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Summer 2016 internships available with Arizona Game and Fish

December 15, 2015

Students in the School of Life Sciences looking toward careers in wildlife biology or management take note of a new opportunity: Paid summer internships with the Arizona Game and Fish (AGF) department in 2016.

AGF manages Arizona’s fish and wildlife resources, and promotes safe and responsible use of watercraft and off-highway vehicles.

Interns can expect to gain hands-on practical work experience working alongside a diverse group of AGF professionals. In the past, interns have:

  • Helped with radio tracking and collecting pronghorn antelope field data,
  • Conducted habitat assessments at squirrel use sites as part of a habitat selection study, and
  • Learned skills in electro fishing and gill netting.

Applications are due January 22, and eligible students can apply online; however, interested students from the School of Life Sciences must first meet with Mike Demlong, the AGF department liaison to the school.

Demlong will host two special career-counseling sessions to help students meet the school's application requirement before deadline submission:

  • Thursday, Jan. 14  from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in LSC 278
  • Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in LSC 278

AGF internship eligibility requirements and additional information available here.

Additional information about meeting with the AGF liaison here.

CBO researcher part of effort to set standard for identifying areas of significance to global biodiversity

December 10, 2015

Penny Langhammer, CBO research affiliate and ASU adjunct professor of biology in the School of Life Sciences, travels the world to help develop an international standard for the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).

Langhammer serves as co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas, which is working to establish criteria to identify sites (KBAs) that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity.

Her insights on the IUCN project were featured in a recent article in ASU Now.

Global sustainability experts to convene at World Business Council on Sustainable Development event Dec. 7-10 in Paris

December 1, 2015

On Dec. 7, members of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) gather in Paris for three days to discuss global solutions for addressing climate change, sustainable development and energy.

The event focuses on four key action areas, which include achieving Sustainable Development Goals, launched by the United Nations in 2015; and Redefining Value, a global effort by WBCSD and its partners to lead the development of protocol and processes to incorporate social and natural capital into business decision-making.

The four-day event also brings together members of the WBCSD's Water Cluster group for a session featuring:

  • The launch of the Natural Infrastructure for Business platform,
  • A demonstration of the Green Infrastructure opportunity screening tool by the Earth Genome and
  • An overview of WBCSD water tools family.

CBO is involved in projects specific to the Water Cluster group and WBCSD action areas, specifically:

  • Development of a data-driven decision support tool for corporate decision-making in water use, and
  • Collaboration with organizational partners on ways to centralize access to biodiversity data and create methods for integrating data into corporate risk-management protocols.

Members from the global organization's Ecosystems, Forest Solutions and Water teams also plan to discuss opportunities to promote WBCSD goals during the IUCN 2016 World Congress in Hawaii.

More information about the Paris WBCSD Council Meeting here.

Information about the WBCSD here.

Apply by Dec. 1 to be part of a Center for Biodiversity Outcomes research project underway in Brazil

November 17, 2015

USAID has awarded new scholarship funding to ASU’s Global Development Research Scholar program for students to engage with biodiversity projects in Brazil.

Biodiversity projects led by CBO faculty affiliates and partner organizations are among new opportunities that are part of the “Targeting Brazil Biodiversity for Research and Innovation Fellowships at ASU” initiative and a chance for students to be involved in important conservation work as a part of their graduate student experience. Scholarships are available through ASU’s GDR program with USAID, and students must apply by December 1 for consideration.

Current CBO-affiliated projects in Brazil in need of student scholars are varied and challenging:

  • Researching the history and impact of biofuels innovations
  • Addressing hydro-social environmental impact of sugarcane production on land-use food security
  • Surveying tiger beetle taxonomy/conservation and use as bio-indicators and crop pest control
  • Understanding resource and land management issues related to cement and iron miners of RESEX
  • Researching conservation issues related to river dolphins, particularly the Amazon River dolphin
  • Surveying conservation issues related to the Franciscana dolphin

Duties for fellows assigned to the projects include:

  • Providing technical and programmatic support to partner communities and the USAID mission in Brazil, generating subsidies for environmental assessment and monitoring through diversity
  • Determining the impact on biodiversity due to human activities,
  • Working with CBO and CBO faculty affiliates and working as a CBO ambassador to strengthen CBO and ASU’s partnerships with Brazilian organizations,
  • Qualifying and improving specialized human resources trainings in the Amazon regional to meet regional demand,
  • Disseminating research findings and
  • Establishing new relationships with diverse entities that foster future collaborations.

