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Celebrating Science on April 22

April 12, 2017

 

We care about water, plants, and wildlife. And we care about people and our need to get out into open space, places to call home, soil to grow food, and water to drink and irrigate crops and gardens. Knowing where all of the things we care about are located, how they interact, and how important they are to keeping the Bay Area’s natural systems and human communities healthy is the job of science. As your organization does, the Bay Area Open Space Council relies heavily on science, data, and technology to accomplish its mission of preserving the region’s rare habitats, iconic natural landscapes, and its reputation as a magnet for diverse outdoor recreation. Check out www.bayarealands.org to learn how the Council, working with scores of Bay Area scientists, biologists, and botanists, uses scientific data and principles of conservation biology to identify regional biodiversity priorities.

So, as a science-driven organization, it is with great enthusiasm that we support the principles that the March for Science coming up on Saturday, April 22 represents. Many events are planned throughout the Bay Area that give you an opportunity to engage in this national celebration and to communicate how science touches your life. We invite you to reflect on the importance of using science as a tool for addressing both personal and public policy challenges. Literally everything under the sun, from mitigating climate change to improving mental health, benefits from increased scientific knowledge and science-based decision-making.

We want to take this opportunity to communicate how science touches our lives here at the Council and to extend a thank you to a few local science collaborations that have contributed greatly to the Council’s work and to the region’s understanding of the Bay Area’s natural ecosystems. There are so many phenomenal science teams in the Bay Area working on today’s most pressing issues. We are truly lucky here. Organizations like the San Francisco Estuary Institute, Point Blue, the recently-closed but incredibly impactful Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration, and many others – they produce the foundational datasets the rest of the conservation community relies on to do our work. We also offer a thank you to the many biologists, botanists, hydrologists, archaeologists, and ecologists housed in the Bay Area’s local, regional, state and federal agencies and private firms and organizations.

We would like to thank one science collaborative in particular for its work with the Council and its supply of key climate datasets to the Conservation Lands Network: The Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative (TBC3).

TBC3 develops science-based products for adaptive management of natural resources in the face of climate change. The team of hydrologists, biologists and conservation planners, led by Dr. David Ackerly (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Lisa Micheli (Pepperwood), have translated complex climate change scenarios into real-world climate factors—such as water availability and fire susceptibility—so that land and water managers can see the implications to their work and more effectively plan for the future.

Through this science, TBC3 helps agencies and others to evaluate potential impacts of climate change to water supply, agricultural production, wildlife movement, and habitat health, which in turn supports strategic protection of our region’s watersheds and biodiversity for centuries to come. Their most recent project, Climate Ready North Bay, empowers public agencies to co-create customized, spatially-explicit climate vulnerability assessments. Check out their work through the Watershed Analyst tool.

 

Photo of Drs. Ackerly and Micheli at a weather monitoring station on the Pepperwood Preserve. Photo by Tom Greco.

So please join us on April 22 as we take to the streets to celebrate science, scientists, and the role science will play in meeting the region’s (and the world’s!) land and natural resource conservation challenges.