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Please see the list below for more upcoming events from OpenChannels by OCTO.

Upcoming Webinars and Events

Learning from others: The new global conservation planning database

Event Date: 
Wednesday, February 27, 3 pm US EST/Noon US PST/8 pm UTC

Join us Wednesday, February 27 3 pm US EST/Noon US PST/8 pm UTC for a webinar on Learning from others: The new global conservation planning database

Presented by: Jorge Álvarez-Romero, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University

Creating a new marine conservation or management plan? Learn what others have done in the past – build on their research and experiences and how they addressed challenges – using the new Conservation Planning Database. The database recently launched with 163 peer-reviewed papers on 155 marine systematic conservation planning exercises from around the world. The database will help planners find relevant conservation plans from all over the world including their local area, scientists study trends in conservation planning, and donors and NGOs identify regions where little conservation planning has been done. Join this webinar to learn more about the database, what it reveals about that current state of marine systematic conservation planning, how you can add to it, and how developers are planning to make it even more useful.

Co-sponsored by: EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

Sargassum Watch System warns of incoming seaweed

Event Date: 
Tuesday, March 5, 1 pm US EST/10 am US PST/6 pm UTC

Join us Tuesday, March 5 for a webinar on Sargassum Watch System warns of incoming seaweed. 

Presented by: Chuanmin Hu of the University of South Florida

The Sargassum Watch System (SaWS) uses satellite data and numerical models to detect and track pelagic Sargassum in near-real time. Sargassum is a pelagic seaweed that floats on the ocean surface and is abundant in the Intra-Americas Sea, the Atlantic, and along the coast of Europe. In the ocean, it provides an important habitat for many marine animals. On shore, it serves as fertilizer for sand dunes and biomass for food and fuel. Excessive amounts of Sargassum on beaches in populated areas can cause problems, however. Sargassum decomposition on beaches smells bad, attracts insects, smothers turtle nesting sites, and causes fish kills, in addition to diminishing tourism. Annual Sargassum inundation events are currently occurring annually along the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts. SaWS monitors Sargassum distribution and abundance in the ocean to aid the study of ocean ecology, help fisheries management, and forecast Sargassum beaching events

Co-sponsors: EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

Unmanned Systems (UxS): Transforming How We Study and Manage the Marine Environment

Event Date: 
Thursday, March 28, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC

Join us Thursday, March 28, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC for a webinar on Unmanned Systems (UxS): Transforming How We Study and Manage the Marine Environment.

Presented by: John McDonough of NOAA

Unmanned Systems (UxS) are transforming how we study and manage the marine environment. This presentation will provide an overview of unmanned aerial systems, unmanned surface vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, buoyancy gliders, and remotely operated vehicles. Emphasis will be placed on their contributions to establishing and managing marine protected areas.

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

Managing the ocean in real-time: Tools for dynamic management

Event Date: 
Wednesday, April 24, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC

Presented by: Heather Welch of NOAA and the University of California Santa Cruz

Spatial management is a useful strategy to regulate human activities and provide protection for vulnerable species and habitats. Dynamic management - a subset of spatial management in which boundaries are flexible in space and/or time - is gaining traction as one solution for managing features with variable distributions, for example highly migratory species. This webinar introduces four applied dynamic management tools: 1) a thermal indicator designed to mitigate loggerhead turtle bycatch, 2) the fisheries sustainability tool - EcoCast, 3) WhaleWatch, designed to reduce ship strike risk to blue whales, and 4) the Atlantic Sturgeon Risk Model. These tools allow scales of management to align with scales of environmental variability, animal movement, and human activities. Next steps to advance the field of dynamic management will also be discussed.

Co-sponsors: EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

The impact of human-caused ocean noise pollution on fish, invertebrates, and ecosystem services

Event Date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC

Join us Tuesday, April 30, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC for a webinar on The impact of human-caused ocean noise pollution on fish, invertebrates, and ecosystem services

Presented by: Lindy Weilgart of Dalhousie University and OceanCare

Most fish and invertebrates use sound for vital life functions. This presentation will summarize highlights from 115 studies showing impacts from noise on 66 species of fish and 36 species of invertebrates. These impacts include decreased growth, body condition, feeding, reproduction, abundance, immune competency, nutritional condition, catch rates, school coordination and structure, nest-caring, and territory defense. Noise caused permanently damaged ears and sensory organs, developmental delays and malformations, and increased stress, metabolism, masking, and mortality. Impacts extend beyond individual species to include communities of species and how they interact, compromising ecosystem productivity, and ecological services (sediment mixing, nutrient cycling) with commercial consequences. Conservation and management implications of these findings, and possible policy solutions, will be discussed at the end of this presentation. This work was sponsored by OceanCare.

Co-sponsors: EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

China's Underwater Cultural Heritage in the South China Sea: Nanhai #1, A Window on the Maritime Silk Road

Event Date: 
Thursday, May 9, 3 pm US EDT/ noon US PDT/ 7 pm UTC

Join us on Thursday, May 9th for a webinar on China's Underwater Cultural Heritage in the South China Sea: Nanhai #1, A Window on the Maritime Silk Road presented by Hans Van Tilburg of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Underwater Cultural Heritage can inform us about past events and seafaring cultures in powerful ways. China's ambitious Nanhai #1 excavation project has achieved a new milestone in the recovery of underwater cultural heritage artifacts. The discovery of a 900-year old Song dynasty merchant vessel initiated the removal of the adjacent seafloor along with the intact wreck, allowing for meticulous "in situ" excavation under environmentally controlled conditions within a specially-built lab. The wealth of porcelains and trade goods found with the vessel demonstrates the extensive and vibrant past of the Maritime Silk Road, and archaeologists are only now reaching the lower levels of the vessel’s cargo holds. The project is also relevant to today’s resource and management issues in the South China Sea. 

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)