For a detailed list of project opportunities available, contact and visit the GDR website for information on how to apply.

Application deadline is December 1, 2015.


SNAP adds KBA-focused CBO working group to its roster

November 17, 2015

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis recently awarded CBO funding from the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) program to support a working group led by lead investigators from the IUCN, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The working group will focus on simplifying and stimulating the “routine documentation and assessment of the ecosystem services and human well-being benefits delivered by Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) as they are identified by national and local organizations.” KBAs are areas of particular global biodiversity importance to achieve biodiversity outcomes. The group intends to make the data available publicly through platforms such as the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) in order to support improved environmental decision-making by both the public and private sectors, thereby achieving biodiversity outcomes.

Principal investigators of the group include CBO director Leah Gerber and CBO affiliate researcher Penny Langhammer.

Learn more about SNAP working groups here.

IUCN to hold 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawaii

November 12, 2015

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Council has announced plans to hold the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii next year, making it the first time the event will take place in the U.S. The event is scheduled for September 1-10, 2016.

Every four years, leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, U.N. agencies, and indigenous and grass-roots organizations come together at the congress to develop and advance solutions to many of the world’s most pressing environmental and development challenges. More information about the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress here.

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes works with the IUCN on several fronts and is currently developing a formal partnership with the IUCN Red List. CBO has partnered with IUCN to pilot the new Key Biodiversity Standard, which assesses areas of significant global biodiversity importance. CBO researcher Penny Langhammer leads this effort and serves as lead author for the KBA standard. The project receives support from NCEAS Science and Nature for People (SNAP). CBO also works with the Joint Species Survival Commission/World Commission on Protected Areas and the National Marine Fisheries Service, and provides support to a faculty affiliate to coordinate and lead CBO’s IUCN-related activities and communications.


What is the role of NEON in addressing environmental challenges?

November 12, 2015

In September 2015, James Collins, ASU professor of Natural History and the Environment with the School of Life Sciences, and a CBO faculty affiliate, shared his vision for how The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) fits into U.S. plans to address environmental challenges in the coming decades.

Watch his presentation here.

Need help preparing for a career in the natural sciences?

November 12, 2015

WRSA Workshop 2015If you're ready to start your career in natural sciences but need help navigating the interview process or building a strong resume, ASU's Wildlife and Restoration Student Association (WRSA) wants to help.

On November 23, the WRSA is hosting a career workshop at ASU’s Polytechnic Campus that gives students access to professionals in the field for help in preparing a resume or honing their interview skills.

Representatives from non-profit organizations and government agencies including Arizona Game and Fish, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service, will be on hand to offer resume advice and conduct mock interviews with students.

Interested participants should RSVP and bring a current resume to the event. For more information, see the event flier.

ASU's SACNAS Chapter to host "Inspiring Science Career Paths" event

November 10, 2015

Take part in an evening of engaging stories and conversation with three scientists to find out how they shaped their career paths to reach their individual goals.

Guest speakers include Sharon Hall, Ph.D., ASU School of Life Sciences; Melissa Wilson-Sayres, Ph.D., ASU School of Life Sciences; and Maclovia Quintana, MS, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

The event takes place Wednesday, November 18 at 5:30 p.m. in Life Sciences E 244.

More information here.

New course offering: “Discovering Biodiversity: Field to Database”

November 5, 2015

The School of Life Sciences will offer a new course next spring focused on specimens and specimen-based informatics practices. The new course, "Discovering Biodiversity: Field to Database," is open to both undergraduates and graduates, and will be held at the ASU Natural History Collections biodiversity teaching lab.

