Free online conference from Smithsonian May 18th

Sustain the Land, Wednesday, May 18, 2011, with Live sessions at 11:00 am, 1:00pm and 7:00pm EDT

North American Forests: Can we Learn to Protect Their Future?
Session One: 11:00 – 11:50am EDT
Climate change and changes in land use are threatening forests in the eastern United States. But this is not the first time these forests have been disturbed on a broad scale and with uncertain consequences. When Europeans settled eastern North America, they cleared nearly all the forests to make way for agriculture. The past hundred years, however, have seen a remarkable reforestation. Today, more than two-thirds of the land is forested, and this return has brought the return of wildlife and many other ecological benefits that we depend on. Research Ecologist Jonathan Thompson discusses lessons learned and how we can help ensure a future for this living resource..
Tigers on the Brink of Extinction: What will save them?
Session Two: 1:00 – 1:50pm EDT
It is hard to believe, but only 3,000-3,500 tigers exist in the wild. This animal, voted as the world’s most charismatic species, is on the brink of extinction. The threats to tigers are vast, ranging from habitat destruction to poaching of tigers and their prey, and the six remaining tiger sub-species exist in small, isolated populations across 13 countries. It will take a concerted effort by many to save this amazing animal. Join us as we explore the historical and present status of tiger populations, the leading threats and the conservation actions needed to save them.
Plants, Animals and People: How do they impact tropical biodiversity?
Session Three: 7:00 – 7:50pm EDT
How people use land can have great consequences for the survival of many tropical species. In this session, research biologist Sunshine Van Bael looks at new ways for people and trees to coexist in tropical forests – from how people produce food on the frontiers of tropical forests to the “ecosystem services” of birds and the benefits they provide.
UPDATE on the Smithsonian Tree Banding project be held at 4pm EDT/ 8pm GMT and 9pm EDT/ 1am GMT. Hear from Jess Parker and Josh Falk about the schools across the world joining Smithsonian researchers in this citizen science project. These updates will last about 15 – 30 minutes.
All events are free of charge. More information and registration:

This conference is part of SHOUT, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution, Microsoft Partners in Learning, and TakingITGlobal.
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