Guest Seminar: Oscar Venter, James Cook University

This coming Tuesday, September 24, we’re kicking off the return of classes with a guest seminar from Dr. Oscar Venter, a post-doctoral fellow in the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at James Cook University in Australia. We’re excited to have him here for his talk, “Mapping Conservation and Habitat Degradation at the Planetary Scale,” so come out and join us in the Forest Club Room from 1-2 p.m.!

Oscar Venter
Oscar Venter, James Cook University

Originally from Salt Spring Island in Canada, Venter’s research interests include mapping human impacts on the environment, ecological planning and conservation finance and policy. He completed his PhD in 2011 at the University of Queensland, where he focused on payments for ecosystem services and trade-offs between development and conservation in the tropics. His current postdoctoral fellowship is focused on developing methods to map, predict and plan for land cover change in Indonesia and at the global scale.

About the Seminar

“We live in exciting times,” writes Venter, “with the world around us changing at unprecedented rates. Some of this change is undeniably good. For instance, protected areas have recently emerged as one of the planet’s dominant land uses, and they now cover more land area than all agricultural crops combined. Still, as the human population becomes larger and per-capita consumption increases, the pressures we exert on the natural environments around us expand and intensify at pace. Our expanded influence on the planet causes either in situ habitat degradation or outright habitat conversion, and in turn the decline in the ecosystem services on which we depend and irreplaceable biological diversity. In this seminar, I will talk about my work using decision science and land cover change modeling to map these changes, both positive and negative, globally.”

Venter will be giving his talk on Tuesday, September 24, from 1-2 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. Come if you can!

Photo © Oscar Venter.