Dbytes #157 (14 July 2014)

Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group “If you simply have to have ice, go to Alaska and tell your friends you went to Antarctica – they won’t know the difference!” John Oliver Antarctic anti-tourism promotion (see EDG Brisbane News)

General News

1. Biodiversity: Science and Solutions for Australia

2. The Climate Institute issued ‘Effectiveness Review of Party Climate Policies’

3. Land Use of Australia, Interim Version 5, 2010-11

4. DotE’s Departmental restructure (from 1 July)

5. Department strategic plan and new structure

EDG News

Melbourne: Mick McCarthy’s talk at ISEC2014 (on metrics for SDMs) Brisbane: Justine Shaw’s PLOS Biology paper basis for anti-tourism sketch Canberra: Alessio’s Mortelliti publishes on pine plantations and connectivity Perth: Richard Hobbs included in the Thomson Reuters 2014 Highly Cited Researchers list.

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General News

1. Biodiversity: Science and Solutions for Australia

Biodiversity: Science and Solutions for Australia is a new eBook from CSIRO. It provides the latest scientific knowledge on Australia’s biodiversity. The book describes the unique features of Australia’s species and focuses on solutions for the future. Available as a free eBook (from 16 July 2014). [Editor’s note: Authors include several EDG associates and EDGites might be particularly interested in the chapters on ‘Tools for managing and restoring biodiversity’ (first author Tara Martin) and Managing Australia’s protected areas.] http://www.csiro.au/biodiversitybook

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2. The Climate Institute issued ‘Effectiveness Review of Party Climate Policies: July 2014 – Policy Brief’. http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/articles/media-releases/climate-credibility-or-company-subsidies-party-policies-reviewed.html/section/397

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3. Land Use of Australia, Interim Version 5, 2010-11

Produced by ABARES, The Land Use of Australia, Interim Version 5, 2010-11 dataset is an interim, partially validated, land use dataset for Australia for the year 2010-11. It is the latest in a series of national scale land use datasets at 1:2 500 000 scale already available for many of the years between 1992-3 and 2005-06. It is based on a variety of source datasets relating to non-agricultural and agricultural land uses, including datasets from the National Forest Inventory and the ABS Agricultural census data. The previous national scale land use dataset was produced in 2005-06. These datasets are used for broad-scale land use assessments and for strategic planning and evaluation. This dataset was constructed by ABARES as a product of the Australian Collaborative Land Use and Management Program (ACLUMP), a program coordinated by ABARES. It is a modelled dataset constructed using coarse-scale satellite data, ABS agricultural statistics and ground control point data for the agricultural land uses and various other digital datasets, including finer resolution catchment scale land use data, for the non-agricultural land uses. For this version: the allocation of land uses has only been partially validated; and agricultural land uses have not yet been allocated to dryland and irrigated classes though irrigated plantation forestry has been mapped. The non-agricultural land uses are interpreted from existing digital datasets covering six themes: topographic features, catchment scale land use, protected areas, world heritage areas, tenure and forest cover. http://www.daff.gov.au/abares/pages/publications/display.aspx?url=http://143.188.17.20/anrdl/DAFFService/display.php?fid=pb_ilua5g9ablu20140708_11a.xml

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4. DotE’s Departmental restructure (from 1 July)

The Department’s new three group structure is now in place. The NERP team—in the recently renamed Science Partnerships Section—is now part of Science Division, which sits within the Office of Environmental Science and Economics group. Our colleagues in Science Division include the Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN), the Office of Water Science, the Supervising Scientist and Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (ERISS).

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5. Department strategic plan and new structure

The Department of the Environment has released a Strategic Plan 2014-2018 which provides a high level overview of the Department’s strategic direction and key areas of focus. http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/strategic-plan-2014-2018 -~<>~-

EDG News

Melbourne: Mick McCarthy’s talk at ISEC2014 (on metrics for SDMs) “I’m speaking tomorrow on the last afternoon of the International Statistical Ecology Conference in Montpellier. I’ll be arguing that usual metrics (e.g., AIC) to measure the performance of species distribution models (SDMs) might not actually be relevant for selecting models that are to be used for management. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is the metrics are usually based on the ability to fit the calibration data, not the quality of their predictions where they will be used. Secondly, most metrics of SDMs consider statistical fit (e.g., AIC can be thought of as a bias-corrected estimate of deviance), which also might not be relevant to management. Mangers will want to select the model that will provide the best management outcome. The link between the usual metrics and management outcomes is indirect at best. http://mickresearch.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/my-talk-at-isec2014/

Brisbane: Justine Shaw’s PLOS Biology paper basis for anti-tourism sketch Message from Justine Shaw: “My recent paper in PLOS Biology Antarctica’s Protected Areas Are Inadequate, Unrepresentative, and at Risk has had a fair amount of media coverage since it was published last month. However, I think this is the most fun novel way I’ve ever had my research showcased to the world by comedian John Oliver. I knew nothing about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH573B1bkHI

Canberra: Alessio’s Mortelliti publishes on pine plantations and connectivity This is the paper behind the winning entry in the EDG Video Competition (‘Pine Fiction’; discussed in the current issue of Decision Point). The link to the video is below as well. Mortelliti, A., Westgate, M.J. and Lindenmayer, D.B. (2014). Experimental evaluation shows limited influence of pine plantations on the connectivity of highly fragmented bird populations. Journal of Applied Ecology, doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12313). Link to the video Pine Fiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkZlDdm085g

Perth: Richard Hobbs included in the Thomson Reuters 2014 Highly Cited Researchers list. Richard Hobbs is one of six researchers from The University of Western Australia recognised as some of the most influential scientific minds in the world. Richard’s inclusion reflects the significance, quality and impact of the many scientific publications he has published in collaboration with scientists from within the University, throughout Australia and abroad.

Thomson Reuters 2014 Highly Cited Researchers | http://highlycited.com

[*Editor’s note: David Lindenmayer at ANU was also on this list.]

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About Dbytes Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David Salt (David.Salt@anu.edu.au). Please keep them short and provide a link for more info. Also, email David if you want to unsubscribe (or subscribe someone else). While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it.

About EDG The Environmental Decision Group (EDG) is a network of conservation researchers working on the science of effective decision making to better conserve biodiversity. Our members are largely based at the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, RMIT and CSIRO. The EDG is jointly funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence program (CEED).

CEED: http://ceed.edu.au/

NERP ED: http://www.nerpdecisions.edu.au/

EDG: http://www.edg.org.au/

EDG major events: http://www.edg.org.au/events.html

Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/

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