Gregory M Verutes

Gregory M Verutes
University of Santiago de Compostela | USC · Department of Applied Economics

M.Sc. in Geographic Information Science
marine mammal surveys; SSI open water diver

About

48
Publications
25,433
Reads
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2,352
Citations
Introduction
Geographer and data visualizer, blending the fields of marine conservation and technology. I build tools to communicate sustainability science using code and stories. Have had the privilege of working with Stanford University/Natural Capital Project, World Wildlife Fund, National Audubon Society, The National Geographic Society and The New Yorker.
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - May 2020
University of Santiago de Compostela
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Management tools for data-limited small-scale fisheries, ocean research use, fisheries bycatch mitigation, techniques to make better use of existing data, and complexity awareness in marine megafauna research.
October 2016 - March 2019
National Audubon Society
Position
  • Analyst
Education
November 2018 - May 2021
University of Santiago de Compostela
Field of study
  • Marine Science, Technology, & Management
August 2006 - December 2008
San Diego State University
Field of study
  • Geographic Information Science
August 2000 - May 2004
Cornell University
Field of study
  • Policy Analysis & Management

Publications

Publications (48)
Article
Full-text available
Climate change and population growth are degrading coastal ecosystems and increasing risks to communities and infrastructure. Reliance on seawalls and other types of hardened shorelines is unsustainable in an era of rising seas, given the costs to build and maintain these structures and their unintended consequences on ecosystems. This is especiall...
Article
Full-text available
Fisheries bycatch has been identified as the greatest threat to marine mammals worldwide. Characterizing the impacts of bycatch on marine mammals is challenging because it is difficult to both observe and quantify, particularly in small-scale fisheries where data on fishing effort and marine mammal abundance and distribution are often limited. The...
Article
Full-text available
The ecosystem service (ES) community aspires to illuminate how nature contributes to human well-being, and thereby elevate consideration of nature in decision making. So far, however, policy impact of ES research has been limited. To understand why, we identify five key elements of ES research that help inform decisions by connecting the supply of...
Article
The emissions reduction pledges made by individual countries through the 2015 Paris Agreement represent the current global commitment to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the face of the enduring climate crisis. Natural lands carbon sequestration and storage are critical for successful pathways to global decarbonization (i. e., as a negative emi...
Article
Full-text available
Fishing activities continue to decimate populations of marine mammals, fish, and their habitats in the coastal waters of the Kep Archipelago, a cluster of tropical islands on the Cambodia-Vietnam border. In 2019, the area was recognized as an Important Marine Mammal Area, largely owing to the significant presence of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella bre...
Article
Full-text available
Uncertainties about the magnitude of bycatch in poorly assessed fisheries impede effective conservation management. In northern Peru, small-scale fisheries (SSF) bycatch negatively impacts marine megafauna populations and the livelihoods of fishers which is further elevated by the under-reporting of incidents. Within the last decade, accounts of en...
Research
Full-text available
This policy brief aims at providing a concise summary of scientific information that can help managers and policy-makers make informed decisions about the sustainability of cephalopod fisheries. It contains 10 important current issues affecting cephalopods and proposed possible solutions regarding the following topics: natural highs and lows in abu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This booklet provides a summary of the main results obtained during the last three and a quarter years (2018-2021) of the Cephs & Chefs project, including: a brief overview of the octopus global trade network, with focus on the Portuguese and Spanish markets and value chains; an outline of market initiatives for cephalopod fisheries; insights about...
Article
Full-text available
Marine mammal bycatch poses a particular challenge in developing countries, where data to document bycatch and its effects are often lacking. Using the Bycatch Risk Assessment (ByRA) toolkit, based on InVEST open-source models, we chose 4 field sites in Southeast Asia with varying amounts of data on marine mammals and fishing occurrence: Trat provi...
Article
Full-text available
Salt marshes are at risk globally if they cannot keep pace with sea level rise. Along the United States Mid-Atlantic coast, high marsh has already declined, and is particularly vulnerable to future loss due to greater regional rates of relative sea level rise and limited capacity for both vertical accretion and landward migration. To support climat...
Article
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment described 4 classes of services or functions that ecosystems and their component parts deliver to the benefit of humans: provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services. Birds, including Neotropical birds, provide a diverse array of services in all 4 classes. We review the literature describing ecosys...
Poster
Global catch reconstructions indicate higher fish removals than fisheries statistics reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Catch reconstructions provide key complementary information relevant to monitor the uses of marine resources, and the institutional capability of the relevant monitoring and management a...
Article
Full-text available
Rising seas, more frequent storms and other climate-driven coastal hazards necessitate adaptation planning measures to protect people and property. To date, coastal vulnerability assessments have prioritized the most exposed areas of coastline, but there is a gap between recognized climate science and the feasibility or suitability considerations r...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Prior to this work, Audubon was ill prepared to respond following major storms such as Hurricane Harvey that can dramatically change coastal habitats and the ways birds use them. This demonstration has augmented our understanding of where and when AI technology is appropriate for classifying imagery bigger, better, and faster.
Article
Full-text available
Conservation of marine megafauna is nested within an intricate tapestry of multiple ocean resource uses which are, in turn, embedded in a dynamic and complex ecological ocean system that varies and shifts across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Marine megafauna conservation is often further complicated by contemporaneous, and sometimes...
Poster
Full-text available
Intensifying climate impacts, growing population demands, and declining natural habitats threaten coastal communities along with their built and natural infrastructure. While local communities are actively updating climate adaptation planning documents, there is a need to identify and prioritize the enabling or limiting conditions for implementing...
