Planet NCEAS

April 09, 2014


Last Day to Apply for 'Open Science for Synthesis' Training

       New Summer 2014 Training Workshop


Open Science for Synthesis
Software Skills for Early Career Scientists
July 21 - August 8, 2014

Open Science for Synthesis is a unique bi-coastal training offered for early career scientists who want to learn new software and technology skills needed for open, collaborative, and reproducible synthesis research. UC Santa Barbara’s NCEAS and University of North Carolina’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) will co-lead this three-week intensive training workshop with participants in both Santa Barbara, CA and Chapel Hill, NC. More>


by french at April 09, 2014 11:54 PM

April 02, 2014


Researchers at NCEAS create first regional Ocean Health Index

Manta Ray.  Photo Credit: NOAA

Brazil was the site of the first Ocean Health Index regional assessment designed to evaluate the economic, social and ecological uses and benefits that people derive from the ocean. Overall, Brazil scores 60 out of 100, with the goals of Carbon Storage (89), Coastal Protection (92) and Biodiversity (85) - all dependent on the health of marine habitats - with the highest national scores. The comprehensive findings from the Brazilian regional assessment was published in PLOS ONE. The results can help Brazilian officials identify opportunities for strategic management of ocean resources. More>


by french at April 02, 2014 07:00 AM

April 01, 2014


Announcing SNAP 2014 Call for Proposals and Six New SNAP Working Groups

Science for Nature and People (SNAP) announces the 2014 SNAP Call for Proposals seeking Working Groups that use existing data to fill important knowledge gaps and advance solutions to significant problems at the intersection of nature conservation and human well-being. SNAP is an innovative partnership between NCEAS, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society. From last year's call for proposals, SNAP has selected six new Working Groups that will bring science to solving some of the world's biggest challenges involving nature and human well-being -- from urban water security to hydraulic fracking's impact on water quality, from the sustainable management of fish stocks to feeding 9 billion people without destroying the planet. More>



by french at April 01, 2014 04:59 PM

March 26, 2014


New in BioScience - Importance of natural history in science and society

Pollen-bearing stamens.  Photo Credit Jon Sullivan

In developed countries there has been a steep decline for the support of natural history however, the importance of the essential knowledge gained through studying the fundamental nature of organisms has not waned. Josh Tewksbury, NCEAS sabbatical fellow from the University of Washington, convened a group of 17 researchers including former NCEAS deputy director, Stephanie Hampton, which resulted in an important new manuscript in the April issue of BioScience highlighting numerous examples of the essential knowledge natural history has provided for fields as varied as human health, food security, conservation, land management, and recreation. More>


by french at March 26, 2014 04:12 PM

March 11, 2014


NCEAS launches major upgrade to its widely used KNB Data Repository

The enhanced KNB Data Repository includes new fast spatial search, DOI citations for data, and intuitive user interface improving access to and better supporting the data management needs of ecological, environmental, and earth science labs and individual researchers. More >



by french at March 11, 2014 05:11 PM

March 05, 2014


NCEAS issues special Call for Proposals for the Gulf of Alaska long-term synthesis

Gulf Watch Logo

NCEAS seeks proposals for Working Groups and Postdoctoral Associates to conduct synthesis research and analysis for the Gulf of Alaska. Newly integrated historical data is now available from a quarter century of monitoring studies on physical and biological systems impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Call for Proposals. Proposals are due by May 1, 2014. More>


by french at March 05, 2014 03:55 PM

February 24, 2014


Arctic Options supports global policy efforts for safe ship operations in the Arctic

National Geographic Explorer.  Photo Credit: Paul A. Berkman

As ice cover in the Arctic Ocean diminishes, anticipation of increased shipping activities grows. In response, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is developing a mandatory Polar Code. NCEAS' Arctic Options: Holistic Integration for Arctic Coastal Marine Sustainability project team co-convened a "Workshop on Safe Ship Operations in the Arctic" with the IMO to further the discussion on key elements of the Polar Code. More>

by french at February 24, 2014 05:50 PM

February 21, 2014


Using virtual collaboration to replace or supplement carbon-intensive research travel: barriers, best practices, and opportunities for innovation

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Discussion led by Drs. Mary Hunsicker and Stacy Rebich Hespanha

On Friday, February 28 from 12:15 to 1:30, we’ll be extending our earlier discussion of the environmental ethics of research travel to taking a closer look at virtual meetings and collaboration.

