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All pre-congress workshops will be held on Saturday August 22 and/or Sunday August 23, 2020. All workshops require pre-booking during IMCC6 registration process. These courses will have limited capacity so please book early (announcement forthcoming with registration date).

Accepted IMCC6 Workshops:

Title: WS-01 Building a Better Fieldwork Future: Preventing & Managing Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Field

Organizer(s): Ms. Melissa Cronin

Fieldwork is an important and often necessary component of many scientific disciplines, yet research suggests that it presents a high-risk setting for incidents of sexual harassment and assault. This 90-minute workshop has been developed by a team of field researchers at UC Santa Cruz. It identifies the unique risks posed by fieldwork, and offers a suite of evidence-based tools for field researchers, instructors and students to prevent, intervene in, and respond to sexual harassment and assault. Through a series of practical intervention scenarios, this workshop guides participants in how to be an active and engaged bystander, how to report incidents, and how to plan field settings to minimize risk. Armed with these tools, participants can play a role in ensuring that field settings are safer, more equitable, and more welcoming for the next generation of field scientists.

Title: WS-02 Enhancing MPA Effectiveness through MPA Networks- Practical Tools

Organizer(s): Dr. Gabrielle Johnson

MPA networks can greatly enhance MPA effectiveness because networks provide more protection than a set of individual, unconnected areas and they allow for management efficiencies. Biological or ecological networks are based on shared or complementary biological or oceanographic features that enhance each MPA's ability to meet ecological, biodiversity, fisheries and resilience goals. Social networks result in increased administrative effectiveness via unified management efforts, shared information, a sense of empowerment by those involved, and potentially increased political will. Management based, institutional, or governance-based networks can increase political will, and provide consistency and potential cost savings in management strategies across the network. MPA networks, when effective can magnify the benefits of individual sites, protect large-scale processes, slow the loss of endangered marine species and restore depleted fisheries (IUCN 2008). Areas of focus will include reviewing management effectiveness standards including programmatic areas, threats to target resources, infrastructure needs, and enabling environment.
This one-day workshop will introduce participants to a practical, step-by-step approach to key elements to MPA Network design. This workshop will focus on participatory, hands-on approach and is designed for no more than 20 participants. Outputs will include an implementation plan for applying the information and strategies from the workshop to their work.

Title: WS-03 Establishing a Space for Women of Color in Marine Science

Organizer(s): Dr. Tiara Moore, Dr. Camille Gaynus, Ms. Kelcie Chiquillo, Ms. Audra Huffmeyer

In order to make marine science matter, we must begin by reclaiming the work space to include a more welcoming environment. Women of Color (WOC) are statistically more likely to experience microaggressions, disrespect, mansplaining, white fragility, and cultural misappropriation in the workplace. Compared to their male counterparts, WOC are 45% more likely to leave STEM jobs. Geared at increasing retention, the STEM community has employed diversity and inclusion efforts through trainings addressing implicit and explicit biases. These trainings are disproportionately taught by cisgendered white men and lack true understanding of the social oppression experienced by WOC. This absence of representation causes attendees to leave disheartened and without results, perpetuating WOC marginalization. This WOCshop (workshops developed and conducted by WOC) aims to combat these issues by providing a solutions-oriented hands-on training. This WOCshop is for EVERYONE! Participants will engage in transformative groups and individualized exercises, hear true anecdotes by WOC in the field, and learn how to create inclusive and equitable workplaces that welcome diverse perspectives for the future of marine conservation. Participants of this WOCshop will leave with tools in hand to establish A WOC Space at their respective workplaces. Following the WOCshop, a Viewpoint article will be submitted to Conservation Letters providing best practices for establishing WOC spaces in marine science along with a SCB News blog post. The WOCshop will open with an inclusion icebreaker followed by a real talk session with the facilitators. We will then conduct group and individual exercises aiming to address implicit biases, stereotypes, allies, and active bystanders. We will end with group facilitated discussions on strategies to establish WOC spaces in marine science along with individual goal setting and WOCshop surveys.