Article
Full-text available
A growing number of nations aim to design coastal plans to reduce conflicts in space and safeguard ecosystems that provide important benefits to people and economies. Critics of coastal and ocean planning point to a complicated process with many actors, objectives, and uncertain outcomes. This paper explores one such decision-making process in Beli...
Article
Full-text available
IN THEIR POLICY Forum “U.S. seafood import restriction presents opportunity and risk” (16 December, p. 1372), R. Williams et al. describe some possible effects of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rule requiring that seafood imported into the United States must come from fisheries that comply with the U.S. Marine Mamma...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal protection of communities and property using “green infrastructure” approaches is gaining popularity as the science and practice improve. Guidance is limited for decision makers interested in taking action to protect shorelines. Here, we offer practical guidance for decision makers interested in moving beyond generalities for coastal protec...
Article
Full-text available
Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during...
Article
Full-text available
Businesses may be missing opportunities to account for ecosystem services in their decisions because they do not have methods to quantify and value ecosystem services. We developed a method to quantify and value coastal protection and other ecosystem services in the context of a cost-benefit analysis of hurricane risk mitigation options for a busin...
Article
Full-text available
Recent calls for ocean planning envision informed management of social and ecological systems to sustain delivery of ecosystem services to people. However, until now, no coastal and marine planning process has applied an ecosystem-services framework to understand how human activities affect the flow of benefits, to create scenarios, and to design a...
Article
Full-text available
New coastal development may offer economic benefits to resort builders and even local communities, but these projects can also impact local ecosystems, key wildlife, and the draw for tourists. We explore how light from Cabo Cortés, a proposed coastal development in Baja California Sur, Mexico, may alter natural light cues used by sea turtle hatchli...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem Service Assessments (ESAs) have become a popular tool for science-based policy. Yet, there are few guidelines for developing an ESA to inform a decision-making process. This is an important area of inquiry since the process of conducting an ESA is likely to affect the quality of results and their influence on decisions. Drawing on the les...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated coastal and ocean management requires transparent and accessible approaches for understanding the influence of human activities on marine environments. Here we introduce a model for assessing the combined risk to habitats from multiple ocean uses. We apply the model to coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds in Belize to inform t...
Article
Full-text available
Natural capital is of critical importance for biodiversity and people’s well-being. Studies indicate that understanding the connection between environmental health and human benefit (i.e., ecosystem services) can promote conservation-friendly decisions; however, many people don’t recognize the benefits they derive from nature, nor the way their dec...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Over the past 20 years, ecosystem service assessments have become more common in the ecology community. Unfortunately, many of these assessments never make it into the hands of decision-makers to mitigate impacts on ecosystems that affect human well-being. Many of those that do fail to inform policy and management deci...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme weather, sea-level rise and degraded coastal ecosystems are placing people and property at greater risk of damage from coastal hazards. The likelihood and magnitude of losses may be reduced by intact reefs and coastal vegetation, especially when those habitats fringe vulnerable communities and infrastructure. Using five sea-level-rise scena...
Article
Full-text available
The overall objective of our research project is to understand the spatial inequality in health in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. We also utilize GIS technology to measure the association of adverse health and mortality outcomes with neighborhood ecology. We approached this in variety of ways, including multivariate analysis of imagery classific...
Article
Full-text available
Many hope that ocean waves will be a source for clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy, yet wave energy conversion facilities may affect marine ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms, including competition with other human uses. We developed a decision-support tool to assist siting wave energy facilities, which allows the user to balance t...
Article
Full-text available
People around the world are looking to marine ecosystems to provide additional benefits to society. As they consider expanding current uses and investing in new ones, new management approaches are needed that will sustain the delivery of the diverse benefits that people want and need. An ecosystem services framework provides metrics for assessing t...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The rugged west coast of Vancouver Island British Columbia, Canada boasts plentiful populations of fish and shellfish, pristine beaches for surfing, kayaking, and diving, and large ocean waves that can be harnessed for renewable energy. Some stakeholders are eager to expand coastal development to support tourism, renew...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Faced with the challenges of increased human use of coastal areas, ecologists, engineers and economists have been developing new ways to account for the protective services from coastal hazards provided by marine ecosystems. The Coastal Protection model of Marine InVEST quantifies and values the ability of biogenic habitats to provide coastal commu...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I am building four seasonal habitat models for dolphins using sightings from boat surveys. For training presences (count) I have: dry season = 53, pre-monsoon = 10, monsoon = 48, and post-monsoon = 15 after removing multiple occurrences per grid cell.
To reduce sample selection bias, I am using the SWD ("samples with data") option in Maxent. This allows me to draw the environmental samples from a distribution of locations with the same selection bias as the occurrence data. I will draw environmental samples from randomly chosen boat track vessel points.
Given the number of dolphin sightings available for each season, what is the recommended sample size for background data (no sightings) to build a model for each of the four seasons using the SWD option? I am thinking of including at least one sample point per grid cell that the survey boat traveled through during each season. Thanks for sharing any suggestions.