In preparation for the meeting, please check out the following (short) readings:

Please also come prepared to discuss your perceptions of the obstacles faced by would-be virtual collaborators and your ideas for how some of these barriers could be overcome. We have alloted time for each person to share his/her idea(s) on innovative ways to overcome barriers (2 minutes per idea). We encourage you to prepare 1 powerpoint for each idea and send them to Mary prior to the Roundtable.

For some virtual meeting-related chuckles, check these out:

by stacy at February 21, 2014 07:54 PM

February 11, 2014


NCEAS researchers find cities support more native biodiversity than previously thought

Peregrine falcon.  Photo Credit: Erickson

A NCEAS Working Group examined data from 147 cities worldwide and found surprisingly high numbers of plant and animal species that persist and even flourish in urban environments — to the tune of hundreds of bird species and thousands of plant species in a single city. Contrary to conventional wisdom that cities are a wasteland for biodiversity, the study found the overall mix of species in cities reflects the unique biotic heritage of their geographic location. The findings of the study were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences.


by french at February 11, 2014 01:28 AM

February 08, 2014


New maps show expected global species shifts due to climate change

Black crappie fish

International NCEAS Working Group tracks how fast and in which direction local climates — and species — have shifted


A new study provides an innovative global map of where species are likely to succeed or fail in keeping up with a changing climate. The findings appear in the science journal Nature. A NCEAS Working Group of 18 international researchers analyzed 50 years of sea surface and land temperature data (1960-2009). They also projected temperature changes under two future scenarios, one that assumes greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized by 2100 and a second that assumes these emissions continue to increase. The resulting maps display where new temperature conditions are being generated and where existing environments may disappear.


by french at February 08, 2014 12:51 AM

February 06, 2014


NCEAS report on gray wolf scientific peer review issued by US Fish and Wildlife Service

Wolf.  Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As a result of controversy surrounding the US Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) proposal to remove the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) from the endangered species list and add the Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), the Service commissioned the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) to conduct an unbiased assessment and clarify critical scientific issues.

by french at February 06, 2014 10:23 PM

February 04, 2014


NCEAS Informatics team is on a mission

Kepler Logo

NCEAS Informatics’ mission is to create and advance technologies and methods that enable robust, reproducible science in ecology and environmental sciences. NCEAS’ Informatics work is conducted with a number of partner collaborators and impacts the way ecological research is conducted, especially relative to synthesis and collaboration, which depend so heavily on extending access to relevant data.

by french at February 04, 2014 01:11 AM

January 30, 2014


Drought and global warming are a "one-two punch" for California

Frank Davis, director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), and fellow University of California, Santa Barbara professors discuss the challenges of drought in California when coupled with a warming climate in a article, One-Two Punch of Drought, Global Warming, by Shelly Leachman.

by french at January 30, 2014 01:28 AM

January 29, 2014


Increasing temperature variability poses greater threat to species than warming

Halloween pennant dragronfly.  Photo credit: Meng Kay, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Increases in the frequency, duration, and severity of temperature extremes are anticipated in the near future. Ecologists widely recognize the potential for warming temperatures to affect species’ home range and life cycles, diversity, and ecosystem functions and services. A recent study published by an NCEAS Working Group takes a closer look at how species respond to increasing average temperatures coupled with anticipated temperature variations and extremes.

by french at January 29, 2014 10:36 PM

January 27, 2014


2013 Highlights from NCEAS Directors

Dear NCEAS Community,

Happy New Year from Santa Barbara!  We hope to connect with many of you in the coming year – whether through a submission to an upcoming Call for Proposals, as a participant in a new Working Group, or hosting your own collaboration workshop at NCEAS. As we head into 2014, we would like to take a moment to share with you some of NCEAS' 2013 highlights.



