September 2013

R5 Science Seminar Series 2013

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013, Noon - 1:00 p.m., Northeast Region Office Large Auditorium. This will be a live presentation and will be broadcast from the Regional Office Large Auditorium. Remote participants can access the broadcast online at: The closed caption link is:

Title: Science-based tools to lead large landscape conservation efforts: NatureServe's toolkit and the LandScope Chesapeake example

Presenters: Lori Scott, NatureServe and Lesley Sneddon, NatureServe

Abstract: Natural and cultural resources are central to our economic vitality, yet they face intense pressures from development, fragmentation, unsustainable use, pollution, and climate change impacts. Working in collaboration with many partners, the federal government is developing a 21st-century agenda for conservation and recreation through initiatives like America's Great Outdoors and setting national policy to guide responsible development of natural resources while maintaining stewardship of threatened ecosystems. To realize this agenda, government agencies and non-governmental organizations need science-based tools to inform collaborative conservation through public-private partnerships.

NatureServe's flexible tools and standards permit groups to meet their own objectives, helping to ensure efficient and effective use of the limited funds available for conservation, management, and monitoring.  We focus on adding value—particularly by developing analyses and syntheses that can inform Strategic Habitat Conservation —while avoiding competition and duplication of efforts wherever possible.

LandScope Chesapeake is advancing the national LandScope America platform to engage decision-makers, practitioners, and residents within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to identify mutual priorities for collaborative landscape-scale conservation and providing tools for tracking progress against watershed-wide conservation, restoration and recreation goals. LandScope's publicly accessible, user-friendly mapping interface allows practitioners and citizens to assemble maps, images, and stories of the places that matter most, including conservation values ranging from recreation opportunities, scenic vistas and historic areas to wildlife habitat and protected lands.

This presentation will demonstrate how the LandScope Chesapeake platform can support the work of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Landscape Conservation Cooperative practitioners, and stimulate discussion about applying this platform and the NatureServe toolkit to other geographic regions.

LandScope Chesapeake is developed by NatureServe in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, natural heritage programs and other state and federal agencies.

Presenter Bios: 

Lori Scott is the Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Conservation Information Systems for NatureServe. In this role, she sets information technology strategy for the organization and oversees software development and support functions to deliver and maintain information systems to support the field data collection and management activities of NatureServe's natural heritage network. Since joining NatureServe in 2000, she has served as the project manager for the Biotics software suite, and is now heading up the team that is redeveloping the product as a web-enabled application. She has also served as the Director for LandScope America, and has overseen work on two grants from the National Science Foundation to design and implement a web services infrastructure for NatureServe's biodiversity data and a Mobile Observations System for geospatial data capture and management.

Lesley Sneddon is a National Ecologist with NatureServe, a non-profit organization that provides scientific information for effective conservation. She is an original author and regular contributor to the National Vegetation Classification, provides ecology expertise to government agency staff and functions as part of a team of senior ecologists collaborating to guide regional and national-level ecosystem analyses. In addition to ecology expertise in ecosystem classification and mapping, skills include climate change vulnerability assessments and project management.

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