Society for Conservation GIS

Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions – SCGIS Turns 20: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of Conservation GIS

Oceans cover 70% of the earth’s surface, and influence our climate, and hydrologic and carbon cycles. At least half of the earth’s oxygen is the result of photosynthesis by marine plants. Terrestrial as well as marine habitats and species are disappearing due to agriculture, urbanization, energy production and other human activities.  Climate change is challenging our best scientists to understand the marine and terrestrial impacts, ecosystem vulnerabilities and the future role of protected areas. Currently, 48% of the carbon emitted to the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning is sequestered into the ocean. Understanding these interactions, synergies and the potential impacts that climatic changes have on the earth and the oceans is one of the most important investigations of our day.

The amount of data about oceans, earth, and climate change is mind boggling. More challenging still is how to explain the outcomes of analyses meant to help scientists to understand what we are facing with regard to climate change.  The ultimate challenge is to convey this complex information in succinct and captivating sound-bites that are necessary in order to engage the public in efforts to slow down the human contributions to climate change.  And, finally, to help educate policy makers about what to expect and how to help humans and ecosystems prepare themselves by increasing resiliency, to reduce the worst of the impacts from the projected future changes brought on by superlative storms, and catastrophic weather events.

As SCGIS enters its 20th year, we all are facing some of the most difficult challenges humanity has ever faced. We are also a strong and growing global community that is ready to consider how we got to where we are today and to create the path forward, with the tools we need to support each other through these times. SCGIS provides the forum for sharing what we know through story-telling, workshops, technical sessions and conversation.

Come listen to renowned Oceanographer and ESRI Chief Scientist Dawn Wright, and Frank Davis, Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UCSB. Come meet our international scholars – some of the most promising conservation activists from around the globe. Come together with like-minded conservation GIS professionals and make life-long friends. Enjoy a guided tour and talk from one of the bay area’s foremost butterfly experts and hear how climate change is impacting the micro-climates that make up butterfly habitat. Come to our famous live AUCTION to benefit the scholars, enjoy beach walks, bonfires, and a beautiful California State Park. And don’t miss the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium!

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