The course provides students in ecology, conservation, anthropology, sustainability and museum science the opportunity to advance their understanding of biodiversity discovery methods. It is designed to address the question of how to create and process field- and specimen-based information that “drives our understanding of past, present and future trends in biodiversity.”

Class size is limited. For more information, see the course information flier below or contact Nico Franz, director of the Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center.

Course information: DiscoveringBiodiversity-2016-Flyer


PBS Horizon interviews CBO director Leah Gerber Tuesday, November 3

November 5, 2015

LGerber_HorizonLeah Gerber, director of the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, appeared on Tuesday night’s edition of Horizon on PBS Channel 8 to discuss the work and goals of the center. The center was recently featured in an ASU Now article.

Gerber began the interview by explaining that "the data suggests we are currently experiencing the sixth mass extinction on Earth largely due to…human impacts."

To find out more and hear how the CBO is working with scientists and other organizations to develop a pragmatic approach to extinction, watch the full interview here.


Applications for Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Open Nov. 16

November 4, 2015

2016 DDCSP@UW Flyer

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at University of Washington (DDCSP@UW) offers 20 freshmen and sophomores the chance to participate in an eight-week immersion course beginning June 2016. The program creates a unique opportunity for students to travel wildlands and rural landscapes in Washington and address urban conservation issues.

Selection criteria include a demonstrated commitment to the environment and to diversity along with curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm. In exchange, students will:

  • Explore conservation of biodiversity across urban, managed and protected environments;
  • Connect biodiversity conservation to cultural heritage and environmental justice;
  • Understand conservation in the context of food systems, water systems, climate systems and ecosystems; and
  • Network with conservation professionals from agencies, NGOs and academic institutions.

The DDCSP covers the cost of travel, food and lodging during the eight-week program, and students receive a stipend of $4,000.

Applications available Nov. 16, 2015.

Learn more about the program at

Recruitment information: 2016 DDCSP@UW Flyer.


"Inventorying the ark: A pragmatic approach to extinction"

October 28, 2015

Leah Gerber, director of the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, and Anita Hagy Ferguson, project manager of the center, talked with ASU News about the center’s goals and the challenges facing scientists and researchers in addressing biodiversity issues.

Read the article here.

ASU center takes pragmatic approach to extinction

View Source | October 27, 2015

Frog in waterASU's Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, directed by Senior Sustainability Scientist Leah Gerberwas created a year ago to pragmatically stem the tide of loss in what has been called the Sixth Extinction. Its mission is to make discoveries and create solutions to conserve, where possible, and to manage biodiversity for the long term as the world rapidly changes. In doing so, tough decisions must be made.

“We can’t save everything,” says Anita Hagy Ferguson, program coordinator for the center. “We’re not operating in that la-la land. It’s heartbreaking, but we are operating with real data, with real reality, and you cannot save everything. You have to make choices in what to save and how to save it, so that we can move quickly.”

The center’s research focuses on five areas: biodiversity assessment and decision tools, governance and biodiversity, advancing corporate sustainability, public health and biodiversity, and engagement of underserved youth. To learn more about the center, watch this interview with Gerber on Arizona Horizon.

"2050: Can we get to a sustainable world by then?"

October 22, 2015

Peter Kareiva

Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (or IoES) at UCLA,

Chair of the The Nature Conservancy Science Cabinet

Peter KareivaWe face severe environmental threats. But stories of human footprints that exceed 1.5 earths, prophecies of the extinction of man, total loss of biodiversity, and planetary boundaries are neither solid scientifically nor effective communication. Similarly fighting symbolic environmental battles, one court case at a time, is just as myopic as corporations can be when they maximize short-term profits. A better way to approach the problem is to ask what world do we want to live in in 2050? And what will it take to get to our desired world?