by donahue at January 27, 2014 11:05 PM

January 04, 2014


Environmental ethics of research travel (discussion)

Image Credit: Ignotus the Mage CC BY-NC-SA via flickr

Image Credit: Ignotus the Mage CC BY-NC-SA via flickr

I’ll be leading a Roundtable discussion on Wednesday 8 January 2014 on the environmental ethics of traveling for environmental research. If you would like to prepare for the discussion by reading, I’ve found a few things that you might be interested in. If you know of any other good readings on the topic, please suggest in the comments section below!

Criticisms of air travel for environmental research

  • An article by Rupert Read on the morality of flying to environmental conferences. If you only have time to read a couple of things before the discussion on Wednesday, this should be one: (find in NCEAS Lounge folder Roundtable/20130108/ as described here.
  • A nice summary by Dominic Roser of some criticisms of air travel to conferences. If you only have time to read a couple of things before the discussion on Wednesday, this should be one:
  • A 1974 essay by Daniel Kozlovsky on the paradox of “using the destructive process to destroy the results of the destructive process” that advocates “thinking and living as simply and nondestructively” as possible: (find in NCEAS Lounge folder Roundtable/20130108/ as described here.

Quantifying the environmental impact of air travel

  • ‘Why do we fly? Ecologists’ sins of emission’, which appeared in Frontiers in 2009 and is authored by some of our own. Reports results of survey (n=13) of research ecologists focused on carbon footprints and reasons for travel. Proposes ‘well-justified’ and ‘poorly-justified’ reasons for travel and suggests institutional solutions that could minimize poorly-justified travel: (find in NCEAS Lounge folder Roundtable/20130108/ as described here.
  • Focused on ‘love miles’ rather than ‘research miles’, but the parallels are inescapable. Definitely check out the graphic illustrating the carbon emissions associated with various activities:
  • A look at the levels of carbon emissions associated with air travel, and how the US and Europe are making (or resisting) efforts to offset emissions associated with air transport. Another good graphic illustrating how flights relate to other activities in terms of emissions:

Possible justifications of travel for environmental research

Possible technical or market solutions?

Deeper background reading on environmental ethics

by stacy at January 04, 2014 06:16 AM

December 18, 2013


NCEAS hosting scientific peer review on genetics and taxonomy of wolves

Gray Wolf

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has asked UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) to manage a completely independent and transparent review of the scientific materials used in the Service's decisions regarding the status of the Gray Wolf under the Endangered Species Act.

by french at December 18, 2013 04:06 PM

December 16, 2013


NCEAS Summer Institute research teams meet to continue collaborating on their projects

Ongoing collaboration among the NCEAS Summer Institute 2013 participants continues this week as teams meet face-to-face to continue work on their group projects. Extending well beyond the close of the initial three-week program, teams regroup with the intent to publish their findings and make their derived data sets publicly available. The Urban Biodiversity Project team will be meet in Oakland, CA on December 14 and 15, while the Ocean Health Evaluation: The utility of the cumulative impact index in the Southern California Bight team will meet at NCEAS from December 17 to December 19, 2013.

by donahue at December 16, 2013 12:06 AM

December 09, 2013


Scientists identify uncertainties and next steps for linking biodiversity and ecosystem services

Fish on trawler. Photo source: NOAA

As biodiversity and ecosystem services decline worldwide, scientists and policymakers are working together to identify effective policy solutions, as evidenced by the creation of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in 2012. To contribute to this international effort, researchers at NCEAS recently published their assessment of current uncertainties and key scientific needs related to understanding the relationship between biodiversity and six crucial ecosystem services: forage, timber, fishery stability, climate regulation, pest regulation, and water quality. Findings of the NCEAS working group Biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems: Translating results from model experiments into functional reality are published in BioScience.

