SS 15
Building Global Ecological Understanding

Tuesday, August 11, 2015: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
309, Baltimore Convention Center
Rodrigo Vargas, University of Delaware
Aline Jaimes, Postdoctoral research; Jianwu Tang, Marine Biological Laboratory; Han Dolman, Universiteit Amsterdam; Henry W. Loescher, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON); and Brian Wee, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc.)
Large-scale environmental changes around the globe have underscored the value of long-term data sets for understanding the context of scientific observations and forecasting. We are entering an era of large-scale, interdisciplinary science fueled by large data sets that will be analyzed by current and future generations of scientists. There are many efforts to build new ecological observatories around the world; however, each research infrastructure and network is designed to fulfill specific purposes without a requirement for its observations to be interoperable with other infrastructure. The purpose of this session is to bring together a diverse user group of scientists representative of Societal Benefit Areas (SBA) to engage in a discussion to determine the road-map to move towards a network-of-networks and observatory-of observatories approach to answer global ecological questions. Specifically, we will focus on ecological contribution of Observatories/Networks to SBAs: agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water, and weather. The session will consist of an initial presentation by the session leader(s) that will summarize the outcomes of the BGEU spring 2015 workshop, followed by the discussion centered on the following research questions: i)what are the current ecological theories and grand challenge questions that span continents to provide a broader ecological understanding and prognostic capability to inform science and society; ii) how can Observatories/Networks be used to address global grand challenges, iii) what attributes can be integrated among Observatories/Networks to foster a broader understanding; and iv) which are the near term strategic targets that should be followed by the scientific community.
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