Unlocking a New Era in Biodiversity Science: Linking Integrated Space Based and In-Situ Observations

October 1 - 5, 2018
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Workshop Overview:

Biodiversity loss is a major threat to ecosystem health and to Earth’s life support systems, with human activities causing rapid and widespread loss and shifts in distribution. These changes will have accelerating consequences for human well-being and the flows of carbon, water, nutrients, and energy through the Earth system. Progress in both fundamental biodiversity science and applied conservation efforts has been constrained by limited spatial and temporal availability of biodiversity data. These gaps are largest in areas where biodiversity is greatest and where it may be most threatened, highlighting the need for globally consistent and continuous approaches for assessing changes in biodiversity.

Progress in advancing biodiversity science globally and in developing consistent approaches for assessing biodiversity change demands integrating findings across temporal, spatial and biological scales and linking knowledge across many fields. Yet most biodiversity studies and initiatives to date have been limited in spatial or temporal scope and largely grounded in the biological sciences only. In contrast, efforts emphasizing use of remote sensing data sources make limited use of cross-sensor fusion and tend not to integrate with the large stores of wide-ranging, ground-based data collections housed at museums and other institutes. Currently, there is no global, harmonized observation system for delivering regular, timely data on biodiversity status and change. Hence the biodiversity science community would be fundamentally revolutionized by the development of a capability to continuously monitor biodiversity through integrated remote sensing and ground-based approaches, including the use of key traits (Essential Biodiversity Variables-EBVs) across the globe.

The focus of this study program is to advance progress towards the development of a global biodiversity observation system that couples space-based and ground-based approaches to quantifying biodiversity, to identify gaps in biodiversity traits and EBVs, and to explore how the fusion of diverse remote sensing measurements can contribute to monitoring biodiversity change. At this unique time point when NASA and international partners are on the verge of launching a series of new missions, the study program provides the opportunity to inform development and planning of Earth science missions that can contribute to the maturation of imaging spectroscopy, imaging radar, vegetation canopy LIDAR, and other developing remote sensing technologies to advance biodiversity science. The goal is to develop a roadmap to establish an integrated global biodiversity monitoring system that enlists advancing spaceborne remote sensing technological capabilities together with ever-increasing ground-based in situ data collections and field observations. This program will initiate a new era in biodiversity science, supporting characterization and monitoring globally of biological variation across spatial, temporal and biological scales.

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Lodging for out-of-town attendees

There are a number of hotels (5 pages pdf, 181KB) that are close to the Caltech campus where we have a negotiated rate. (Please note that this negotiated rate does not guarantee you the lowest rate as there may be internet specials or AAA rates that may be better.)

Please note that with enough notice, you can reserve rooms for attendees at the Athenaeum, which has been recognized as a Platinum Club of America. Newly refurbished, it is conveniently located on the Caltech Campus. Contact Janet Seid if you would like to check the availability of this option.

Visa Requirements

For Visa requirement information and travel to the United States please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.

Parking (for Visitors and for JPL Personnel)

For Visitors: From the Arroyo Parkway, turn right (east) on Del Mar Avenue. Proceed approximately one and a quarter miles. The Caltech campus will be on your right. Turn right (south) onto Wilson Avenue. Turn right into the North Wilson Structure and park in an unmarked spot. Buy a parking permit from the kiosk located inside the North Wilson Structure or request one ahead of time from KISS.

For JPL Personnel: JPLers may use their JPL hang tag for parking or request a special parking hangtag from the JPL parking office. Employees who do not have on-Lab parking privileges can obtain a hang tag created for this purpose from JPL parking coordinator Robert Kennedy (818-354-4586, Building 310-108B, 9/80 schedule). Please park in an unmarked spot in the North Wilson Structure located on Wilson Avenue.

Maps and General Information on Pasadena

Directions and Maps