by donahue at December 09, 2013 06:02 PM

December 04, 2013


NCEAS' scientists present on data visualization and other topics at AGU 2013

NCEAS will be represented at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) annual fall meeting in San Francisco, California, December 9-13, by Mark Schildhauer, Director of Computing and Stacy Rebich Hespanha, NCEAS Postoctoral Associate. They will be participating in numerous sessions examining ways to enhance and accelerate science by improving the process of data discovery through text mining and visualizations, cultivating innovation in scientific software, and new data management training for scientists.  More information on the AGU annual meeting.

by french at December 04, 2013 05:44 PM

December 02, 2013


Study shows plastic ingestion delivers pollutants and additives into animal tissue

lugworm cast

With global production of plastic exceeding 280 metric tons every year, a fair amount of the stuff is bound to make its way to the natural environment. However, until now researchers haven’t known whether ingested plastic transfers chemical additives or pollutants to wildlife. A new study conducted by an NCEAS researcher shows that toxic concentrations of pollutants and additives enter the tissue of animals that have eaten microplastic. The findings are published today in Current Biology.

by french at December 02, 2013 06:39 PM

November 20, 2013


NCEAS Deputy Director to lead CEREO at Washington State University

NCEAS Deputy Director, Stephanie Hampton, has been recruited by Washington State University to direct WSU's system-wide Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO). Founded in 2006, CEREO promotes interdisciplinary environmental initiatives for researchers across all 5 WSU campuses and their national and international partners.


by french at November 20, 2013 09:41 PM

Degree of overfished marine populations influences ability to recover

Recovery of overexploited marine populations has been slow, and most remain below target biomass levels. Using a global meta-analysis of overfished stocks, a NCEAS Working Group finds that resilience of those stocks subjected to moderate levels of overfishing is enhanced, not compromised, offering the possibility of swift recovery. However, prolonged intense overexploitation, especially for collapsed stocks, not only delays rebuilding but also substantially increases the uncertainty in recovery times, despite predictable influences of fishing and life history. Timely and decisive reductions in harvest rates could mitigate this uncertainty. Instead, current harvest and low biomass levels render recovery improbable for the majority of the world’s depleted stocks.

by reed at November 20, 2013 06:37 PM

November 18, 2013


New framework published to improve model predictions of transpiration responses to elevated carbon dioxide

Free-air CO2 enrichment data collection systems in forest.

Predicted responses of transpiration to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration (eCO2) are highly variable amongst process-based models. To better understand and constrain this variability amongst models, a NCEAS Working Group conducted an intercomparison of 11 ecosystem models applied to data from two forest free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments at Duke University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The study yields a framework for analyzing and interpreting model predictions of transpiration responses to eCO2, and highlights key improvements to these types of models.

by reed at November 18, 2013 08:46 PM

November 13, 2013


A Milestone Day for Preprints in Biology & Ecology

Two very interesting developments today in the land of preprints for all biologists. First, anyone can now publish unlimited free preprints at PeerJ. At the same time, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s new bioRxiv has finally gone live. It seeks to mimic the ever popular arXiv, but for biology. Definitely turning a corner here in terms of making preprints for EEB (and biology in general) ubiquitous and easy!

by jebyrnes at November 13, 2013 05:40 AM

November 05, 2013


New in PNAS: Microclimate moderates plant responses to macroclimate warming

With increasing climate warming around the world, warm-adapted species have become more dominant—a process referred to as “thermophilization.” However, shift to warm-adapted species is not being observed uniformly, and in some taxa and regions there has been no observed change. An NCEAS Working Group focused on old-growth forests across North American and Europe have published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) their findings of a significant shift to warm-adapted species in understory of some forests and why thermophilization lags climate warming in forests with a denser canopies.


by french at November 05, 2013 08:51 PM

October 22, 2013


Documenting the Intangible Effects of Nature on Human Well-being

While nature provides such necessities of life as food water and shelter, and underpins and controls the conditions in which people live, it also provides important intangible benefits. A new synthesis of multidisciplinary peer-reviewed research identifies the ways in which nature (ecosystems) contribute to well-being through intangible dimensions. Conducted by a NCEAS working group, the findings are published in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources. What this synthesis sought to discover was how ecosystems deliver crucial benefits  — and thus contribute culturally and psychologically to human well-being — in nonmaterial ways.