Title: WS-04 Fostering Empathy for Marine Conservation

Organizer(s): Mr. Jim Wharton. Dr. Kathayoon Khalil

Zoos and aquariums have transitioned from animal menageries to conservation organizations. And while our collections and attention often focus on the animals in our care, conservation is about people and their behavior. We know that behavior change is complex, with many internal and external motivations and barriers (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002; Schultz 2011). Increasing knowledge about ocean animals and ecosystems is important, but not enough. There are also many important internal drivers, including empathy. Research has shown empathy to be a potentially important indicator of an individual’s willingness to take conservation action (Berenguer 2007; Chawla 2009). Yet affective outcomes like empathy have not had as much attention from conservation engagement efforts as cognitive outcomes. For our audiences to understand the inextricable link between humans and the ocean, they also have to understand their emotional connection to the marine environment.
Empathy is a more complex construct than one might initially consider, encompassing affective empathy, cognitive empathy, and motivational empathy (or compassionate concern). A consortium of zoos and aquariums including the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, the Oregon Zoo (among others) have challenged themselves to think more deeply about how our exhibits and programming might engender empathy in our audiences, and how empathy might lead to conservation action. Through a literature review and conversations with researchers, we have identified six areas of effective practice for eliciting empathy: framing, imagination, knowledge, role modeling, experience, and practice. We believe bringing affective outcomes like empathy development into the professional practice of marine conservation engagement will enrich programming and lead to more successful conservation outcomes.
This workshop will cover the social science research on empathy, explore the challenge of anthropomorphism, and share tools to enhance and evaluate conservation engagement programming. Presenters will share content and lead participants in group activities.

Title: WS-05 Gates Debates: Marine Protected Areas are a key tool in the fight against climate change

Organizer(s): Mr. Matthew Tietbohl, Ms. Maha Joana Cziesielski

The oceans of our time face a monumental global stressor, well-known as climate change. Climate change is an encompassing term, including impacts from warming and changing ocean chemistry. Yet, climate change is only one of a host of stressors currently increasing their impact on global oceans. A common tool to tackle some of these anthropogenic stressors is the marine protected area (MPA). The concept of MPAs is that a network of protected regions can create refuges from local stressors, allowing ocean communities to better adapt to global stressors. Large or numerous networked MPAs may also better conserve a diversity of genotypes, further aiding adaptation to changes in the global oceans.
While MPAs represent a key tool in the conservationist’s toolbox for assisting with conservation and mitigating the impacts of some stressors, there is debate within the marine science community as to their efficacy in the light of climate change, especially in tropical regions. Tropical marine protected areas may do little to protect coral reefs from the impacts of climate change, despite decreasing the magnitude of other stressors. Currently, there is hot debate among marine scientists globally on how helpful MPAs actually are for protecting our oceans in the face of continued climate change.
The Gates Debate series, named after the deceased Dr. Ruth Gates who spent her career pushing boundaries in coral reef science and tacking complex issues, brings together marine conservationists in a public debate to discuss the nuanced details of wicked problems that conservationists face today. This series creates a safe space for scientists to publicly share the complex details of tricky conservation problems, broadening our understanding of these topics. Gates Debates aim to further the conversation between groups with different ideas to better inform our future conservation efforts.

