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Global Conservation Forum: Tuesday

 

Join  The Explorers Club in New York on Tuesday March 5th to learn about a variety of recent innovations in the field of conservation from leaders in the field.

New technologies are driving the human imagination towards new visions of the potential of wildlife conservation. Advancements in biotechnology, bioengineering, AI and eDNA have created new ways of thinking about what is possible. GPS, UVA’s and other telemetry technologies are now commonly used to monitor species. The use of remote sensing — whether through satellites or drones – is increasingly applied to wildlife monitoring, land-cover classification, and as mitigation tools. Artificial intelligence, which has both predictive and analytical uses is allowing technologists in both the public and private sectors to participate together. And space exploration has opened up the possibility of starting over to build sustainable worlds on other planets for both humans and wildlife.

The field of wildlife conservation has experienced multiple paradigm shifts in the past several decades. It has evolved into an interdisciplinary science which requires thinking outside the box to establish and maintain the necessary connections between the conservation community, scientists, technology experts, policy makers, and financial institutions – all of which can further support efforts to halt the threat to biological diversity and human lives.

This is a new landscape for Conservation and Sustainability initiatives. These paradigm shifts, along with the continuous decline in biodiversity and the devastating effects of climate change on one hand, and the rapid development of better, cheaper and more easily available technology on the other, have made new tools an indispensable part of conservation today. Let’s take a dive into some of these during this lecture. We think you may be surprised at where Conservation is going in 2024.

Speakers:

  • Arsum Pathak, Senior Adaptation and Coastal Resilience Specialist for National Wildlife Federation’s South Central Region.
  • Alex Dehgan, CEO and co-founder of Conservation X Labs
  • Ashley Beckwith, Founder and CEO of FORAY Bioscience
  • Barbara Belvisi, Founder and CEO at Interstellar Lab
  • Jason Holberg, Chief Data Officer and Executive Officer of Wild Me

Moderator: Tracy Farrell, Director, North American Region · IUCN

 

 


RESERVATIONS

This will be an in-person lecture at Explorers Club Headquarters.

In-person tickets are $30, tickets for both Global Conservation Forum days are $50.

Check-in will begin at 6:00 pm, with a beer and wine reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Speakers

Moderator: Tracy Farrell

Tracy has more than 20 years of experience leading global conservation and sustainable development programs and projects. She believes it takes a village of partners to broaden how the private and public sectors work together to find the best long-term sustainability solutions.

At the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) North American program, she leads policy development and member engagement work in the US and Canada, fundraising and implementing new regional initiatives. Tracy’s role at IUCN allows her to focus on large landscape management and nature-based solutions, including incentivizing and unlocking financing for these solutions. Her career also includes years of work designing and managing sustainable forested areas. Prior to her role at IUCN, Tracy spent 16 years working for Conservation International.

Arsum Pathak

Arsum Pathak is the Senior Adaptation and Coastal Resilience Specialist for National Wildlife Federation’s South Central Region. Her work focuses on advancing science-based climate adaptation and resilience to protect coastal communities and ecosystems throughout the Gulf Coast from the impacts of climate change and associated extreme events. In this role, she= distills climate science and highlights innovative nature-based approaches to help local communities and policy experts understand their baseline physical risks and develop equitable solutions in the face of sea level rise, storm surge, and other climate-induced threats. She has authored and co-authored several publications on climate change impacts and adaptation including the recently published Innovation in Climate Adaptation guide. In addition, she participates in state-based coastal resilience and hazard mitigation planning across the Gulf working collaboratively with regional and local stakeholders. Before joining NWF, Arsum received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy at the University of South Florida where she researched and published on climate impacts and adaptation decision-making in small islands using a systems approach.

Alex Deghan

Dr. Alex Dehgan has worked on wildlife conservation, international development, and foreign policy in settings as diverse as Saddam Hussein’s pool house in Iraq, in the western reaches of the Himalayans in post-conflict Afghanistan, the leech and predator-filled rainforests of Madagascar, Central America & South America, and in the chaos of Post-Soviet Russia and Central Asia. He tends to run to places in the midst of change and takes on problems are thought to be too difficult to solve. At present, Alex is the CEO of Conservation X Labs as well as Professor of Sustainability in the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University. Alex served as the Chief Scientist of USAID, with rank of Assistant Administrator, and created the Agency’s “DARPA for Development”, including the Grand Challenge for Development program, in partnership with the Gates Foundation. Prior to USAID, Alex served as a senior scientist in multiple positions in the Office of the Secretary at the State Department, including on Iran, Afghanistan, Syria-Lebanon. Dr. Dehgan holds a Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a B.S. with Distinction from Duke University. Alex has won multiple awards from the Departments of State and Defense, was selected by AAAS Science Policy Fellowship as one of 40@40 honorees, was named an Icon of Science by Seed Magazine, received the World Technology Award, and in 2020, was given the University of Chicago’s Medical and Biological Alumni Association’s highest honor. Alex’s work and exploration has taken him to 90 countries on six continents.

Ashley Beckwith

Ashley Beckwith is the founder and CEO of FORAY bioscience, a startup focused on protecting and restoring forest resources with biomanufacturing. Beckwith holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has spent her career innovating at the intersection of materials, manufacturing, and biology. Her PhD research in lab-grown plant materials was awarded the MIT MTL Doctoral Dissertation Seminar Award. Beckwith is an active recipient of the Activate Fellowship for technical entrepreneurs and is currently leading the FORAY bio team to advance plant biotechnology and improve its utility in commercial production and conservation.

Barbara Belvisi

Barbara Belvisi is an entrepreneur passionate about space, hardware, biology and AI. She started her career in finance: from Private Equity to Venture Capital, to work closer with entrepreneurs. After investing and acting as CFO for several hardware startups, she cofounded Hardware Club (now HCVC) to invest and support “those who build the world.” She also participated in the launch of several innovation programs like Hello Tomorrow. In 2017, she left her investor career and started learning engineering and architecture. Driven by her childhood passion for nature and space, she spent a year with NASA engineers prior to launching Interstellar Lab in 2018. The company focuses on preserving life on Earth and expanding it in space. To do so, they develop controlled environment modules for sustainable farming on Earth and life-support in space. They work with large cosmetics, natural ingredients and food companies to improve their supply chain. They are also part of several space programs to grow food in space including NASA DSFC phase I & II and ESA BSGN. Barbara is Top 10 Women in Tech in France, Top 100 Forbes in Europe, Best Innovator 2022, Choiseul 100 in France, Prix Janus 2023, and BOLD Award 2023.

Jason Holberg

Jason has logged thousands of hours of development time as the Wild Me lab’s original Information Architect, helping marine and terrestrial scientists across the globe track individual animals and populations. Using Jason’s tools, projects have been able to categorize and manage a large amount of wildlife data, promote collaboration across borders and data sets, and identify individual animals from multiple photos taken by different researchers many years apart. Jason was the population modeler for two widely lauded papers covering whale shark population trajectories at Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia using noninvasive photo ID of individuals as a data source. Through this, he demonstrated that citizen science data can provide improved insight and population models through the greater acquisition of high-quality data. As Conservation X Lab’s Chief Data Officer, Jason is currently working to teach AI how to universally distinguish between individual animals of many species, including sea dragons, leopards, dolphins, sharks, hyenas, and more.

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The Explorers Club Headquarters will be closed for Good Friday in the United States. We will resume regular operating hours…

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Join us on Thursday, April 4th for the 10th annual New York WILD Film Festival! For the full festival schedule,…

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Join The Explorers Club on Monday, March 4th to look back on geoscientist and professor Tom Paradise's over thirty years…

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Mar. 05
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