by french at October 22, 2013 08:46 PM

October 21, 2013


NCEAS hosts Earth Cube End-User Workshop

Coral reef fish Paracanthurus hepatus Photo Credit: Jim Maragos, US Fish and Wildlife Service

On October 23-24, 2013, NCEAS is hosting an Earth Cube End-User workshop of Coral Reef researchers, to identify how improved cyberinfrastructure and  Internet-enabled data tools can help address Grand Challenge questions in the Coral Reef Systems Sciences.  Organized by Ruth Gates of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaiʻi, and Mark Schildhauer, NCEAS’ Director of Computing, this week’s workshop follows on the heels of the first workshop held in September in Hawai’i.

by french at October 21, 2013 05:40 PM

Disease Persistence in Primates - New Findings Published in PLOS ONE

Catastrophic declines in African great ape populations due to disease outbreaks have been reported in recent years, yet similar disease impacts are rarely identified for the more solitary Asian great apes, or for smaller primates. Researchers have uncovered interactions between social structure, demography, and disease transmission modes that create ‘dynamic constraints’ on the pathogens that can establish and persist in primate host species with different social systems.



by french at October 21, 2013 05:09 PM

October 15, 2013


Ocean Health Index for 2013 Identifies Food Provision as Area of Most Concern

The Ocean Health Index (OHI) issued the updated scores for 2013 and identified food provision as the factor that continues to require the most attention. OHI defines a healthy ocean as one that sustainably delivers a range of benefits to people now and in the future based on 10 diverse public goals. The 2013 global score of 65 out of 100 matches last year’s inaugural assessment and demonstrates the ongoing need for more effective management of this precious resource.


by french at October 15, 2013 05:12 PM

October 01, 2013


NCEAS Asked to Run Scientific Review Process for Grey Wolf Status on Endangered Species Listing

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has asked UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) to select scientists who can ensure  that the science behind the status of the grey wolf as an endangered species is properly vetted by a sound, peer review process.

by donahue at October 01, 2013 11:02 PM

September 24, 2013


NCEAS Convenes First SNAP Working Group – Western Amazonia

The first Working Group of Science for Nature and People (SNAP) takes place this week at NCEAS. “We welcome the working group participants for Western Amazonia: Balancing infrastructure Development and Conservation of Waters, Wetlands, and Fisheries, which includes international experts from Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research, National University of the Peruvian Amazon, the United Nations Development Program, the MacArthur Foundation, and the founding partners – NCEAS, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society,” said Frank Davis NCEAS director and a member of SNAP’s governing board.


by french at September 24, 2013 04:26 PM

September 16, 2013


NSF Funds NCEAS/BREN Three-Year Project to Demonstrate Holistic Approaches to Achieving Sustainability in a Rapidly Developing Arctic

Can resource development and environmental sustainability coexist in a changing arctic ocean?

Interests are awakening globally to take advantage of the extensive energy, shipping, fishing, and tourism opportunities associated with diminishing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. These environmental state-changes are generating risks of political, economic, and cultural instabilities that will affect societies at all levels—from local to international.

by french at September 16, 2013 04:13 PM

August 26, 2013


NCEAS helps spearhead Semantics for Biodiversity Symposium

From October 28 - November 1, 2013 in Florence, Italy, the Semantics for Biodiversity Symposium will be offered as part of the TDWG Annual Conference 2013, an event widely attended by international experts in biodiversity informatics. The new Symposium on semantics for biodiversity has been co-organized by NCEAS' Director of Computing Mark Schildhauer and SONet Postdoctoral Associate Benjamin Adams, in collaboration with colleagues at UC Berkeley, the iPlant Collaborative, Arizona State University, University of Colorado, California Academy of Sciences, and other key institutions.

