[Coral-List] What we can do (Mark Spalding)

Pete Raines psr at coralcay.org
Sun Jan 6 13:27:41 EST 2008

Dear all,

Happy New Year.

Like Mark, I too have been following the debate with interest.

It occurs to me that the debate should include an audit of the effectiveness
vs. C-footprint (etc) created by organisations such as mine (Coral Cay
Conservation; www.coralcay.org) in hot pursuit of coral reef conservation.
CCC is not alone amongst the many diverse organisations, ranging from the
megas of the various UN agencies and World Bank to minnows such as CCC, who
encourage or demand (voluntarily, academically or commercially) probably
tens of thousands of people each year to fly around the globe, hopefully
chasing effective reef conservation.

The debate should quite rightly strike a raw nerve amongst any who's
vocation/livelihood/business revolves around coral reefs. I suspect that the
majority of those who read coral-list must travel to pursue their
careers/interests/objectives in coral reefs. Travel per se is thus not
really the issue (it's what humans do) but perhaps rather how we can
self-educate/limit ourselves to avoid unnecessary travel and thus lead by

We all love to travel, especially to conferences and meetings at someone
else's expense. But Mark makes a very valuable point by way of ICRS. My only
concern is Mark's naivety in making public the fact that he has some ale
spare at his house, as it's within striking distance (by bike, of course) of
the numerous London-based CCC cohorts!!

Well said, Mark.


Peter Raines MBE FRGS FIBiol CGeog CBiol MInstD
Founder & CEO

Coral Cay Conservation Ltd
Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London, SE1 7NJ, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7921 0460 (direct line)
Tel: +44 (0)7925 218 011 (cell phone)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7620 1411 (switch board)
Fax: +44 (0)20 7921 0469
email: psr at coralcay.org
skype: peter.raines

Company Registration No: 02590980         Registered VAT No: GB574173823

Venture provided by Coral Cay Conservation to British Standard BS8848:
Specification for the Provision of Visits, Fieldwork, Expeditions and
Adventurous Activities outside the UK (self declared).
P please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

Raise money for Charity just by searching the web! We support
everyclick.com, the search engine that helps charity. Visit
Everyclick.com donates half of its revenues to charity and it doesn't cost
you or the charity you choose to support a penny.

DISCLAIMER: This message (and any files transmitted with it) is intended
only for the person(s) to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential
and privileged information which may not be copied, distributed or disclosed
to any third party. If received in error, please inform the sender
immediately and delete from your mailbox. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of Coral Cay Conservation Ltd and no
liability is accepted for loss or damage arising from their use. Coral Cay
Conservation Ltd takes all reasonable action to suppress viruses and cannot
accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by inadvertent
transmission of contagious files. Emails may be open to monitoring and are
stored for future reference.
Coral Cay Conservation Ltd, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road,  London SE1 7NJ,
United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0)20 7620 1411  www.coralcay.org

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov]On Behalf Of
coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Sent: 05 January 2008 05:32
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Coral-List Digest, Vol 55, Issue 3

Send Coral-List mailing list submissions to
	coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
	coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

You can reach the person managing the list at
	coral-list-owner at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Coral-List digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. Re: What we can do (Mark Spalding)
   2. Re: What can SCIENTISTS do?? (Shanee.Stopnitzky at sce.com)
   3. Collaboration Opportunity ? New tool for Benthic Imaging
      (Dave Zawada)
   4. Job Announcement Modification - Coral Program Staff	Assistant
      (Ida Buffone)
   5. Re: public interaction and grassroots advocacy (Michael Lombardi)
   6. 11th ICRS:  Deadlines and Photo Contest (11th ICRS)
   7. Coral reefs in the UN Convention on Climate Change (Thomas Goreau)


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 17:58:35 -0000
From: "Mark Spalding" <mark at mdspalding.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] What we can do
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <000601c84d69$18998c00$aa20010a at Englanmspalding>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

After reading the ongoing debates which appear to be straying quite far from
the subject of the list-server I have a suggestion that perhaps points us
back a little towards our chosen subject.
How many of us flew to Japan for the last ICRS? ...or are planning to fly to
the States (or within the States) for the next one? For a conference that is
so large and so over-crowded with parallel sessions that it is nigh-on
impossible to meet anyone for our precious networking nor attend more than a
tiny fraction of what's available.

