he was certified as a Building Analyst under the Building Performance Institute and performed hundreds of energy audits. Evan received his B.A. in Environmental Science with a minor in Economics from Boston University.

jay
Jay McConagha is a second year MESM student at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. He is specializing in Energy & Climate while completing a focus in Strategic Environmental Communication & Media. As an intern with the Net-Zero Comm Strategy working group, Jay is interested in identifying and overcoming barriers to the goals of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, and fostering support through strategic communication.

 

TomKat Foundation
Established in 2009 by Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor, the TomKat Foundation partners with innovative organizations that envision a world with climate stability, a healthy and just food system, and broad prosperity. The Foundation embraces the inherent interconnectedness of these complex systems. Working at every level, the TomKat Foundation is committed to supporting organizations and initiatives across the country that will take bold action on climate change.

The Day After: Bird Conservation in [Insert President-elect’s name]’s America! [Wed. Nov. 9th]

Come take your mind off the aftermath of the 2016 election by talking about birds, citizen science, and habitat restoration instead. I will present on the work done by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO), which is a nonprofit that works on bird conservation science and educational outreach projects. Although we work on many projects, I will primarily discuss our work with the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, a new urban biodiversity project with Google, burrowing owls conservation, and our citizen science projects. SFBBO and many of its partners are always looking for collaborators and new projects so I look forward to any ideas for partnerships and gaps in knowledge.

 

I welcome discussion during roundtable and the following are some of my thoughts, although I welcome other ideas!
  • How to promote more linkages among academics and non-profits (i.e., applied ecology and conservation research!)
  • Working with citizen science derived data and how to get our data into the hands of more people
  • Ways to reach more diverse audiences with indoor and outdoor activities
  • Increasing corporate participation in urban ecology as well as the conservation value of urban greening and restoration

yiwei-o

Dr. Yiwei Wang
Executive Director
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
http://sfbbo.org/