Wednesday July 25, 2012
The North American Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB) was recently held in Oakland, with a closing reception at the Oakland Museum of California. The Congress was an opportunity for conservation researchers, professionals, and students to gather and discuss cutting-edge work to conserve the Earth’s biodiversity. The talks covered a wide range of taxa and conservation issues, including many presentations about how and whether conservation should be motivated by concepts such as “ecosystem services” which focus on the benefits of nature to humans rather than focusing on the inherent value of nature or rights for species to exist. The Oakland Museum of California and the Bay Area itself were fitting places to hold the events, as California’s economy is highly dependent on natural resources and yet the reason many people choose to live here is because of its natural beauty. The museum offers great exhibits which represent the historic and modern interplay between humans and ecosystems in California. Our fish, wildlife, water, forests, and minerals make the state rich in more ways than dollars can count, providing plenty of motivation to conserve ecosystem services and the inherent value of our biodiversity. The Society for Conservation Biology sponsors regional meetings like the NACCB, international meetings like the International Congress for Conservation Biology, founded the highly ranked journal Conservation Biology, and provides substantial resources for anyone interested in conservation at any level. There are regional sections and local chapters throughout the world, as well discipline-based groups, such as the Freshwater Working Group with plenty of opportunities for involvement.