MarineGEO: The Force Awakens
Speaker: Emmett Duffy, MarineGEO director
Our midday seminars are open to the public. Because they are directed to a scientific audience, they are more technical than our evening lectures. To learn more about our free Bay Optimism evening lecture series, visit our evening lecture homepage.
Summary: The Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO) is a network of partners, led by the Smithsonian, collaborating to understand how coastal ecosystems work and how to keep them working. Our research focuses on biodiversity because it is essential to the health and functioning of ecosystems, and on the nearshore coastal zone where biodiversity and people are concentrated and interact most. MarineGEO complements existing ocean observing efforts, but is unique in its focus on biodiversity and the integration of networked experiments, sustained long-term observations, historical ecology, and traditional ecological knowledge. MarineGEO aspires to build a sustainable business model for a long-term biodiversity observation network by focusing on simple, standardized, and scalable approaches that require minimal capital investment and engage students and citizens to mutual benefit. MarineGEO adds value to local partner’s research by “connecting the dots” to answer bigger questions, diffuse best practices, network databases, and build capacity via training and exchange. Officially launched in 2013, MarineGEO is an exemplar of the “One Smithsonian” philosophy, headquartered at SERC, engaging participants from throughout the institution, and linked to Conservation Commons and Biogenomics. In this talk, MarineGEO director Emmett Duffy will review a few examples illustrating the value and promise of this collaborative approach, including (1) lessons from two intensive biodiversity campaigns, (2) first results from Ocean Bitemap, a global, crowd-sourced experiment that began building the first global map of coastal fish predation intensity, and (3) a collaborative analysis of the value of marine biodiversity based on data from collaboration with the Reef Life Survey.