[MARMAM] Feb 2016 Expert Consultation: Visualizing genetic data to identify IMMAs

Kershaw, Francine fkershaw at nrdc.org
Thu Feb 11 09:22:42 PST 2016

Dear MARMAM members,

The expert consultation process on visualizing genetic data to identify Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) is still underway! Please take a few minutes to log into the SeaSketch projects and fill out a survey. Again, we encourage feedback from across the marine mammal community.

All the details you need to carry out the evaluation are below and, as always, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, either by email (fkershaw at nrdc.org<mailto:fkershaw at nrdc.org>), phone (+1-212-727-4564), or Skype (francine.kershaw).

With best wishes,

Francine Kershaw and Howard C. Rosenbaum

At the workshop, "Integrating genetics into the Important Marine Mammal Area (IMMA) identification process," held at the Society of Marine Mammalogy Biennial in December, an interdisciplinary group of more than 20 marine mammal experts evaluated how genetic data and information can be visualized geospatially and systematically integrated into the identification of IMMAs.

This project represents a partnership between the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force (MMPATF), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

We are now expanding this effort and seeking expert consultation with the wider marine mammal science and conservation community on how genetic data and information can be effectively represented geospatially and graphically to inform the identification of IMMAs. The consultation period will take place from February 1st to February 26th 2016.

The evaluation procedure involves accessing two SeaSketch projects for humpback whales and spinner dolphins, examining a selection of the data layers and graphical analytics, and completing a short questionnaire with your thoughts and feedback on each layer/graphic. You are also able leave more general feedback and comments on the projects and broader initiative in the SeaSketch public comment forums.

The information and feedback gathered at the workshop and through the expanded consultation process will be incorporated into a genetics 'module' that will form part of the IMMA "Toolkit", currently being developed by the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA MMPATF, to guide the identification of IMMAs. Given the applied nature of this project, we strongly encourage experts both with and without a background in genetics to participate in the consultation.

The links for the Humpback whale project<http://humpbacks.seasketch.org/> and the Spinner dolphin project<http://spinners.seasketch.org/>, and a Tutorial<http://seasketch-uploads.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/d1e5cd03-d3cd-4fcb-866a-d9ce09081c80/Genetics%20&%20IMMA%20Consultation%20Tutorial.pdf> on how to complete the evaluation can be found here.

You can find additional information about the development process of the IMMA classification via the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA MMPATF website<http://icmmpa.org/iucn-task-force/>.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us by email (fkershaw at nrdc.org<mailto:fkershaw at nrdc.org>), phone (+1-212-727-4564), or Skype (francine.kershaw) if you have any questions (either on the evaluation process, the workshop, or the initiative more generally).

With warm regards,

Francine Kershaw and Howard C. Rosenbaum

Francine Kershaw, Ph.D.
Marine Mammals Science Fellow
Natural Resources Defense Council
40 W 20th Street
New York, NY 10011 USA
T 212.727.4564
C 917.450.0994
fkershaw at nrdc.org<mailto:fkershaw at nrdc.org>

Howard C. Rosenbaum, Ph.D.
Ocean Giants Program
Global Conservation Programs
Wildlife Conservation Society
2300 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, New York 10460 USA
T 718-220-5184
F 718-364-4275
hrosenbaum at wcs.org<mailto:hrosenbaum at wcs.org>
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