3rd Marine Biodiversity Workshop: from the Sea to the Cloud 2020



This event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. New dates are TBD and will be announced as soon as possible.




The MBON Pole to Pole is preparing a third workshop to build on activities and achieved goals from training activities in Brazil and Mexico. The purpose is to continue the development of a community of practice dedicated to understanding change in marine biodiversity and generating knowledge and products that inform conservation and management efforts across the Americas.

During this workshop participants will:

  1. Develop a set of indicators of biodiversity change in coastal communities;
  2. Develop a comprehensive list of macro-invertebrate and macro-algae species for the region;
  3. Agree on a minimum set of physical variables that should be collected during biodiversity surveys of coastal areas;
  4. Learn to access and use satellite seascapes and other remote sensing variables to characterize environmental conditions at survey sites;
  5. Test methods for surveying rocky shore biodiversity using photo-quadrats and imagery analysis;
  6. Develop specific Dawin Core vocabularies for flora and fauna of rocky shore and sandy beach communities;
  7. Continue to publish survey datasets collected during 2019 and 2020 to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS);
  8. Analyze survey data collected since NaGISA to the present to examine biogeographical patterns and detect biodiversity change in coastal communities along both coasts of the continent.

Workshop rationale

The MBON Pole to Pole is organizing a third Marine Biodiversity Workshop - From the Sea to the Cloud after two successful workshops held in Brazil and Mexico since 2018. This activity advances the implementation of the MBON Pole to Pole network by enhancing knowledge on field data collection methods and use of informatic technologies for data management and analysis.

The MBON Pole to Pole aims to address the biodiversity priorities of various GEO initiatives, including GEO Blue Planet and AmeriGEO, and coordinates with the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Ocean Best Practice System (OBPS) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, OBIS, and other national and international groups to serve the broadest possible community. This network aims to help nations and regions to improve conservation planning and environmental impact mitigation, serve the scientific community, and satisfy commitments to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Aichi Targets of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

The MBON Pole to Pole workshops:

  • enhance coordination of data collection among nations;
  • improve the collection of harmonized data, developing data standards and methodologies for data management and dissemination without compromising national concerns;
  • support the integration of biodiversity information with physical and chemical data over time (status and trends); and
  • generates products needed for informed policy and management of the ocean.

The workshop targets investigators and resource managers dedicated to studying and conserving biodiversity of rocky shore intertidal zone, sandy beaches and seagrass communities. This activity will be carried out in partnership with the Coordinated Global Research Assessment of Seagrass System (C-GRASS) led by MarineGEO and UNEP-WCMC. This activity targets participants from all nations in the Americas, from pole to pole.

1.5 Instructors

  • Enrique Montes (IMaRS; USF) - Project lead and workshop coordinator
  • Patricia Miloslavich (SCOR) - TBD
  • Emmett Duffy (MarineGEO)
  • Lauren Weatherdon (UNEP-WCMC) - TBD
  • Maria Kavanaugh (OSU, USA) - TBD
  • Eduardo Klein (OBIS) - Darwin Core (DwC), WoRMS species catalog for taxonomic quality control, and OBIS tools
  • Ben Best (Ecoquants) - Data wrangling, visualization and analysis with R software, collaborative research platforms (Github, Git, RMarkdown)
  • Jonathan Lefchek (MarineGEO - Smithsonian I.) - Data science tools for seagrass ecology and biodiversity
  • Abigail Benson (OBIS-USA; USGS) - TBD
  • Sennai Habtes (UVI) - Statistical applications in coastal ecology and biodiversity assessments
  • Frank Muller-Karger (IMaRS; USF) - Satellite remote sensing