by french at August 26, 2013 08:40 PM

August 21, 2013


Pattern of reproductive aging in humans not found in other primates

Women rarely give birth after about 45 years of age, and they experience the cessation of reproductive cycles, menopause, at about age 50 after a fertility decline lasting almost two decades. Such reproductive aging in mid-lifespan is an evolutionary puzzle of enduring interest because it should be inherently disadvantageous. This study compared the reproductive aging in seven species of nonhuman primates in natural populations to humans. Results provide strong evidence that reproductive aging in midlife is generally absent in other primates.

by donahue at August 21, 2013 04:27 PM

August 13, 2013


Undergraduates Gain Practical Research and Analysis Skills Studying Invasive Plants

Invasive species, Rumex crispus, San Diego, CA. Photo Credit: Stickpen via Wikipedia Commons

In Spring 2011, NCEAS facilitated the first-ever undergraduate distributed seminar which provided opportunities for students to do field research, network, share strategies, and form collaborations with students at eight other institutions. The seminar’s results filled a hole in collective ecology knowledge and were published in the August 2013 edition of BioScience magazine.



by donahue at August 13, 2013 11:03 PM

August 12, 2013


NCEAS Workshop to Conceptualize an Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software (ISEES)

Software lifecycle

On August 13-14, 2013 a diverse group of more than 30 scientists from the environmental and Earth sciences are convening at NCEAS to help shape a vision for a new software institute for environmental science. Scientists will participate in one of two parallel workshops focusing on the Software Lifecycle and Software Components.  Workshop leaders are Peter Fox from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Chris Mattmann from the University of Southern California, and Mark Schildhauer and Matt Jones from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

by french at August 12, 2013 05:41 PM

August 07, 2013


August 01, 2013


Marine Life Moving Poleward Faster Than Terrestrial Counterparts Due to Climate Change

Oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface, yet our knowledge of the impact of climate change on marine habitats is a mere drop in the proverbial ocean compared to terrestrial systems. The journal Nature Climate Change published the new findings of a three-year study conducted by a NCEAS working group which shows that warming oceans are causing marine species to change breeding, feeding, and migration timing as well as shift where they live. Widespread systemic shifts in measures such as distribution of species and phenology — the timing of nature’s calendar — are on a scale comparable to or greater than those observed on land.



by french at August 01, 2013 07:19 PM

July 23, 2013


NCEAS-at-ESA August 4 to August 7, 2013

The Annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) Conference is being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota in early August. If you are attending the conference, NCEAS hopes that you will join Mark Schildhauer, director of computing, and Matt Jones, director of informatics research, for one or more of their workshops, ignite sessions, or special sessions (outlined below). NCEAS Working Groups are also presenting two Contributed Oral Papers listed below on engaging undergraduate students in Ecology and Big Data. Also don't miss the NCEAS-SESYNC 'Pathways to Opportunity' Mixer scheduled for Wednesday, August 7 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Vincent A Restaurant, just up the street. No RSVP required.



by french at July 23, 2013 12:29 AM

July 16, 2013


PeerJ Offers Free Publishing for Field Biologists This Month

The folk over at PeerJ have an offer for field biologists this month. Do you have “ecology”, “ecosystem science”, “marine biology”, “plant sciences” or “zoology” as a subject area for your work? Great – it’s free for this month only.

Interesting promotion, and great to see them reaching out to the EEMB community!

by jebyrnes at July 16, 2013 11:34 AM

July 14, 2013


Analysis of How Preprints Accelerate Scientific Communication

Just saw The potential of preprints to accelerate scholarly communication – A bibliometric analysis based on selected journals by Valerie Aman over at arXiv. Very interesting piece, particularly the extensive analyses showing that many papers in preprint have a huge impact often up to a year before they’re “published”. Very cool, and worth checking out.

