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Sustainability

Fin-Body Ratios for Smooth Dogfish – Depends on How You Slice It

Conservation, fisheries, Focus on Nuance, sharks, Sustainability, Underrepresented Issues in Marine Science and ConservationAugust 8, 2014

The 2010 Shark Conservation Act prohibits removal of fins at sea for all sharks landed in U.S. Waters, with a glaring exception for smooth dogfish, or smoothhound sharks.  In an effort to ensure that fishermen aren’t performing the cruel practice of throwing a still-living but finless shark overboard, a fin:body ratio of 12% for smooth […]

We need a different economic model for supporting conservation work. Here’s my story.

Challenging the Conventional Narrative, Environmentalism, Personal Stories, Science Life, Sustainability, UncategorizedMay 12, 2014

Many years ago, I was offered a job doing restoration work at a coal company while perusing festival booths in Fairbanks, Alaska. Still wearing my college-aged rose colored glasses, I was skeptical of working for conservation within industry, said thanks-but-no-thanks, and returned to upstate New York to finish my degree. Looking back, I honestly believe […]

Changes Proposed for U.S. Fisheries Management: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Conservation, fisheries, Focus on Nuance, policy, SustainabilityFebruary 9, 2014

This past Tuesday, the draft bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act was released by the U.S. House.  The Magnuson-Stevens Act is a big deal because this is the law that lays out how fisheries management works in the United States.  This time, a number of changes have been proposed by Representative Doc Hastings, some of […]

10 components of a sustainable shark fishery, and how you can help implement them

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharks, SustainabilityNovember 7, 2013

In 1999, government officials from all over the world gathered in Rome for a meeting of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s Committee on Fisheries. The Committee meets every two years,  but one of the numerous outputs of this meeting was particularly significant, at least for sharks. Based on years of consultation and discussion […]

Science in the Fleet: The Promise of Technology as a Panacea for Human Impacts

climate change, Fleet, marine science, Natural Science, Popular Culture, Science, Science Fiction, SustainabilityOctober 7, 2013

Today marks the release of Fleet: Wide Open, part 2 of my serial maritime science fiction adventure. With half the story revealed, we now see the roll technology plays in both the history and the day-to-day operations of the fleet. Specifically, we see three major technological advances that seem as though they would have been […]

Largest U.S. Shark Fishery: Coming to a School Lunch Near You?

Conservation, fisheries, Focus on Nuance, sharks, SustainabilityJuly 2, 2013

Spiny dogfish sharks have had a complicated history when it comes to fisheries management, going from hated pest to crashed fishery to conservation concern and now one of two certified-sustainable shark fisheries ever (the other is the Pacific species of spiny dogfish).  The story didn’t end with being certified sustainable though, and recently this fishery […]

Your homework: Find an environmental problem on campus, and fix it! Increasing sustainability at the UM food court

SustainabilityFebruary 26, 2013

In the fall of 2012, I took a class entitled “Using Communications to Influence Health and Environmental Policy: Theory and Practice”. The readings and discussions were fascinating, but what really got me excited was the semester project. Working with a group of other students, we were asked to identify an environmental problem on campus, and […]

Know Your Fishermen as well as your Farmer

fisheries, Highlighting the Rural Voice, Science, Social Science, Sustainability, Underrepresented Issues in Marine Science and ConservationJanuary 30, 2013

Fisheries had their ups and downs in the US in 2012. We’ve all heard the stories of overfishing, but there were also a few glimmers of hope as the New England cod fishery proposed to open previously closed areas, the Chesapeake oysters showed slight recovery, and MSC certification expanded and became more popular. News on […]

Establishing Best Practices to Minimize Waste in a Conservation Genetics Lab

Conservation, Core Themes for 2012, Environmentalism, Focus on Nuance, Life in the Lab, Science, Sustainability

I am, among other things, a conservation geneticist. What that means is that I use the tools of molecular ecology and population genetics to make observations about species and populations in at-risk ecosystems, assess the status of anthropogenically disturbed populations, and generate data that has direct applications to conservation and management issues. Essentially, the only […]

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