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Posted on July 19, 2017 - 12:41pm, by SeaSketch

To create a strategic, ecosystem-based marine spatial plan, the Swedish government has developed the Symphony analytical tools using an integrated cumulative impacts framework. Modeling cumulative impacts allows them to better understand how multiple stressors affect a mosaic of ecosystems with varying vulnerability across space, and thus plan strategically to reduce impacts. Bridging the gap from synthesis science to informed decision-making requires the novel analysis to be incorporated into a planning conversation. By embedding the Symphony analysis in the SeaSketch platform, we are able to give a broad set of participants the ability to sketch zoning plans, evaluate the cumulative impacts, compare hypothetical zoning scenarios to a baseline of impacts, and co-develop a marine spatial plan informed by sophisticated science.

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The Ocean Tipping Points collaborative launches new science-based guide, tools and resources to support management of a changing ocean

From the coral reefs of Hawaii to the kelp-strewn coasts of British Columbia, scientists and ocean managers have been working together for the past several years to understand ecosystem tipping points in an effort to learn how to prevent or reverse them. The Ocean Tipping Points team is excited to launch a new web portal of practical tools, resources and in-depth research to help marine managers and stakeholders predict, prevent or recover from dramatic ecosystem changes. (continued after video)

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Curious about implementing SeaSketch and mapping tools to solve sustainability challenges with remote communities? For the past four years, PhD Candidate Kitty Currier has been putting some serious thought into how SeaSketch and other mapping technologies can help people work together collaboratively. Her field work took her to a small community in Bali, Indonesia, where locals used SeaSketch over a cellular data connection. We asked Kitty a few questions when she returned from her year in the field:

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Posted on April 10, 2017 - 4:42pm, by nwehner

Planning a new research or restoration project with openness in-mind from the start ensures you’ll have the funding and time to broadly share your results.

Open Science is a multi-headed hydra of concepts and jargon that can mean many different things to different people and organizations. There are basically two main pillars of Open Science: reducing barriers to access and increasing transparency. For a quick starter to the many facets of Open Science, the Swiss National Science Foundation’s Horizons magazine covered this topic in their September 2016 issue (PDF).

This blog will address some of the core tenets of Open Science, why they are important, and how to plan a project with Open Science principles from the start.

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Posted on March 28, 2017 - 4:57pm, by nwehner

Results from the March 2017 OpenChannels Literature Library Survey

On March 21st we launched a survey to subscribers of the OpenChannels Literature Update to solicit feedback on how we could make the service more valuable to our members. In addition, we wanted to know how many of our subscribers have access to pay-walled content. That is, academic research that requires a subscription or per-article fee to read the full-text. The following blog gives an overview of how our subscribers access pay-walled content, and the changes we're making to the Literature Library and the Literature Update newsletter because of these results.

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Posted on December 10, 2016 - 6:53pm, by SeaSketch

Here we summarize new research exploring how scientific data in decision support tools, like MarineMap or SeaSketch, come to be seen as credible by stakeholders and considers what happens in participatory decision making when a designated “authoritative” data source does not match stakeholders’ experiential knowledge. Amanda and her co-author Nicole Ardoin argue that authoritative data sources should be seen as the outcome of a social learning process, as well as a technological object.

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Posted on November 17, 2016 - 2:19pm, by SeaSketch

By Dr. Francine Kershaw and Grace Goldberg

Genetic data is often overlooked and geneticists are rarely at the top of the marine planning party guest list. This results in a significant gap in the protection of evolutionary processes, that are essential for the long-term survival species in the face of environmental change. Genetic tools provide unique information useful for marine protection in a way that complements other approaches, such as satellite tracks and habitat mapping.

So why isn’t genetics being systematically used in marine spatial protection? Research suggests that genetic data is considered valuable by planners and policy-makers, but because it is generally dispersed, inaccessible, or misunderstood.

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Posted on September 13, 2016 - 11:04am, by nwehner

Everyone loves a good story. It’s in our DNA. Humans have a long history of storytelling, yet somehow it’s only now catching on with the sciences. If you’d like to get your work out there to a larger audience, storytelling is essential. Stories resonate with people in ways that facts and figures simply do not. Furthermore, stories and metaphors are much more memorable than facts alone. Don’t just tell your audience about your work, tell them a story.

I know at first this can sound quite daunting. I’ve participated in several storytelling workshops myself, often leaving without any idea how I could possibly tell a story about my work, or our mission here at OpenChannels. But like all things creative, it’ll come to you…eventually…when you’re totally not expecting it. If I can come up with a decent story about Google alerts and literature updates, you can come up with an excellent story about saving our oceans and coasts. I have faith in you! You can do it!

There are many, many resources out there for teaching storytelling for science and sharing your story across the globe. This blog will highlight just a small fraction of them.

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Posted on September 13, 2016 - 10:48am, by SeaSketch

If you’re a planner, the sheer number of tools available to support your work can be overwhelming, and trial by error can be tedious and time-consuming. Here, we describe two participatory mapping tools our partners are using in the Galapagos—SeaSketch and InVEST. We also share insights into what works and what could be gained by implementing these tools in tandem.

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Posted on August 31, 2016 - 1:41pm, by nwehner

Whether you’re writing a press release or a blog about your research, chances are you’ll be including an image or a visualization. If you’re including an image, I only have one suggestion for you: don’t put in a generic stock-photo. You know the kind I’m talking about. A lovely photo of a breaching whale, or a tropical beach, even though the work has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with whales or beaches. While these are useful for click-bait, they perpetuate the myth that only charismatic megafauna and pretty places deserve protection. That’s not cool. It shows that you have no respect for your reader. If you can’t respect your audience and their intelligence to recognize when you’re throwing click-bait at them, then they will hold no respect for you, either.

Now if you’re including a visualization (i.e. chart or graph) in your press release/blog, I have much more advice for you! Namely: