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Our Next Evolution

January 20, 2021

Book cover with text next to it saying "#1 Amazon Best Seller." The book cover is an aerial view illustration of a deltaOn January 19, 2021, ASU alumni Laura Calandrella published a book titled “Our Next Evolution: Transforming Collaborative Leadership to Shape Our Planet’s Future.”

Calandrella obtained a BA in Spanish and a BS in Biology and Society from Arizona State University in 2002, before completing a master’s degree in Development Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 2005.

In addition to being a facilitator with the National Center for Environmental Conflict and Resolution, Calandrella has over a decade of experience as a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. She coaches leaders across the globe to build solid partnerships and strategies to address today’s toughest environmental challenges.

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Decision-making in conservation science, 2021 AAAS meeting

January 15, 2021

AAAS 2021 Annual Meeting FlyerArizona State University will be co-hosting this year’s 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting, February 8-11. During the live virtual meetings, the ASU community will be presenting over 20 sessions and 43 papers, many of them featuring our sustainability scientists and scholars.

Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber and School of Public Affairs Assistant Professor Derrick Anderson will facilitate a session titled “The Art of Bringing Evidence to Decision-Making in Conservation Science”. This session will take place on Thursday, February 11, 3:00-3:45 p.m. MST.

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Sustainability scientists representing ASU at AAAS

January 13, 2021

The 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting will convene entirely online, February 8-11, with related pre-released materials available online now. The AAAS Annual Meeting will be conducted in English. Use the AAAS Virtual Platform to browse the video library of pre-recorded Spotlight Videos, view AAAS E-poster and Sci-Mic Podcast galleries, visit and learn at the Exchange, and more. Live virtual meeting will convene on this platform February 8-11.

Among the 20+ sessions and 43 papers by ASU presenters are the following sessions and presentations featuring sustainability scientists and scholars. More sessions are being added all the time; check the AAAS website for most current listings.

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Creative tools for saving biodiversity

January 7, 2021

Ladybug sanding on leaf with spread windsIn spring 2021, ASU School of Music, Dance and Theater Professor Liz Lerman and School of Life Sciences Professor Becket Sterner will be teaching a multidisciplinary course titled "Creative Tools for Saving Biodiversity."

Why are they teaching this class?

Life on Earth has entered a sixth mass extinction, driven by pervasive human impact on the global environment. Even the most common species, such as many insect pollinators, have experienced precipitous declines in their populations over the past few decades.

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Biodiversity Measures for Business, review paper

January 7, 2021

ecological-friendly-sustainable-environment-ecoThe Aligning Biodiversity Measures for Business collaboration of the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) recently published a review paper titled “Biodiversity Measures for Business: Corporate biodiversity measurement, reporting and disclosure within the current and future global policy context.

This publication includes recommendations for policymakers, providing an overview of drivers and current practices and approaches in future business disclosure for informing global policy targets.

This review paper also provides recommendations to create a step-change in business action to measure biodiversity impacts, dependencies and performance.

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Scientific Teaching in Higher Education, certificate

December 20, 2020

woman-get-graduation-and-holding-paper-certificateThe School of Life Sciences partnered with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University to offer the Graduate Certificate in Scientific Teaching in Higher Education.

Associate Professor Bryan Henderson has spearheaded this certificate for the past six years and will now be co-directed by Instructor Mitra Asgari.

One of the essential components of this program is that students complete a capstone experience. They can choose from (1) teaching (e.g., significant teaching as a co-instructor for a course); (2) curriculum development (e.g., developing materials for a lecture course, lecture recitations or lab course); or (3) discipline-based education research (e.g., conducting an education research projects in the context of an undergraduate course).

Students are required to find a mentor before applying to the program. The most common capstone option so far has been for students to TA for their mentor, followed by either co-teaching with their mentor or teaching a course on their own.

Impacts of whale watching on humpback whales' behavior

December 19, 2020

Humpback whale tale above water and sea bird flying overFaculty and students from the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and the Conservation Innovation Lab co-authorized a paper published yesterday in Frontiers in Marine Science, presenting their pilot study conducted last summer in Las Perlas Archipelago, Panama.

The publication, titled “Impacts of Whale Watching on the Behavior of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Coast of Panama,” is a product of the ASU-Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute partnership and our collaboration with the University of San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.

Learn more about how the project assessed how local whale watching activities were affecting the behavior of the humpback whale population.

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Biodiversity matters

December 8, 2020

organic-soybean-field-in-sunsetHow can you recognize human-caused climate change with natural causes for elevated carbon dioxide? Do scientists agree that humans activity is behind global warming? Why should we care about biodiversity? These are some of the questions two of our ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes scientists, Leah Gerber and Steffen Eikenberry, help answer in this Q&A segment of ASU Now – Discoveries.

Gerber is a professor in the School of Life Sciences and founding director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes. Eikenberry is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

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Extinction and the value of biodiversity

December 5, 2020

Learn with Me icon showing books leaning against a computer monitor (illustration)Biodiversity is the variety of living species on Earth and the ecosystems they form. We need biodiversity for many critical functions of our lives as humans. From food production to medicine to clean air and water, biodiversity plays a crucial role in sustaining human populations across the globe.

So, how does this relate to extinction? What happens to an ecosystem when a species goes extinct? When will the next mass extinction occur? Can we bring back a species from extinction?