Screen shot 2013-07-14 at 4.37.49 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-14 at 4.37.44 PM

by jebyrnes at July 14, 2013 08:39 PM

July 11, 2013


Science for Nature and People (SNAP) Issues First Call for Working Group Proposals


Science for Nature and People (SNAP) is a new scientific collaboration launched by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). This collaborative is assembled to ask the question: How can protecting nature help ensure food, energy, water, and security for 9 billion or more people?  We intend to uncover approaches that will benefit all humankind—especially the planet’s poorest and most marginalized citizens.

by donahue at July 11, 2013 05:27 PM

July 10, 2013


NCEAS' Matt Jones Convenes Plenary Discussion at ESIP Conference

NCEAS’ Matt Jones Convenes Plenary Discussion, "Envisioning a Software Institute to Accelerate Environmental Science", at the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Conference. The Software Institutes for Sustained Innovation (S2I2) program, created by the National Science Foundation, is planning a new institute that can accelerate science and engineering through advances in software.  Matt Jones, NCEAS' Director of Informatics, and PI of the "Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software (ISEES)" planning effort, has convened three environmentally-related software planning initiatives to present and discuss their Institute visions at the annual conference of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP).  Video now available (session starts at 16:20) 


by donahue at July 10, 2013 04:03 PM

July 09, 2013


NCEAS’ Matt Jones Convenes Plenary Discussion - Envisioning a Software Institute to Accelerate Environmental Science - at Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Conference

The Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (S2I2) program, created by the National Science Foundation, is planning a new institute that can accelerate science and engineering through advances in software.

by french at July 09, 2013 11:23 PM

July 06, 2013


Tropical Forest Blossoms Are Sensitive to Changing Climate

Tropical Forest Bloosoms

Until recently, scientific thinking used to posit that tropical forests, which already exist in warm climates, may not be impacted much by climate change. But a new study conducted by the NCEAS Working Group - Forecasting Phenology: Integrating Ecology, Climatology, and Phylogeny to Understand Plant Responses to Climate Change - shows that to be erroneous. In fact, the results indicate that tropical forests are producing more flowers in response to only slight increases in temperature. The findings were published in the journal Nature Climate Change.


by french at July 06, 2013 08:38 PM

July 02, 2013


2013 Summer Institute Schedule and Presentation Materials

Activity type: Pres=Presentation; Actv=Activity; Disc=Discussion; Tech=Technical Session; Tutl=Tutorial; GP=Group Project; Lect=Lecture
Instructor:  JA= Juliann Aukema; BB=Ben Bolker; FD=Frank Davis; SH=Stephanie Hampton; MJ=Matt Jones; JR=Jim Regetz; MS=Mark Schildhauer

Materials will be available soon

Wednesday, 19 June

Collaboration and Communication

by french at July 02, 2013 11:41 PM

A toolbox for analysis of long-term ecological dynamics using the Kepler Workflow System

Kepler Logo

As ecologists continue to gather long-term data at site, regional, continental and global scales, there will be an increasing need for tools to measure the pattern and rate of change in plant and animal communities in response to multiple environmental drivers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Advances in Biological Informatics (ABI) program has recently funded the NCEAS Informatics team and collaborators to gather together multiple metrics of ecological dynamics into one toolbox will provide ecologists with a new set of tools for quantifying how communities change over time.

by donahue at July 02, 2013 06:14 PM

June 26, 2013


June 19, 2013


Moore Foundation Funding Supports a New Era at NCEAS

Moore Foundation

The latest project at NCEAS is perhaps its most intriguing yet: making over its successful data synthesis and research collaboration model by broadening its reach to directly include the potential users of scientific information – non-governmental organizations (NGOs), policymakers, and resource managers – in the process itself. New funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will enable NCEAS to do just that. A $2.4 million, three-year grant will help cover the Center’s operating costs through 2015 — and see the launch of new initiatives to ensure its viability, and relevance, far into the future.


by french at June 19, 2013 11:26 PM

Parasites Affect the Food Web More Than You Think

Parasitic Isopod Leidya, Photo Credit: Ryan Hechinger

Parasites are ubiquitous. They feed on virtually every animal and even on each other. Yet, for all the parasites' collective contributions to biomass and biodiversity, conventional food webs don't account for the presence of these tiny and numerous consumers. A recent study may alter our picture of who-eats-who.