Scientists, especially reef scientists, should surely lead by example - I'd
like to see the next ICRS streamed online in real-time allowing reduced-fee
paying participants to attend from their desks and even to raise a digital
hand to ask a question. And if talks were kept online and down-loadable
those desk-lubbers among us could actually watch other sessions later and
wind up attending more of the conference than the real world attendees,
while consuming less fuel (not to mention over-wrapped food on disposable
plates with unrecycled just about everything that still seems to be de
rigeur in these meetings).

The advantages could be huge. Students and under-funded persons from all
over the world could attend. Chat rooms could continue disscussions and
enable introductions and the flow of new ideas. No jet-lag. You could walk
out of the bad talks without causing offence. Viewing and down-load
statistics would also be a pretty interesting form of peer-review for the
published proceedings. I haven't found a decent virtual beer yet, but
there's some of the dark English stuff (cool, but not cold) just downstairs!

Happy New Year to you all


Mark Spalding
Senior Marine Scientist
The Nature Conservancy
Conservation Strategies Division

93 Centre Drive

Tel: 44 1638 661961
mspalding at tnc.org


Message: 2
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 10:02:57 -0800
From: Shanee.Stopnitzky at sce.com
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] What can SCIENTISTS do??
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
	<OF8FC7B756.3E8497F7-ON882573C4.005EC36E-882573C4.00632608 at sce.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

There is one extremely obvious thing that scientists can do (hopefully no
one said this already and I missed it)...LEARN ABOUT IMPLEMENTATION.
Through many well-meaning, intelligent posts, I have noticed a consistent
trail off after the idea part of the discussion. Yes, economics,
government processes and social sciences are boring for most, but these
are the disciplines that should be guiding the formation of research ideas
and they are what comes after the science (if not more integrated than
that), if it is not going to sit on the shelf. Every coral scientist
(assuming they want to *do* something) should be well-versed in these
areas AND able to justify their work within the context of actually
putting it to use, because the scientists are responsible for positioning
their work for implementation.

Happy New Year everyone!!



Message: 3
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 15:55:00 -0500
From: Dave Zawada <dzawada at usgs.gov>
Subject: [Coral-List] Collaboration Opportunity ? New tool for Benthic
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <5A48E2D7-8121-4EEA-9785-B4CE034F80A0 at usgs.gov>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed

The U.S. Geological Survey has recently developed the Deep Along-Track
Reef-Imaging System (Deep ATRIS) to support its mapping activities and
the ground-truthing of acoustic, lidar, and satellite imagery of
submerged coastal environments.  Deep ATRIS is capable of surveying to
depths of 30 m and acquiring 12-bit color digital images at 9 frames/s.
Typically, 44 km of transect lines can be surveyed in a day at a tow
speed of 2 m/s, yielding more than 74,000 images.  A limited capability
exists for integrating additional instruments.

We wish to announce the availability of Deep ATRIS, on a cost-sharing
basis, to other researchers and resource managers.  Possible
applications include characterizing essential habitat, assessing the
impact of disastrous events (storms, ship groundings, etc.), monitoring
the progress of restoration efforts, and surveying submerged cultural

System details and sample images are available at


For more information, contact Dr. Dave Zawada (dzawada at usgs.gov).


Dave Zawada, Ph.D.
US Geological Survey
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
p: 727.803.8747 x3132


Message: 4
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 13:53:51 -0800
From: Ida Buffone <buffonei at imsg.com>
Subject: [Coral-List] Job Announcement Modification - Coral Program
	Staff	Assistant
To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <3BC052AD-99FD-431D-A8F1-26788DF26069 at mimectl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


   This  email  is  to inform you that we've made a minor modification to
   the first paragraph of our job posting below.

   I.M.  Systems  Group,  Inc. (IMSG) has a job opportunity available for
   a Coral Program  Staff Assistant to work on a one year contract at the
   Department of Interior's Ocean Coordinating Office.

   If  your are interested in applying for this postion, please send your
   resume to [1]jobs at imsg.com as indicated below in the job description.

