“Every year, ABMI scientists create new products that couldn’t have been done without ABMI data. Recently, we created models that show how individual species respond to different human footprints. Looking at that information, I think, ‘Wow! That’s a really neat product that wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have the ABMI’. —it’ll change how management is done in this province’.”
-- Dr. Jim Schieck, Co-Director, ABMI Science Centre
The ABMI manages and maintains excellence for all scientific and technical aspects of its data through the ABMI Science Centre.. As the ABMI has matured as an organization, its scientists have shifted their focus from protocol development in the early days to data interpretation and product innovation. And, the in the future, ABMI scientists and their collaborators will continue to be dedicated to working at the frontier of the science of biodiversity monitoring.
A key concern of ABMI scientists has been protocol development. Since the ABMI program was rolled out in 2007, however, there’s been a shift towards finding incremental improvements in these protocols. The new question: is there a better way to collect the data?
With the accumulation of species, habitat, and human footprint data at the ABMI in recent years, data interpretation and product innovation have emerged as key activities of ABMI scientists. The Science Centre’s mandate has expanded to encompass:
- The development of analyses and summary methods that produce clear and understandable measures of status and trend for biodiversity at both the site and regional scales.
- The creation of products that support land use and natural resource decision-making in Alberta.
A “greatest hits” list of ABMI Science Centre’s products and analyses of recent years include:
- The ABMI Biodiversity Intactness Index —an indicator used to describe the health of taxa in a given area
- Estimated Intactness Map of Alberta—a visual representation of biodiversity intactness (based on 396 species) across the province
- Detailed species responses to human footprint and vegetation types (Data & Analytics Portal)
Several types of analyses are currently underway at the ABMI’s Science Centre that will inform tomorrow’s products, such as:
- An approach to evaluate the biodiversity intactness of wetlands
- What are the trends in human footprint and species abundance in Alberta?
- How can we account for the ecological benefits of recovery and/or reclamation of human footprint?
More questions? Feel free to contact:
Dr. Jim Schieck
Co-director, ABMI Science Centre