Title: WS-06 GeoAI for environmental applications

Organizer(s): Dr. Melanie Brandmeier, Mr. Günter Dörffel

Spatial data science and artificial intelligence have gained a very prominent role throughout many fields of research, including coastal conservation and planning. This is fueled by more freely available data such as satellite data but also other spatial datasets from sensors (e.g. climate data) and administrations (e.g. infrastructure). The proposed workshop aims at giving an overview on advanced spatial and temporal statistics, predictive mapping and deep-learning integration into a GIS environment. Hands-on experience will be provided on environmental datasets to highlight the potential of innovative methods to support marine conservation science. Possible applications include coastal hazard prediction, habitat modelling, ocean anomaly detection and many more.
We focus on introducing methods to the participants of the workshop that can be transferred to many other research questions and resource management applications. The workshop will follow the principle of data science to go from exploratory data analysis and visualization to more complex methods of spatial statistics in ArcGIS Pro and finally machine-learning/deep-learning integration using Jupyter Notebooks and the R-ArcGIS bridge.
Esri is a world-leading mapping, geospatial data science, and R&D company, serving over 350,000 organizations worldwide. We have a global ocean initiative in which we partner with Conservation International, the Marine Conservation Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Sylvia Earle/Mission Blue, main US federal agencies such as the US NOAA, the USGS, and more. Core to Esri’s mission is to inspire and enable people to positively impact their future by connecting them with the geoanalytic knowledge needed to make the critical decisions shaping the planet. Hence, Esri believes that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future.

System requirements to fully participate in all exercises (material will be provided for later use as well):
ArcGIS Pro, Spatial analyst extension, image analyst extension, Jupyter Notebooks, R, Python API, R-ArcGIS bridge, Administrator rights on the PC (for installing packages)

A FREE trial of the software (if not available to you) is available here: https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/arcgis-pro/trial
We recommend bringing your own Laptop.

Title: WS-07 How to use social media to communicate your science to non-experts, and why you should

Organizer(s): Dr. David Shiffman, Ms. Katie Walters

Web 2.0 tools like social media have revolutionized how humans communicate with one another, with important implications for natural resource management and wildlife conservation. It's easier than ever before in human history for experts to share their expertise with the concerned public, with journalists, and with decisionmakers- but there are many pitfalls along the way! In this hands-on workshop, learn the basics from award-winning public science engagement expert Dr. David Shiffman, who has trained more than 600 scientists and environmental activists how to use social media tools to share their expertise with non-expert stakeholders. Bring a laptop, and bring your questions!

Title: WS-10 Ocean literacy through immersive media

Organizer(s): Dr. Boris Worm, Ms. Sonya Lee

In this workshop we aim to work out best practices and highlight innovative approaches for using immersive media like augmented and virtual reality to improve ocean literacy in non-scientific audiences. We will share experience with a novel and free online platform (oceanschool.ca) which is being tested in hundreds of classrooms in Canada and central America. We will discuss how to best include conservation-relevant materials and how to integrate new tools with more traditional media and learning tools. This workshop aims to produce a white paper on best practices for using immersive media to improve ocean literacy.

Title: WS-11 Remote Sensing & Imagery for Coastal Conservation and Planning

Organizer(s): Mr. Guenter Doerffel, Dr. Melanie Brandmeier

With ever-increasing spectral, spatial and temporal resolution, availability and openness, remotely sensed data and ready-to-use imagery have become an irreplaceable source for monitoring, planning, analysis and prediction. Time-series analysis and contemporary deep learning based classification use multi-sensor approaches and vast amounts of data, increasingly in the form of analytical ready image cubes. Other relevant data (like maritime, climatic, historic) to be included is provided as multidimensional datasets.
This workshop will focus on the availability of data sources and their use within marine conservation/science, policy, management, for in-time information and decisions according to the IMCC6 theme: Making marine science matter.
Topics covered will include:

  • Free Earth Observation data sources
  • Ready-to-use services
  • Multidimensional imagery / data cubes
  • Drone based workflows
  • Deep learning for classification/feature extraction
  • Information dissemination to community/field/users

Though not all topics can be covered in detail, this overview will reference effective coastal change analysis, coastal inundation, incorporating sea level change scenarios at local levels, increasing coastal community resilience to natural hazards, supporting natural resource and emergency management in the coastal zone, providing risk and vulnerability assessments, and providing photorealistic visualizations in 2D and 3D to convey coastal effects.
Esri is a world-leading mapping, geospatial data science, and R&D company, serving over 350,000 organizations worldwide. We have a global ocean initiative in which we partner with Conservation International, the Marine Conservation Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Sylvia Earle/Mission Blue, main US federal agencies such as the US NOAA, the USGS, and more. Core to Esri’s mission is to inspire and enable people to positively impact their future by connecting them with the geoanalytic knowledge needed to make the critical decisions shaping the planet. Hence, Esri believes that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future.