Join Leah Gerber as she walks us through these topics and describes reasons for hope in sustaining life on our planet in a series of curated videos produced in partnership with EdPlus as part of their Learn with Me initiative.

Gerber is a professor in the School of Life Sciences and founding director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes.

Enhance your communication and leadership skills

December 2, 2020

Wolf photographed from above, standing on snowAre you a graduate student who is passionate about conserving nature? Do you wonder what is the most effective way to influence change? Are you ready to take your communication and leadership skills to the next level? If so, the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Communication and Leadership may be for you.

The ECL graduate certificate is a compilation of key courses designed to train graduate students in honing their leadership skills and communicating environmental science to the general public, stakeholders and decision-makers.

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Founding Director Gerber named AAAS Fellow

November 25, 2020

Two young women performing scientific experiment on a labIn November 2020, the American Association for the Advancement of Science elected ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director and School of Life Sciences Professor Leah Gerber as a Fellow.

Gerber was recognized for “For [her] leadership in balancing conservation priority setting, ecosystem-based management, adaptive monitoring, marine reserve design, endangered species recovery policy and decision science.”

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Policy memo urges improvements of AZ’s recycling program

November 25, 2020

Small flyer with info on AZ recycling programIn September 2020, five graduate students affiliated with the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes published a memo addressing how to reinvigorate recycling in Arizona through state-level policy reform.

By interviewing recycling coordinators from across the state, they found that most municipalities have been forced to alter their programs due to changing international markets and a lack of state-level support. Despite these challenges, interviewees view an investment in the recycling sector as an opportunity to improve the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of their community.

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Graduate and postdoctoral fellowships with The Nature Conservancy

October 28, 2020

Sprout and morning mistDuring the past few years, we at the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes have had the pleasure of collaborating with The Nature Conservancy’s NatureNet Science Fellows Program and various ASU units to fund two postdoctoral research associates.

The NatureNet Science Fellows Program has continued to expand and again this year they have opened the fellowship to applicants from all accredited universities with the opportunity to receive research grants.

New this year, masters and PhD students are eligible to apply in addition to postdocs. Also, TNC is now fully funding these fellowships. The RFP closes on January 1, 2021.

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Knowledge to outcomes in biodiversity conservation, talk

October 27, 2020

Green young toucan standing on tree branchOn Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PST, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber delivered a virtual talk titled “Knowledge to outcomes in global biodiversity conservation.” This talk was part of the New Mexico State University’s Climate Change Education Seminar Series.

About this talk

Global biodiversity loss is occurring at an unprecedented rate. Approximately 1 million species are threatened with extinction and many species have gone extinct in the past decade.

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report offers an integrated overview of where the world stands in relation to key international goals, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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Best practices for actionable science

October 24, 2020

Fish swimming and palm trees against sunsetASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber recently published an academic article titled “Producing actionable science in conservation: Best practices for organizations and individuals.”

The publication was co-authored by ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society Graduate Research Associate Chris J. Barton, American Museum of Natural History Biodiversity Scientist Samantha H. Cheng and ASU School of Public Affairs Associate Professor Derrick Anderson.

The team interviewed 71 biodiversity researchers to identify and analyze these specific trends and came up with six best practices associated with actionable science or scientific data and models supported by conservation science.

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IUCN Species Threat Abatement and Restoration Metric, talk

October 7, 2020

Butterflies standing and flying close to the groundOn Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and the Conservation Innovation Lab will host a talk by Newcastle University Research Associate Louise Mair, PhD. Mair will talk about the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) Metric.

STAR is a novel metric that quantifies the potential contribution that threat abatement and habitat restoration actions could make to reducing global species extinction risk. 

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Uniting Business LIVE, biodiversity conservation talk (rerun)

October 7, 2020

Toucan standing on branch facing the cameraOn Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 12:15-2:00 p.m. PDT, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber hosted a panel discussion on “Industry Partnerships for Biodiversity Outcomes: Measuring private sector contributions toward mitigating biodiversity loss.

This presentation was originally held on September 21 as part of the United Nations Global Compact’s Uniting Business LIVE (September 21-23), which marked the opening of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Due to technical difficulties during the UN conference and by popular demand we presented the session once again.

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IUCN Red List Training Center at ASU [talk]

October 1, 2020

Stingrays swimming in clear shallow waterOn October 6, 2020, 6:00-7:00 p.m., via Zoom, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Associate Center Director and School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry and Marine Conservation Beth Polidoro will be delivering a talk to Nature at ASU students on the IUCN Red List training center at ASU.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species is the world’s global standard for measuring and monitoring species extinction risk. During this talk, students will learn about ASU’s formal partnership with the IUCN, including our Red List of Species and Red List of Ecosystems assessment activities, as well as our local and global Red List training initiatives.

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Ocean Hope Spots, discussion on marine protected areas

October 1, 2020

Sea turtle swims near corals and small fishAs part of the United Nations Global Compact’s Uniting Business LIVE (September 21-23), marine conservation experts joined a panel discussion titled "Ocean Hope Spots: A panel discussion on marine protected areas with leading experts"

The expert panel was composed of Sylvia Earle from Mission Blue;  ‘Aulani Wilhelm from Conservation International; and Lance Morgan from the Marine Conservation Institute.  

The panel discussion was followed by a conversation on innovative sustainability initiatives by Mark Kaplan from Envisible and an audience Q & A session facilitated by ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber.

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