Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Keeping Up with the Conservation-ians

by Gerald Singh

A feast of crab with Tom Sisk and Gerald Singh
At the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Baltimore, Maryland last week, I caught up with two conservation scientists associated with CHANS lab: Tom Sisk and Brett Dickson. Sitting down for a crab feast with Tom Sisk. Tom had some exciting news to tell me.

Tom produced a website with his colleague, photographer/writer/geologist Michael Collier, on the environmental, economic, and social impacts of oilsands development in Alberta and pipeline proposals in BC. With the prospect of oilsands exploitation in Utah, near their home in Flagstaff Arizona, they traveled up the proposed route of the Northern Gateway pipeline, from the coast to Ft. McMurry. It's a website full of awe-inspiring aerial photos (shot from Collier's tiny Cessna), and touching and thought-provoking excerpts from interviews with local residents, scientists, corporate spokespeople and conservation leaders. In Tom's words,

"We wanted to present the narrative as it emerged from a personal journey, exploring a bunch of interrelated issues from a scientifically grounded perspective. And we wanted it to be an aesthetic experience, not just a bunch of facts and spin." 

Check it out to learn a bit more about what underlies all the controversy:

Brett Dickson - who wouldn't
want to partner with this guy?
At the meeting I also caught up with Brett Dickson, a quantitative conservation biologist who has set up the Conservation Science Partners (CSP), an NGO established to be simultaneously a hub in a network of conservation researchers, and a legitimate research entity in its own right. The Conservation Science Partners is always interested in forming new connections with conservation researchers and practitioners. In Brett's words,

"We established CSP to raise the bar for conservation science and present a new paradigm for doing applied work in all sectors of society. We seek to enlist great minds to help us address some of the most pressing issues in conservation. Our core science staff also is available to serve the needs of our broader community of researchers where the capabilities that we offer can be of service."

Learn more about the Conservation Science Partners and see if you can connect with them:

And if you like these links, please share them far and wide.

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