   Ida Buffone
   Ida Buffone
   Sr. Recruitment Specialist
   BuffoneI at IMSG.com

   Job Description - Coral Program Staff Assistant

   I.M. Systems Group
   m/),   a   contractor   to   the   National  Oceanic  and  Atmospheric
   Administration  (NOAA)  in  Silver  Spring, MD, seeks an individual to
   serve as staff at the Department of the Interior working on marine and
   coastal program activities with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
   and  other  Interior  bureaus.  This  individual  will  work  as staff
   assistant    to    the    US    Coral    Reef    Task   Force   (CRTF-
   f.gov/), with the FWS, with DOI
   /initiatives/ocean.html)  and  with  NOAA's  Coral  Reef  Conservation
   Program (CRCP-
   f.noaa.gov/)  in  the  areas  of program coordination and development,
   strategic  planning, partnership building, and information management.
    DOI  is  working  to  coordinate  its ocean and coastal activities as
   directed under the Ocean Action Plan.  This position will help support
   that  effort.   NOAA's  CRCP  supports  effective management and sound
   science   to   preserve,  sustain  and  restore  valuable  coral  reef
   ecosystems.  This  position  will  be  in  located  in Washington D.C.
   metropolitan  area (potentially in both Silver Spring, MD and with the
   DOI in Wash. DC).

   Core Responsibilities:

   o  Provide  a  range of programmatic support to DOI, FWS, and the CRTF

   o Participate in various working groups and program teams.

   o  Assist  with  news  letters,  website support, reports, and meeting

   o Support program strategic planning and coordination efforts.

   o Review and provide comments on documents and reports.


   Required Qualifications:

   o  Bachelor's  degree in a relevant discipline such as marine science,
   biology, marine policy, environmental management, or policy.

   o Strong verbal and writing skills.

   o  Strong  organizational  skills  and attention to detail; leadership
   ability on projects.

   o Self-motivated, creative, energetic, strategic thinker with a can-do

   o  Ability to work well individually and cooperatively with a range of

   o  Ability  to  work  on  several projects simultaneously and to shift
   priorities as needed.

   o Willingness to learn new skills and work with motivated individuals.

   o  Technical  proficiency  with Microsoft Office programs; Dreamweaver
   knowledge a plus but not required.

   Desired Qualifications:

   o  One  year  program  or project planning preferred; other leadership
   skills can substitute.

   o  Familiarity  with  ocean,  coastal  and coral reef conservation and
   management issues.

   To Apply:

   Qualified  candidates  may  apply by e-mailing a cover letter, resume,
   and  3 references (MS Word format strongly preferred) to the following
   email:  jobs at imsg.com  with  the  subject  heading:  NOA07043  - Coral
   Program  Staff  Assistant.    This  position  is  for one year and the
   vacancy announcement is open until filled. The maximum salary paid for
   this position is $40,000 per year and is commensurate with experience.

   IMSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


   1. mailto:jobs at imsg.com
   2. http://www.imsg.com/
   3. https://mail.imsg.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.imsg.com/


Message: 5
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 10:44:13 -0500
From: "Michael Lombardi" <explore at oceanopportunity.com>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] public interaction and grassroots advocacy
Message-ID: <002301c84ee8$b7c85d80$2300a8c0 at VAIO>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

Dear fellow researchers,

Given the recent discussions about 'what we can do' as the coral
community to better advocate the correct information to the public, an
opportunity has arisen. ScubaBoard.com, an online forum for the diving
community, has expressed interest in creating a forum for discussing
issues in marine science. The idea would be that a member of the general
public would post a question, answers would be provided by a member of
the science community, and researchers would likewise be able to
generate discussion. This would prove to be an ideal grassroots means to
bridge the communication gap between researcher and the public, as there
is already a captive audience (those who actually appreciate all things
underwater). Scubaboard.com has over 87,000 registered users with about
a million unique visitors every month. That exceeds the combined
circulation of all of the printed media for the dive industry. The forum
would also provide free advertising for non-profit marine projects or
institutions as a means to generate web traffic to promote and fundraise
for projects.

Thoughts and discussion on this list are appreciated. I'll be collating
a list on behalf of Scuboard for those that might be interested in
assisting to kick off this forum. Those that might be specifically
interested in participating can contact me directly at
explore at oceanopportunity.com ; please provide your position and
affiliation, geographical region of study, and a brief sentence or two o
your research interests.

With about 10 folks initially interested in contributing 10 minutes or
so a week participating in the forum, this will be a worthwhile
undertaking for Scubaboard to promote to their subscribers.


Michael Lombardi


Message: 6
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 12:06:09 -0800 (PST)
From: 11th ICRS <secretariat_11icrs at yahoo.com>
Subject: [Coral-List] 11th ICRS:  Deadlines and Photo Contest
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <198174.48028.qm at web45608.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Please send to any colleagues that may be interested.

