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September 9, 2014

Insights on story-telling from the salmon in the tree

I first heard the story of the salmon in the tree while visiting in Haida Gwaii this summer. Haida Gwaii is a set of islands along the northwest coast of North America that is home to the Haida people, one of several nations of the aboriginal people that have existed here for about 10,000 years. […]

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July 22, 2014

Kicking off the Louisiana Discovery Integration and Application program in Baton Rouge

Robert Twilley, Director of Louisiana Sea Grant, has initiated a nine month fellowship program called LA DIA, which is an acronym that stands for Louisiana Discovery Integration and Application. Conveniently, this also translates in French and Spanish to “The Day”. Bill Nuttle and I from the Integration and Application Network (note the similar name) traveled […]

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July 11, 2013

Awakening Environmental Passion

‘Awakening Environmental Passion’ refers to tapping the environmental passion created when people publicly say “I care about this place”. This caring about a place comes from the heart, and environmental passion can create the motivation to accomplish change (hands) and persist to face of adversity (head). These heart, hands and head aspects of awakening environmental […]

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June 18, 2013

Scaling Up: Future of Environmental Decisions workshop

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) organized two simultaneous workshops for a) senior undergraduate and beginning graduate students in ecology and b) early career academic ecologists for a one-week training workshop during the week of 2-7 June 2013. The workshops were based at the Maritime Institute in Baltimore, Maryland and the National Science Foundation provided […]

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June 13, 2013

Singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues

As part of the Scaling Up: Future of Environmental Decisions workshop (2-7 June 2013), I wrote “Singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues”. Apologies to my colleague Howard Ernst, who wrote an excellent book “Chesapeake Bay Blues“, for adopting his book title into the song. This workshop was sponsored by the Ecological Society of America, with National […]

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April 29, 2013

Environmental Report Cards: protecting our environment together

What is a report card? In a world filled with knowledge, how can you find a way to share ecological knowledge among different groups of people? Literature? Books? Newspapers? How about report cards? Ecological report cards are important tool for integrating diverse data types into simple scores that can be communicated to decision-makers and the […]

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April 15, 2013

From the Toxic Algal Blooms of Australia’s Coast to the Oil-soaked Shores of the Gulf of Mexico: The Role of Science in Environmental Crisis

Environmental crises exist on a continuum varying on the size of the affected area, severity and longevity of effects, level mitigation required, and socioeconomic impacts, all influencing the level of public involvement. Despite the need for immediate action, it is the role of the scientist to ensure adherence to the scientific method. The “Brown Tide” […]

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February 21, 2013

Resilience of Coastal Communities Depends on Maintaining Social Infrastructure

Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call. More and more, people are asking, “What can be done to sustain coastal communities in the face of climate change and accelerated sea level rise?” The story of Holland Island, a once-thriving fishing community, reveals the importance of maintaining social infrastructure to sustain communities. Coastal communities must be resilient […]

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February 12, 2013

Managing for Sustainable Ecosystems: Our Human Role

Humans depend on ecosystems, whether for food, shelter, work or recreation, and these interactions are universal. We are the key ingredient to managing ourselves and rehabilitating ecosystems in order to maintain natural functions. Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) uses the principles of sustainability, precaution, adaptation and integration (Boesch 2006) as a guide for better management so we […]

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February 6, 2013

The Science/Management Gap

The disconnect between science and policy has its root in the concept of the traditional role of scientists in society. The classic view of the scientist is a researcher who is interested purely in pursuing the truth and is without bias or personal stake in the topic at hand. This role makes the researcher completely […]

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