Jessica Brown, M.A. (Chair, 2016-2017) focuses on stewardship of biocultural landscapes, civic engagement in conservation, and governance of protected areas. Her concern with biocultural diversity grows out of this work, recognizing that the landscape is both source and expression of the biocultural diversity of life. Over the past two decades, she has worked with community-based
Susan Fassberg (At-large, 2016-2018), brings twenty-plus years of experience in marketing, business development and public relations to the Terralingua Board. Most recently she held the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. The GGSC studies the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills for a
Christopher P. Dunn, Ph.D. (Secretary-Treasurer 2015-2017) is a botanist and conservation ecologist who has considerable research experience studying the relationships between people and place and human impacts on the landscape. As director of an arboretum in Hawai‘i, he has developed a keen interest in the intersection of biological and cultural conservation. He serves on the
George N. Appell, Ph.D. (Vice-Chair, 2016-2018) holds an A.B., M.B.A, and M.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Australian National University. Along with his wife, Laura, he has done fieldwork among the Dogrib First Nation of the Northwest Territories of Canada, the Bulusu’ of Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia, and the Rungus of Sabah, Malaysia.
Bob Weeden, Ph.D. (At-large, 2016-2018), a New Englander through boyhood, obtained a doctorate in zoology from the University of British Columbia in 1959. His thesis was about ptarmigan, and birds have been a lifelong passion. Bob then moved to Alaska, where he was research biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. After a
We are engaging in educational efforts aimed at the general public and the media. Our first educational project was in collaboration with UNESCO, for which we wrote the educational booklet Sharing a World of Difference: The Earth’s Linguistic, Cultural, and Biological Diversity. Currently, we are focused on the development of a school curriculum in collaboration with elementary and high school students and teachers.
How do we know what is happening with global biocultural diversity, and particularly with the world’s languages and stores of traditional environmental knowledge (TEK)? How do the trends in persistence or loss of languages and TEK compare with the trends in biodiversity? To answer these critical questions, we first developed a global Index of Biocultural Diversity and then the following projects: Index of Linguistic Diversity Vitality Index of Traditional Environmental Knowledge These tools allow for an assessment of the state of biocultural diversity at different scales, from the local to the national to the global. These tools provide critical information for biocultural-friendly policy making and conservation, and can assist local efforts at biocultural revitalization
Through our research, which we initiated through a collaboration with WWF-International and have continued through a partnership with the University of Florida, we have mapped the overlaps in the global distributions of biodiversity and cultural diversity, and have identified “core areas” of biocultural diversity: regions that are highly diverse in both nature and culture.
Terralingua’s Voices of the Earth project supports Indigenous Peoples’ efforts to document and revitalize their oral traditions. Keeping oral traditions alive contributes to strengthening indigenous identities and helps ensure that indigenous worldviews, values, beliefs, knowledge, and practices are transmitted to the younger generations. We have partnered with two Canadian First Nations, the Saanich (W̱SÁNEĆ) People of Coastal British Columbia (BC) and the Chilcotin (Tsilhqot’in) People of the BC Interior.
We wrote down the lessons we learned from studying 45 biocultural diversity conservation projects from all over the world, and have published them in the book Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook (L. Maffi and E. Woodley, Earthscan, 2010), which make these lessons available to all those who want to learn more about these efforts and their global significance. We also created the companion portal Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Community of Practice.