Creating a livable planet

aerial-view-of-island-with-lighthouse-in-the-pacif-Tackling the species extinction and habitat degradation crisis takes transdisciplinary and out-of-the-box approaches. That is why Arizona State University has become a key player in creating a livable future for all. A recent article by Kristin Toussaint in Thrive magazine highlights how ASU has become a hotspot for biodiversity conservation research and innovation. Toussaint highlights different expert voices throughout the article, including Greg Asner, who leads the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science; Leah Gerber and Beth Polidoro, who co-lead the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes; and Bryan Brayboy, who leads the Center for Indian Education. Some of their quotes highlighted: “Asner combines that worldview with Earth-mapping technology. Through that technology, satellite imaging and geospatial data can reveal ecosystems’ details as they exist today – all the animals and plants that live in a certain place.” – Toussaint “The biodiversity loss has huge impacts on humans, no matter where we are. It makes pandemics, like COVID-19, more likely, and the way to prevent diseases from leaping from animals to humans, Gerber wrote in Issues in Science and Technology, ‘will have to lie with protecting and reporting wildlife habitat and conserving biodiversity.’” – Gerber “The more [healhty and thriving] species that naturally occur in an area, the better that ecosystem is able to absorb shocks, threats and disturbances.” – Polidoro “Indigenous peoples account for 6% of the global population, yet manage 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity.” – Brayboy “The climate crisis and biodiversity crisis are twin crises fundamentally driven by consumption throughout the world, primarily the rich world.” – School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Associate Steffen Eikenberry (uses math to quantify environmental problems). As the author explains, “Cross-departmental work for an issue as big as biodiversity is so important because of the unique expertise everyone brings to the table.” A key partner in uniting these multiple initiatives is the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, now housed under the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. GFL is committed to making “a meaningful contribution to ensuring a habitable planet and a future in which well-being is attainable for all humankind.” Read the article.