Effective Conservation Science: Data Not Dogma

ISBN : 9780198808985

Michelle Marvier; Peter M. Kareiva; Brian R. Silliman
384 Pages
189 x 246 mm
Pub date
Oct 2017
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This edited volume assembles some of the most intriguing voices in modern conservation biology. Collectively they highlight many of the most challenging questions being asked in conservation science today, each of which will benefit from new experiments, new data, and new analyses. The book's principal aim is to inspire readers to tackle these uncomfortable issues head-on. A second goal is to be reflective and consider how the field has reacted to challenges, and to what extent these challenges advance conservation science. A concluding chapter will synthesize common themes that emerge from the experiences of the authors in these debates and discuss how best to guard against confirmation bias. The hope is that this book will lead to greater conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity by harnessing the engine of constructive scientific scepticism in service of better results.


Reproducibility, bias, and objectivity in conservation science
1 Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier: Uncomfortable questions and inconvenient data in conservation science
2 Moana McClellan and Ian Davies: The thin ice of simplicity in environmental and conservation assessments

Challenges to foundational premises in conservation
3 Linus Blomqvist and R. David Simpson: The value of ecosystem services: What is the evidence?
4 Mark Vellend: Are local losses of biodiversity causing degraded ecosystem function?
5 Lenore Fahrig: Forty years of bias in habitat fragmentation research
6 Martin A. Schlaepfer: Introduced species are not always the enemy of conservation
7 Richard J. Hobbs: Novel ecosystems: Can't we just pretend they're not there?
8 Barry W. Brook, Erle C. Ellis, and Jessie C. Buettel: What is the evidence for planetary tipping points?
9 Paul R. Armsworth, Eric R. Larson, and Alison G. Boyer: Adaptability: As important in conservation organizations as it is in species
10 Emma Fuller: Food webs with humans: In name only?

Iconic conservation tales: Sorting truth from fiction
11 Jonathan R. B. Fisher: Global agricultural expansion - The sky isn't falling (yet)
12 Emma Marris: A good story: Media bias in trophic cascade research in Yellowstone National Park
13 David K. Skelly: From Silent Spring to the Frog of War: the forgotten role of natural history in conservation science
14 Erik Meijaard: How a mistaken ecological narrative could be undermining orangutan conservation
15 Peter Kareiva and Valerie Carranza: Fealty to symbolism is no way to save salmon
16 Michelle Marvier: Genetically-modified crops: Frankenfood or environmental boon?
17 Kristin N. Marshall and Phillip S. Levin: When sustainable fishing isn't
18 Yuta J. Masuda and Tim Scharks: Science communication is receiving a lot of attention, but we are not getting much better at it

Questioning accepted strategies and interventions
19 Ray Hilborn: Overfishing: can we provide food from the sea and protect biodiversity?
20 James A. Estes and M. Tim Tinker: Rehabilitating sea otters: feeling good versus being effective
21 Joshua J. Lawler and Julia Michalak: Planning for climate change without climate projections?
22 Martine Maron: Is 'no net loss of biodiversity' a good idea?
23 Richard A. Fuller and James E. M. Watson: Replacing underperforming nature reserves
24 Joseph M. Kiesecker, Kei Sochi, Jeff Evans, Michael Heiner, Christina M. Kennedy, and James R. Oakleaf: Conservation in the real world: Pragmatism does not equal surrender
25 Paul J. Ferraro: Are payments for ecosystem services benefiting ecosystems and people?
26 Jennifer L. Molnar: Corporations valuing nature: It's not all about the win-wins
27 Brian Silliman, Brent B. Hughes, Y. Stacy Zhang, Qiang He: Business as usual leads to underperformance in coastal restoration

28 Brian Silliman and Stephanie Wear: If you remember anything from this book, remember this...

About the author: 

Peter Kareiva has taught at multiple universities (including Brown, University of Washington, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford, UCLA, Santa Clara University and University of Virginia). He has worked as a private consultant and led a NOAA research group at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center on Conservation Biology. He spent over ten years as a Lead, and then Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With Michelle Marvier he has co-authored a textbook in conservation science. He now directs an interdisciplinary program in Environmental Science at UCLA, where an emphasis is placed on the importance of narratives in promoting environmental values. ; Michelle Marvier is a professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and was a NSF postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. Michelle has worked for NOAA Fisheries on salmon conservation and has applied evidence-based risk analysis to understand the environmental impacts of genetically engineered crops. She has published over 40 articles, and she currently serves on the editorial board of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. With Peter Kareiva, Michelle coauthored the textbook, Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature.; Brian Silliman is the Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Conservation Biology at Duke University. He was named a Smith Conservation Fellow in 2004, a Visiting Professor with the Royal Netherlands Society of Sciences in 2011, and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016. He has also received a Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Naturalists (2006) and NSF Career Grant Award (2011). Dr. Silliman has published two co-edited books and over 130 journal articles. His teaching and research are focused on community ecology, conservation and restoration, and ecological consequences of positive interactions.

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