  184 days until the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium!  July 7-11,

  Oral and Poster Presenters ? Registration: The deadline for oral and
poster presenters is Friday February 1, 2008. Please visit our web site to
register http://www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs/registration.html

  Note: Important Deadline Changes
  FIELD TRIP SCHOLARSHIPS:  Application Deadline is now FEBRUARY 1, 2008.
For more information regarding Field Trip Scholarships, please visit our
website at http://www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs/stipends.html.

  FIELD TRIP REGISTRATION:  Application Deadline is now MARCH 14, 2008.  For
more information regarding Field Trip Registration, please visit our website
at http://www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs/fieldtrips.html.

  The 11th ICRS will be hosting an Underwater Photography Contest, which is
open to all registered attendees.  Entries will be judged by professional
photographers and marine scientists. All submissions must be high resolution
digital files. Ownership will remain with the photographer but reproduction
rights will be given to 11th ICRS.  The top three entries for each category
will be announced at the 11th ICRS, where prizes, including exciting live
aboard dive trips, will be awarded to the winners and images displayed.

  For categories, rules and submission guidelines for the Underwater
Photography Contest, please visit our website at

  Registration is Open ? please visit our web site to register

  For General Information please contact the 11th ICRS Secretariat:
11icrs-secretariat at mail.ocean.nova.edu
  For Exhibits:  jlash at faseb.org

  11th International Coral Reef Symposium 2008:  www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs

Looking for last minute shopping deals?  Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.


Message: 7
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 20:54:38 -0500
From: Thomas Goreau <goreau at bestweb.net>
Subject: [Coral-List] Coral reefs in the UN Convention on Climate
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <7C5641B5-93D7-455E-A94C-BBBFFC7472B7 at bestweb.net>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=US-ASCII;	delsp=yes;	format=flowed

To those seriously concerned about climate change and the future of
coral reefs:

Climate change has been a minor subject on the coral list server
until recently, when a flurry of postings, focusing largely on the
merits of different cars rather than impacts on corals, appeared in
response to a recent Science article. According to press reports,
this article makes predictions, based on models, that climate change
might begin to affect reefs in 50-70 years.

This is overly optimistic! In fact we could lose most of what is left
in the next extreme hot year that exceeds 1998, and this could come
at any time. Statistically, based on the Global Coral Reef Alliance
database of global coral reef satellite sea surface temperatures
since 1982, it is due this year. But we can't be exactly certain
because of the noise in the climate system (I published many papers
on this with Ray Hayes since 1990, none cited in the Science paper).
The real news is that we have ALREADY passed the tipping point. And
that what emerged from Bali was cynical abandonment of coral reefs
and countries that depend on them. The oil and coal burners chose to
sacrifice reefs because they don't want to be inconvenienced by
changing their polluting ways, and they don't care what happens to
coral reefs, island nations, low lying coasts, or even the future of
their own children. But they can't say that they weren't warned what
was happening.

These opinions are based on empirical data, not on models (like the
Science paper) that are only general qualitative descriptions of
reality. If this seems like just another outrageous personal opinion,
bear in mind that I am the only coral reef scientist with degrees in
atmospheric physics and chemistry from MIT, Caltech, and Harvard. As
a teenager I wrote computer programs that correctly predicted zonal
wind speeds on Saturn decades before space probes confirmed them and
was asked to do my PhD writing general circulation models to predict
the climatic effects of CO2 increase. I refused to get back to coral
reefs and warm water. I set up the first labs in the Amazon to
measure greenhouse gases at high precision, made the first
measurements of tropical jungle deforestation effects on atmospheric
chemistry, and in the 1980s published half a dozen papers on
stabilization of atmospheric CO2. When these were ignored, I went
back to restoring coral reefs, the most financially unrewarding
activity that I know.

Paleoclimatic data clearly shows that the IPCC projections for future
climate change have seriously underestimated the sensitivity of
temperature and sea level to CO2. The last time in earth history when
global temperatures were 1 degree C above today's, sea levels were 7
meters higher than now, and hippopotamuses and crocodiles flourished
in London, England. Because CO2 was then one third lower than today's
value, the conditions then greatly UNDERESTIMATE what will happen
when temperature and sea level eventually equilibrate with TODAY'S
level of CO2, even if we never burn another gram of coal or oil or
natural gas starting immediately. I showed this in briefings to
delegates at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, predicting
that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (and the later
Kyoto Protocol to FCCC) was so weak that it was guaranteed to kill
coral reefs. I warned that we would lose most corals to heat shock in
the next decades if negotiators failed to stop global warming then
and there. I showed that the IPCC had systematically underestimated
the impacts for two very simple reasons: 1) the models they use fail
to include the vast bulk of the positive feedback mechanisms that the
empirical data proves exists in the Earth Climate System, and 2) the
time horizon for their predictions was 1 to 2 orders of magnitude
shorter than the response time of the system, so they only covered
the initial effects, and missed the bulk of the total response.