Title: WS-12 Sequencing-at-sea: Sequencing with the MinION portable sequencer for marine biology and wildlife forensics!

Organizer(s): Dr. Shaili Johri

We propose a workshop for capacity building in biodiversity and forensics research among marine science researchers from developing countries. The methodology will bridge substantial knowledge gaps in the field of marine wildlife genomics, and facilitate accurate identification of well-studied and novel species. These methods will improve the accuracy of biodiversity estimates and facilitate wildlife forensic capabilities in areas with minimal infrastructure, informing conservation and management efforts. Global demand for marine wildlife products drives unregulated and exploitative fishing and poaching practices, posing significant threats to survival of species. CITES listed wildlife species are still being traded internationally, because they are disguised as non-regulated species and the infrastructure to detect trade of protected species at the national and international level is lacking. In the proposed workshop we will provide training in accessible Next Generation Sequencing methods, using a hand-held portable sequencing device, and analyses pipeline for taxonomic identification of wildlife species in field and forensics research. Using this method, the complete mitochondrial genomes and partial nuclear DNA sequences are obtained by direct sequencing of genomic DANN from a variety of DNA sources. Analyses of the nuclear and mitochondrial loci allows accurate taxonomic identification of the specimen in a few hours. During the course participants will receive training in sequencing, data acquisition, and phylogenetic analyses for taxonomic identification. Methods discussed in the workshop are PCR independent and thus adaptable to all wildlife species and specimen type, can be conducted in low-infrastructure field or laboratory settings and provide an excellent tool for capacity building among wildlife researchers and forensics scientists. These methods will increase accuracy of biodiversity estimates in areas with most need.
The workshop will increase capacity among wildlife biologists, ecologists, conservationists and forensic scientists for biodiversity and forensics research without outsourcing. The methodology will reduce data deficiency and improve biodiversity estimates in remote areas and in developing countries. Genomics data from the methods will inform population genetics and species genomics, which in turn will inform conservation and management of priority concern species. Novel species and already studies species will be identified with taxonomic accuracy without amplification bias or PCR requirements. Traceability of CITES or other protected species will increase and enforcement of protective measures for priority concern species will improve.

Title: WS-13 Tales from the Sea: developing and sharing your science and conservation story

Organizer(s): Ms. Heather Mannix, Prof. Stephanie Green, Prof. Kirsten Grorud-Colvert

We are excited to offer the fourth iteration of this popular workshop and add to the growing video library of stories told by IMCC participants. Marine conservation scientists are witnessing first-hand how the ocean is changing. Storytelling is a powerful tool to share these experiences in a way that reaches diverse audiences and opens the door to understanding and action. During this workshop, participants will learn key elements of storytelling and use these elements to craft powerful stories to share their conservation science experience with non-scientists. This 2-day workshop involves: 1) identifying a clear conservation science message, 2) developing an engaging story for public audiences, and 3) the option of telling the story in a public forum. Part 1 will help participants distill their work into a clear and succinct message. Part 2 will help participants share their messages in a complete and compelling story. Participants will take part in a combination of group exercises, live and video demonstrations, and one-on-one story development with organizers. By the end of the workshop, each participant will have developed an engaging telling of their conservation science story. Participants will then have the opportunity to tell their story to a public audience at a live event during the conference. The participants' conservation stories will be recorded and hosted online as part of a new legacy project co-hosted by the Society for Conservation Biology’s Marine Section: 
This growing archive of stories is a living library of first-hand experiences from the frontlines of ocean conservation.

