Forestry and Environmental Studies Lecture Series to Focus on Marine Protected Areas

Prominent scientists and conservationists from around the world will address critical biological, ecological, social and economic issues pertaining to marine protected areas as part of the second Curtis and Edith Munson Distinguished Lecture Series.

The series, “Marine Protected Areas: Translating Science into Practice,” is sponsored by the Center for Coastal and Watershed Systems of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The series is free and open to the public and all lectures will take place at 5 p.m. in Sage Hall.

James Bohnsack, a research fishery biologist and an adjunct professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, will discuss “Marine Reserves, Ecosystem Management, and Aldo Leopold’s Biotic Ethic” on September 19. Bohnsack is the team leader for ecosystems and biodiversity investigations in the Protected Resources Branch at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami.

Richard Pollnac, professor of anthropology and marine affairs at the University of Rhode Island, will discuss “Success and Failures of Community-Based Marine Protected Areas in the Visayas, Philippines” on September 26. Pollnac has conducted research among coastal peoples throughout the world.

Peter Auster, science director for the National Undersea Research Center at the University of Connecticut, will discuss “Sustainable Fisheries and Conservation of Biodiversity” on October 3. Auster has participated as scientist or chief-scientist on 36 major research cruises and several day trips in the northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Caribbean Sea, South China Sea and equatorial Pacific.

Tundi Agardy, an internationally renowned expert on marine conservation, will discuss “Marine Protected Areas: Conservation and Conflict Resolution” on October 10. Agardy has focused her work on coastal conservation and sustainable resource use in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She was recently selected to serve on a federal advisory board for ocean policy.

Steven Gaines, director of the Marine Science Institute at the University of California at Santa Barbara, will discuss “Current Oversights in the Design of Marine Reserves” on October 17. He has studied the biogeographic boundary provided by Point Conception, where north and south currents collide, creating a boundary that separates northern and southern marine species.

Elliot Norse, president of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute in Redmond, Washington, will speak October 24 about “Fishing with Bulldozers Or Where Have All the Cod Gone?” A marine and forest conservation biologist, Norse began working in conservation in 1978, holding positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, President’s Council on Environmental Quality, Ecological Society of America, the Wilderness Society and the Center for Marine Conservation before founding the non-profit Marine Conservation Biology Institute in 1996.

Roger Griffis, policy advisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, will discuss “Building a Nationwide Network of MPAs: Challenges and Opportunities” on October 31. Since 1994, he has worked in the NOAA’s Office of Policy and Strategy Planning, providing science and policy advice on coastal issues and long-term priorities and plans for the agency. His work has also included leading the development of inter-agency efforts and policies on coral reefs, ecosystem management, marine protected areas and national ocean policies.

Deborah McArdle, marine advisor for the University of California Sea Grant Cooperative Extension, will discuss “Top Down vs. Bottom Up Approaches to MPA Design and Implementation” on November 7. McArdle created the most influential Marine Protected Area inventory in the U.S. Her 1997 report, “California Marine Protected Areas,” published by the California Sea Grant College System, demonstrated the complex and fragmented nature of the state’s MPA system. The report provided a basis for legislative efforts to make the system more coherent, culminating in the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act by the California Legislature in 1999. This law requires, among other measures, the recommendation of a master plan to steer the design of existing and future MPAs.

Matthew Cahn, professor of political science at California State, Northridge, will discuss “Linking Science to Decision-Making” on November 14. He will talk about tensions between science and policy making, focusing on case studies that examine collaborative decision making models that may overcome traditional barriers. His research interests include environmental policy, regulation and rulemaking, collaborative policy processes and marine conservation issues.

Greg Stone, director of conservation for the New England Aquarium, will discuss “Conservation from the Antarctic to the Equator” on November 28. In his talk, he will describe two National Geographic Society expeditions to the largest iceberg in history, named B-15, and to a coral reef in the remote Phoenix Islands in the South Pacific; both have implications for global warming and conservation. His pioneering research on marine mammals in the Antarctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans and his marine policy work are detailed in his more than 50 publications.

Callum Roberts, senior lecturer in the Environment Department at the University of York, will conclude the series with a discussion on “Protecting Migratory Species” on December 5. Roberts has studied marine reserves since 1990 and was most recently the Hardy Visiting Professor of Conservation Biology at Harvard University. Last year, he was awarded a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation.

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Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326