Prior to his appointment at the University of California-Los Angeles, Peter Kareiva was Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy for a dozen years, Director of the Division of Conservation Biology at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries lab in Seattle for three years, and a Professor of Zoology at the University of Washington for twenty years. Peter began his career as a mathematical biologist who also did fieldwork on plants and insects around the world. His early work focused on ecological theory and he gradually shifted to agriculture, biotechnology, risk assessment, and conservation. He now mixes policy and social science with natural science, and further believes that today’s environmental challenges require a strong dose of the humanities and private sector engagement. Never by himself, but with terrific colleagues and the support of generous philanthropists, he cofounded the Natural Capital ProjectNatureNet Fellows, and Science for Nature and People or SNAP.

He has written or edited nine books and nearly 200 articles, including a conservation biology textbook. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Science. It all began with education at a Jesuit High School in upstate New York, followed by Duke University, and a PhD from Cornell University in 1981. There were interludes of consulting for engineering firms and for the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations and the United Nations Environmental Programme, and some teaching overseas—always driven by a certain wanderlust.

View PDF of this event

Thursday, October 29, 2015

7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Marston Theater, ISTB4

Arizona State university, Tempe, AZ 85281


“Resilience or resourcefulness – which makes most sense for the Anthropocene?”

October 22, 2015

Peter Kareiva

Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (or IoES) at UCLA,

Chair of the The Nature Conservancy Science Cabinet

Peter Kareiva

According to world-renowned conservationist Peter Kareiva, resilient cities, resilient communities, resilient agriculture have become a common environmental meme. But what do the data tell us? In a review of social science studies and ecological measurements following massive environmental depredations suggest a different view.

Before his appointment at UCLA, Kareiva served as Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, Director of the Division of Conservation Biology at the NOAA’s fisheries lab, and a Professor of Zoology at the University of Washington. He began his career as a mathematical biologist who conducted fieldwork on plants and insects around the world. His work has shifted from a focus on ecological theory to agriculture, biotechnology, risk assessment, and conservation. He now mixes policy and social science with natural science, believing that today’s environmental challenges require a strong dose of the humanities and private-sector engagement. Never by himself, but with terrific colleagues and the support of generous philanthropists, he cofounded the Natural Capital ProjectNatureNet Fellows, and Science for Nature and People or SNAP.

Kareiva has written or edited 9 books and nearly 200 articles, He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Science.

Lunch will be provided.

View PDF of this event

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Wrigley Hall rm 481

Arizona State University, Tempe Campus


New global assessment shows cacti fifth most threatened species group

October 21, 2015

A new report published in Nature on a recently completed global species assessment shows cacti are at risk worldwide and the fifth most threatened of any major group assessed to date.

CBO Affiliate Gerrit (Jan) Schipper contributed to the global assessment led by Barbara Goettsch, Co-Chair of the IUCN Cactus and Succulent Plant Specialist Group.

Read more on the findings of this study at ASU News.

CBO is leading efforts to list all cactus species in the Sonoran desert so that an assessment of species in this diverse region can support its conservation.

Compromise may be part of a sustainable solution to whale hunting

View Source | September 18, 2015

Leah and grad student examine a sampleThe past 30 years of the International Whaling Commission’s conversation has been stalled by disagreement on the ethics of killing whales, according to sustainability scientist Leah Gerber. Gerber, who is founding director of ASU’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, floated the idea of a compromise with whaling nations in the September issue of scientific journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Changing course and allowing Iceland, Japan and Norway to legally hunt under regulations and monitoring might break the current stalemate. Currently, Japan whales under a loophole allowing for scientific research. The other two countries hunt whales commercially in protest of the ban.

“If our common goal is a healthy and sustainable population of whales, let’s find a way to develop strategies that achieve that,” Gerber said. “That may involve agreeing to a small level of take. That would certainly be a reduced take to what’s happening now.”

A Deal with Japan on Whaling?

September 16, 2015

What are the benefits of striking a deal with Japan on Whaling? CBO Director, Leah Gerber featured Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment guest editorial, critiques the leading arguments.

A deal with Japan on whaling? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13: 347–347.