Potential participants must register with the IMCC6 conference and separately through this link:

Title: WS-14 Using The MPA Guide: a common language for ocean protection

Organizer(s): Dr. Jenna Sullivan-Stack, Ms. Beth Pike

As countries and organizations move towards greater and more effective marine protected areas (MPAs) post-2020, meaningful progress is impeded by confusion around the different types and amounts of protection that exist today. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss and use The MPA Guide, a new framework developed by hundreds of marine experts and stakeholders to work with existing reporting systems and bring clarity and harmony to discussions around MPAs. It creates a common language and shared understanding to help track how much of the ocean is protected. The MPA Guide clarifies the level of protection and stage of establishment of different MPAs, as well as the likely conservation outcomes expected from different protection levels.
The goal of the workshop is to 1) introduce The MPA Guide, 2) receive feedback from workshop participants given the individual perspectives they bring, and 3) work collectively to test The MPA Guide based on the participants’ knowledge and expertise from specific MPAs around the world. This workshop will be especially useful to those who work in and with MPAs and who are interested in how these fit into global progress on ocean protection.
This is a one-day workshop. We will begin with a short overview of The MPA Guide - its purpose and goals, how it aligns with existing reporting systems (e.g., the IUCN categories of protected areas), and the details of the decision-tree approach that will allow participants to categorize individual MPAs into a specific Stage of Establishment and Level of Protection. Next, we will work through case studies of individual MPAs as a group, categorizing them using The MPA Guide and further refining the framework.

Title: WS-15 Using your expertise to inform policy: how to write a policy brief, and why you should

Organizer(s): Ms. Emily Knight, Dr. David Shiffman, Ms. Heather Mannix

Many SCB-Marine members report that they are scientists with policy relevant technical expertise, but that it is challenging to engage managers and policymakers to inform solutions. In this workshop, we will focus on developing written policy briefs as part of an effective strategy to: 

  • translate key scientific findings in a management and policy context;
  • build stronger relationships between scientists, managers, and policymakers;
  • spark constructive conversations about solution options; and
  • communicate potential decision trade-offs.

We'll discuss ways to set the stage for policy briefs to be well received and share tips and resources for developing messaging that resonates with your audience. We will also include cases studies of successful past policy briefs. This workshop is co-led by Emily Knight, the SCB Marine Policy Officer, Lenfest Ocean Program, Dr. David Shiffman, the SCB Marine Deputy Chair of the Policy Committee, Environmental Consultant, and Heather Mannix, Member of the SCB Policy Committee, COMPASS. Bring a laptop and bring an idea for a policy issue in your area of expertise that you'd like to influence.

Title: WS-16 Workshop on Design of Results-Focused Knowledge Exchange

Organizer(s): Mr. Philip Karp, Dr. Gabrielle Johnson

As in other fields, there is a growing recognition within the marine conservation community of the power of practitioner-practitioner exchange.  Whether they take the form of “barefoot” exchanges between fishers, or more formal exchanges involving MPA managers and policymakers, such exchanges are emerging as an extremely effective way of sharing, replicating, adapting and scaling up successful solutions to the challenges of marine protection and/or to avoiding repetition of unsuccessful approaches.  Practitioner exchanges are particularly effective for sharing “how to” or tacit knowledge about solutions, as these “tips and tricks” tend not be fully codified or recorded in written descriptions or case studies.   Practitioner exchange as a modality for capacity building represents a departure from more traditional approaches such as technical assistance or deployment of expert advisors wherein external experts are relied on to share successful solutions with which they are familiar only through research, and may therefore lack a complete understanding of the full range of factors that underlie the successful implementation elsewhere or the pitfalls to be avoided.
While knowledge exchange is an effective form of capacity building, good design can spell the difference between achievement of intended results and waste of resources on expensive study tours and other exchanges that are little more than development tourism.  This one-day workshop will introduce participants to a practical, step-by-step approach to design and execution of results-focused knowledge exchange programs.  Using a knowledge exchange case on MPA management in the Philippines developed by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, participants will take a hands-on approach to objective setting, identification of knowledge gaps, participant selection, identification of knowledge providers and solutions, selection of appropriate knowledge exchange modalities, and monitoring and measurement of results.