"If you are not including parasites in food webs, you aren't getting the whole picture," said Kevin Lafferty, a marine ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and adjunct professor in the UCSB Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB). "They are consumers like predators, but they are less visible and easy to forget."

by french at June 19, 2013 09:45 PM

June 18, 2013


Save the Date - NCEAS co-sponsors mixer at Ecological Society of America annual meeting

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) invite you to 'Pathways to Opportunity', a NCEAS–SESYNC Mixer at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting on Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 6:30-8-30 pm at the Vincent A Restaurant.

by french at June 18, 2013 11:25 PM

Ocean Health Index Makes Waves at World Economic Forum

Ocean Health Index Logo

The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Oceans endorses the Ocean Health Index (OHI) an NCEAS partner, to help guide how the world's oceans are managed. The OHI rates the world's ocean health on a scale of 0 - 100 based on measures of ecological health and human benefits and currently gives global ocean health a score of 60. 

by donahue at June 18, 2013 08:27 PM

June 13, 2013


Former NCEAS Postdoctoral Associates Named Early Career Fellows by Ecological Society of America

NCEAS congratulates two of its Postdoctoral alumni, Marissa L. Baskett and Duncan N.L. Menge for being named the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) 2013 Early Career Fellows. The ESA fellows program recognizes the many ways in which its members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and to management and policy. A complete list of ESA 2013 Fellows and Early Career Fellows is in their announcement.

by french at June 13, 2013 06:59 PM

May 28, 2013


Quantifying the Benefits People Gain from Marine Ecoystems

Linking the condition of an ecosystem to the benefits that people derive from that system is a fundamental challenge for scientists and managers, and one that must be met in order to implement ecosystem based management. This paper presents a pragmatic approach to quantifying the benefits people gain from marine systems.

by donahue at May 28, 2013 05:29 PM

May 20, 2013


NCEAS Leads Hands-on Primer in EcoInformatics at Ecological Society of America's 2013 Conference

Title:  Conducting Open Science using R and DataONE: A Hands-on Primer
When:  Sunday, August 4, 2013: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
Where: ESA 2013 Minneapolis, MN

NCEAS director of informatics research and development, Matthew B. Jones, has assembled an all-star team to conduct a hands-on EcoInformatics workshop for early career scientists at the upcoming annual conference of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in Minneapolis, MN on Sunday, August 4, 2013.

by donahue at May 20, 2013 06:21 PM

May 17, 2013



It appears that the folks from Coldspring Harbor are planning on starting an arXiv for biology. They now have the URL up and running as a signup. Curious to see where this will go!

by jebyrnes at May 17, 2013 11:17 PM

May 16, 2013


Former NCEAS Postdoc and Collaborators Awarded ESA Prize for Outstanding Paper

Duncan Menge
A 2012 PLoS One publication by former NCEAS Postdoctoral Fellow Duncan Menge and his collaborators has received a prestigious award from the Theoretical Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). The publication titled "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Limitation over Long-term Ecosystem Development in Terrestrial Ecosystems" by Duncan Menge, Lars Hedin, and Stephen Pacala, was one of the important outcomes of Menge’s work during his tenure at NCEAS from 2008 to 2010. The paper, which integrates disparate observations, presents a new model to understand nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics over different time scales and will help improve predictions about the extent of climate change.

by donahue at May 16, 2013 10:56 PM

May 07, 2013


NCEAS Working Group Book Publication: Handbook on Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution

Meta-analysis is a powerful statistical methodology for synthesizing research evidence across independent studies. Just published, the Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution is the first comprehensive handbook of meta-analysis written specifically for ecologists and evolutionary biologists, and it provides an invaluable introduction for beginners as well as an up-to-date guide for experienced meta-analysts. This handbook was developed as part of a NCEAS working group, Meta-analysis in Ecology: Lessons, Challenges and Future working group.

by donahue at May 07, 2013 11:28 PM

May 02, 2013


NCEAS Summer Institute – 22 Participants Selected out of Nearly 400 Applicants

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) is pleased to announce the twenty-two participants (listed below) that have been chosen to participate in the NCEAS Summer Institute, a three-week intensive training workshop in ecological analysis and synthesis for early-career researchers.

by donahue at May 02, 2013 10:48 PM