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Dissertation Defense: Karyn Tabor - Conservation, Satellites

Linking Satellite Information to Conservation Actions


Sondheim Hall : 001

Date & Time

March 29, 2023, 11:00 am12:00 pm


The GES Department cordially invites you to join us for Karyn Tabor's public defense of her doctoral dissertation.

Topic: Achieving Multiple Conservation Goals with Satellite-Based Monitoring and Alert Systems

Speaker: Karyn Tabor, 
GES Ph.D. Candidate

Abstract: Conservation early warning and alert systems (CEAS) provide substantial opportunities to improve awareness of global change and deliver time-sensitive information to users taking measures to avert the loss of ecosystems that provide critical services to support human well-being. In recent years, the conservation community has fostered a proliferation of CEAS that utilize the near real-time capabilities of Earth observation satellites to monitor global changes and inform strategic and effective responses to emerging ecosystem threats. However, the inequities in access and use of satellite based-monitoring technologies undermine and limit the full potential of these systems for achieving conservation goals. In this doctoral research, I reviewed the current suite of CEAS and highlighted gaps in the literature to describe or evaluate their applications. I also investigated the challenges to accessing CEAS by a broader set of conservation decision-makers while considering the risks of amplifying social and digital inequities. Finally, I focused on the development of CEAS for tropical land management in Colombia and analyzed how institutions integrate fire alert systems into national decision-making frameworks. Through this investigation of a specific subset of tools in the rapidly evolving conservation technology field, I produced a set of recommendations for donors, developers, and practitioners to better leverage CEAS for informed conservation actions.