Dear Friend of SNAPP,

Queen Conch dominated the culture of the island of Middle Caicos in the Bahama Archipelago, where I conducted my dissertation field research over 15 years ago. After a full day of teaching or running a health clinic, tourist operation or farm, my neighbors would take to small boats, conch fishing in the evening cool.

Now these conch populations are in trouble, and I am grateful that science products from SNAPP were forward-looking and poised to place solutions in the hands of the people who need them most.

With our new SNAPP projects launching this year, I am inspired by the diversity of people catalyzed to quickly bring together information, break down silos and forge new “collaborations of the willing” around conservation and human well-being conundrums from fisheries to hydropower to shearing the wild cousins of alpaca.

Please join me in appreciation of the achievements of SNAPP teams in 2019 and the launch of five new teams conducting rapid, innovative, solution-driven and high-impact science in the coming year.

Yours in science for a better world,

Jensen Reitz Montambault, PhD. 
Director, Science for Nature and People Partnership
SNAPP's Coastal Outcomes team is producing tools to help communities understand when coastal conservation helps both people and nature. Scientists and practitioners from the team served as panelists at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Fisheries Symposium in Rome, Italy, in November 2019, and the team is now preparing to disseminate its research and solutions at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in June 2020.
Fishing communities in the Bahamas solve declining Queen Conch populations using FishPATH, a tool developed by the Data-limited Fisheries group. Hear it in their own words in this video
Disagreements among scientists about soil carbon’s impact on climate change can undermine the benefits of healthy soils to agricultural productivity, improved water quality and human health, reports this blog in Science Daily. More details in the Managing Soil Carbon group’s article in Nature Sustainability 
Water transactions in the US west now boast transparent, science-based indicators: read the paper that was 1st runner-up for the 2019 American Water Resources Association Boggess Award and check-out the related Water Transactions Evaluation tool
Companies need to move beyond high-profile public commitments to zero-deforestation supply chains and start authentic engagements in community held lands, particularly where Indonesian palm oil expansion continues, argues this opinion piece

Five new SNAPP working groups launch!

We are thrilled with the diversity of critical topics being investigated by new SNAPP projects launching now. These include:
  • Wildfires and Human Health will explore how to fully incorporate human health implications from wild and managed forest fires into forest restoration planning and implementation, in order to support human well-being and conservation outcomes.
  • Andean Camelid Disease will quickly find management solutions to the mange outbreak that threatens the livelihood of Andean pastoralists, who are credited with bringing the wild vicuña and guanaco back from near extinction.
  • Saving Our Rivers will catalyze a group of partners to work together for the first time exploring the ways that wind and solar energy alternatives can support healthy rivers and smart hydropower use in Perú.

Two additional working groups join the Coastal Outcomes team in a set of three “Oceans, Climate and Equity” teams funded by the Packard Foundation. These include:
  • Climate Resilient Fisheries will explore what key features support fisheries’ resilience to climate change impacts, and how we can enhance these features in marine fishery management systems.
  • Conservation Aquaculture will investigate the social and ecological trade-offs of using aquaculture as a conservation tool for marine foundation species and determine responsible methods for using this approach.
Check out the article in Frontiers in Marine Science that inspired this Oceans, Climate and Equity cohort of SNAPP working groups!
Please watch for the 2020 SNAPP request for proposals coming soon!
We're pleased to introduce SNAPP's newest postdocs -- Michael Eggen and April Ridlon. They are (respectively) working on the Zero Deforestation Landscapes and Conservation Aquaculture teams. 
Michael is a geographer on a quest for transdisciplinary solutions to alleviate poverty and environmental change. These solutions, he believes, will emerge by examining the intrinsic drivers of change in the context of local societies and livelihoods. Michael is keen to harness technology “to expand access and more sustainable development pathways for small farmers while helping to mitigate future climate change.” 
April is an applied marine ecologist interested in the impacts of human activities like fishing and harvesting, recreation, and biological invasions. She aims to design research that informs the innovative management of marine and coastal ecosystems. April is “thrilled to be working for SNAPP on the viability of conservation aquaculture for marine foundation species. This project really sits at the intersection between rigorous scientific research, forward-thinking management solutions, and human well-being and connection to the marine environment.”
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