As Senior Scientific Affairs Officer for global climate change and
biodiversity at the United Nations Centre for Science and Technology
for Development, I had a lot of input into the draft of the Framework
Convention on Climate Change. At that point it was already clear that
coral reefs were the most temperature sensitive ecosystem, and we had
already developed the Goreau-Hayes HotSpot method for predicting the
location, timing, and intensity of bleaching from satellite data
alone before it could be seen in the field. Unfortunately this was
widely denied and ridiculed by our colleagues, who later copied our
data-based conclusions word for word as "common knowledge" without
bothering to cite the sources (there is a word for this that I'm too
polite to use here). I personally inserted the words "coral reefs"
every place in the original draft UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change where they belonged, insisted explicitly on COMPLETE
accounting of all greenhouse gas sources and sinks, and added that
one of the goals of the convention was to protect Earth's most
temperature-sensitive ecosystems. What the UN sent out to governments
was vastly better than what they got back! Governments made
scientific nonsense of the treaty by confusing net with gross fluxes,
rewarding bogus carbon sinks while ignoring the real ones, failing to
identify the most climatically sensitive ecosystems and requiring
that they be monitored for signs of temperature stress, and failing
to establlish trigger mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
if such stress was in fact shown. Minutes after the Convention was
passed in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, I passed out leaflets describing it
as a death sentence for coral reefs.

I was the only coral reef researcher at the UN Convention on Climate
Change in Bali, on the delegation of Jamaica, on the delegation of
the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (an Inter-Governmental
Organization  representing almost all Caribbean States), as
Coordinator of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable
Development Partnership in New Technologies for Small Island
Developing States, as President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance,
and as Science Advisor to Yayasan Karang Lestari (Foundation for
Protected Corals, an Indonesian Non Governmental Organization that
runs the world's largest coral reef and fisheries habitat restoration

My briefings to the 41 member states of the Association of Small
Island States (the island nations of the Pacific, Caribbean, and
Indian Ocean) and to the Indonesian Government (the host country and
home to the largest and richest coral reefs in the world), also
passed out to all of the nearly 200 governments present, pointed out
that: 1) the impacts of climate change had been seriously and
systematically underestimated, and the threat was much worse and more
imminent than recognized, with coral reefs and island nations being
the first and worst victims 2) that we could lose most remaining
corals in the next extreme hot year, 3) that the EU proposal to allow
CO2 to rise to 450 ppm and temperature to rise by 2 degrees C
(blocked by the US, Canada, Japan, the Arab oil producing states,
China, India, and Russia for their own reasons) was unacceptable to
small island developing states because it meant sacrificing coral
reefs, fisheries, and shore protection against rising sea level, 4)
that what was needed was to REDUCE atmospheric CO2 by AT LEAST one
third BELOW today's levels, and 5) that the technologies to do so
were proven and in hand, but were not being funded or even discussed.
These technologies will be covered in detail in a book I am editing
on Underutilized Technologies for Sustainable Development and
Reversing Global Warming, which will be published in May 2008 at the
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

There is precious little time now left to act, thanks to decades of
denial and obfuscation by governments and by many coral reef
professionals, long after the heat shock cause of mass coral reef
bleaching was thoroughly established by 1990. What Bali gave us is
another two wasted years of talking while temperatures continue to
rise without control, and corals and people die from extreme
temperature events. That is why further delay is a capital crime
against the environment. We must ensure that what climate treaties
emerge two years from now deal with the real problems, not avoiding
them, and promote the real solutions, not fake ones. While this may
seem merely academic to those from rich countries, it is a matter of
life and death for the island nations, especially the low lying ones,
and for coral reefs.

For more information on the problems and the solutions, please see:

1) The first New York Times comment on the aftermath of Bali


2) The briefing to island nation delegations


The latter link may not work in all browsers. If clicking it says
that the page can't be found, just copy and paste it into your
browser window and it should work.

Best wishes,

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net


Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 55, Issue 3

More information about the Coral-List mailing list