eCPD - The story of Antarctica told using Earth Observation
Date & Time
Friday, 17 Dec 2021
- 5:00 pm
This is a recording of a webinar held on 17 June 2020.
Regions of Antarctica are showing the fastest responses to some of the global sustainability problems we currently face. Antarctica offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe firsthand the influence of human activities on the environment and provide critical insights into the global-scale change required. Join the SSSI and speakers with all things Antarctic research and the role of earth observation in the study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and their roles in the climate system.
Speakers: (L-R) Dr Justine Shaw, University of Queensland- School of Biological Sciences; Associate Professor Mary Anne Lea, University of Tasmania – Ecology and Biodiversity Centre and Dr Rob Massom, Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania.
Dr Justine Shaw, University of Queensland, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Dr Justine Shaw is a Senior Research Fellow examining conservation decision making in the terrestrial Antarctica and sub-Antarctic, with a focus on non-native species. Her research is currently examining the risks posed by non-native species to Antarctic protected areas, examining the interactions between indigenous and non-native species, and investigating how invasive species influence ecosystem function.
Justine's talk title:
Terresterial Antarctica: a continent-wide approach to conservation
Antarctica is the world’s last true wilderness. The entire continent is designated a reserve for peace and science under the Antarctic Treaty System. However, it is under threat from climate change and human impacts. Most people think of Antarctic as an icy landscape with penguins and seals with little thought is given to the terrestrial biodiversity of Antarctica. Almost all of the continent’s biodiversity is confined to the permanently ice-free areas. These ice-free areas comprise less than 1% of Antarctica, yet this is where most human activity occurs. How we utilise and manage these areas greatly impacts the conservation of Antarctica. This talk will discuss how conservation science applies to Antarctic biodiversity and highlights the role of remote sensing and spatial analysis in informing the conservation of Antarctica and its biodiversity into the future.
Associate Professor Mary-Anne Lea, University of Tasmania – Ecology and Biodiversity Centre
Dr Mary-Anne Lea is an Associate Professor at the Ecology and Biodiversity Centre at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. She is interested in the way in which the environment and climate change affect the behaviour, distribution and life history of marine and polar vertebrates. She studies the behavioural ecology of many species of seals and seabirds in temperate, Southern Ocean and Alaskan waters and has participated in over 25 expeditions and voyages.
Mary-Anne's talk title:
Tracking life in the Southern Ocean
Seabirds and marine mammals navigate vast distances within and across the Southern Ocean in search of seasonally productive habitats. For many years, they have been our eyes and ears in the Southern Ocean. At first, tracking them at sea offered a Sherlock Holmes-like glimpse into an unknown world. Then, with the advent of greater satellite coverage, spatial resolution sensors and miniaturised tags and animal-borne sensors, these polar explorers have helped us to slowly piece together how these productive habitats move through space and time. This talk will discuss how critically important spatial science is in characterising the changing distribution of life in the Southern Ocean, the challenges and relevance to management of Southern Ocean resources and biodiversity conservation into the future.
Dr Rob Massom, Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania
Dr Rob Massom is a principal research scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania, with a focus on the sea ice environment. His current research interests are strongly cross-disciplinary and include: the nature and drivers of change and variability in the distribution and properties of Antarctic sea ice (both moving pack and coastal fast ice), and their physical and ecological significance; remote sensing of snow and ice; interactions between sea ice, icebergs and ice-sheet margins; and snow cover properties on sea ice. He has been involved in sea-ice research in both the Arctic (1980-92) and Antarctic (1986-present), including participation on 15 major field campaigns.
Rob's talk title:
Australian activities in Earth Observation of Antarctic sea ice
Each year, a vast expanse of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica (and ranging seasonally from ~3 to 19 million km2) is transformed by sea ice. Not only stunningly beautiful, this ice cover substantially affects ocean-atmosphere interaction, regional weather, global climate, marine ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, shipping, and ice-sheet processes. It follows that sea-ice change/variability has wide-ranging ramifications. This talk provides a brief overview of the challenges in determining how, where and why Antarctic sea ice is changing and/or varying, and the crucially-important role of satellite and other remote sensing combined with in-situ observations. The talk also introduces Australia’s new icebreaker Nuyina.
This event is worth one SSSI CPD point.
Katie Le Miere