Event 4: Sustain the Land

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“North American Forests: Can We Learn from the Past to Protect Their Future?”

This session took place online on May 18, 2011 and ran for about one hour. If you could not participate live, a recording is posted below for your enjoyment at any time.

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Climate change and changes in land use are threatening forests in the eastern United States. But this is not the first time these forests have been disturbed on a broad scale and with uncertain consequences. When Europeans settled eastern North America, they cleared nearly all the forests to make way for agriculture. The past hundred years, however, have seen a remarkable reforestation. Today, more than two-thirds of the land is forested, and this return has brought the return of wildlife and many other ecological benefits that we depend on. Research Ecologist Jonathan Thompson discusses lessons learned and how we can help ensure a future for this living resource.

North American Forests - Virtual Graphic FacilitationVirtual Graphic Facilitation:

This session was illustrated in real time. Click for an illustrated summary of this Shout event. Refer to the drawing as a memento of the session and to inspire continued exploration of this topic.


Jonathan R. Thompson, Ph.D.Jonathan R. Thompson is a Forest Landscape Ecologist at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, and a Research Associate at Harvard Forest, a 3,000-acre long-term ecological research site in Massachusetts. Jonathan specializes in the use of spatial-simulation models and remote-sensing data and is interested in the ways that forest ecosystems respond to disturbances such as timber harvest, climate change, and land use over long periods of time. He has an M.S. in forest policy and a Ph.D. in forest ecology, both from Oregon State University.


“Tigers on the Brink of Extinction: What Will Help Save Them?”

This session took place online on May 18, 2011 and ran for about one hour. If you could not participate live, a recording is posted below for your enjoyment at any time.

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It is hard to believe, but only 3,000-3,500 tigers exist in the wild. This animal, voted as the world’s most charismatic species, is on the brink of extinction. The threats to tigers are vast, ranging from habitat destruction to poaching of tigers and their prey, and the six remaining tiger sub-species exist in small, isolated populations across 13 countries. It will take a concerted effort by many to save this amazing animal. Join us as we explore the historical and present status of tiger populations, the leading threats and the conservation actions needed to save them.

Tigers on the Brink of Extinction - Virtual Graphic FacilitationVirtual Graphic Facilitation:

This session was illustrated in real time. Click for an illustrated summary of this Shout event. Refer to the drawing as a memento of the session and to inspire continued exploration of this topic.


Global Tiger Initiative, Smithsonian Conservation Biology InstituteThe Global Tiger Initiative, launched in June 2008, is a collaborative effort between the World Bank, Smithsonian Institution, Global Environment Facility, and an alliance of governments and international organizations that seek to help restore wild tigers and preserve their habitats.

 

Marshall JonesMarshall Jones is Senior Conservation Advisor at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Though the current focus of his work is on tigers and elephants in Asia, he also helps to foster conservation partnerships between government agencies, NGOs, and universities around the world. A former principal deputy director and COO of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jones lists among his accomplishments the authoring the 1989 U.S. moratorium on the import of elephant ivory. He is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, numerous Department of the Interior awards, and a lifetime achievement award from the Wildlife Management Institute. He holds a B.S. in zoology from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in vertebrate ecology from Murray State University in Kentucky.

Ana Tinsler Ana Tinsler is the Program Specialist for the Global Tiger Initiative at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked at National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She holds a B.A. in geography and history from Michigan State University, where her work included field studies on sustainable development and tourism and the impact of land subdivision on indigenous communities around the world. An enthusiasm for travel, she says, stems from a multinational upbringing in Egypt, Costa Rica, Spain, and Peru.


“Plants, Animals, and People: How Do They Impact Tropical Biodiversity?”

This session took place online on May 18, 2011 and ran for about one hour. If you could not participate live, a recording is posted below for your enjoyment at any time.

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How people use land can have great consequences for the survival of many tropical species. In this session, research biologist Sunshine Van Bael looks at new ways for people and trees to coexist in tropical forests – from how people produce food on the frontiers of tropical forests to the “ecosystem services” of birds and the benefits they provide.

Plants, Animals, and People - Virtual Graphic FacilitationVirtual Graphic Facilitation:

This session was illustrated in real time. Click for an illustrated summary of this Shout event. Refer to the drawing as a memento of the session and to inspire continued exploration of this topic.


Sunshine Van Bael Sunshine Van Bael is a “Community Ecologist” on the research staff at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. She studies plant-animal interactions and the importance of these relationships to tropical biodiversity. Her studies have included the conservation of tropical species and the improvement of agricultural systems to increase sustainability and biodiversity.

 


UPDATES on the Smithsonian Tree Banding followed the above sessions. Hear from Jess Parker and Josh Falk about the schools across the world joining Smithsonian researchers in this citizen science project.

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