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The objective of the consultancy is to develop a systematic analysis of shark meat trade and markets that will include recommendations to policy makers, industry, scientists, international donors, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders regarding how to support, encourage and promote legal, transparent, traceable and sustainable trade of shark meat product. The results should: • Identify and map the gaps in shark and ray product trade and fishery datasets in key countries hindering proper and efficient enforcement against IUU fishing, • Identify high-risk countries and shark products to mislabeling, • Present the global links to key fleets, landings ports and processing countries supplying the markets in Europe, • Provide a thorough analysis of trends and key environmental, institutional and economic drivers for shark and ray meat markets and consumption in key countries, • Support the development of awareness raising activities in relation to the topic of shark meat trade and markets in the Mediterranean and beyond, • Support awareness of control authorities and fisheries administration of the current legislation regarding elasmobranchs, • Support the development of coherent data-sharing protocols on species of shared interest for relevant bodies including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMOs), and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). • Develop recommendations for a Harmonized system between landing, marketing and labelling of shark and ray products
Project
El proyecto “ECOSER-Contribución de los servicios ecosistémicos marinos de áreas naturales protegidas al bienestar humano“ pretende promover la sostenibilidad ambiental, económica y social de los servicios ecosistémicos marinos en áreas protegidas. Los objetivos generales son los siguientes: - Evaluación del estado de los e los servicios ecosistémicos marinos empleando variables ambientales, sociales y económicas, - Contribución de los servicios ecosistémicos marinos al cumplimiento de la Directiva Marco de la Estrategia Marina Europea y de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de Naciones Unidas y - Sensibilización sobre la relevancia de los servicios ecosistémicos marinos para el bienestar humano. Proyecto financiado por la Fundación Biodiversidad - Ministerio de Transición Ecológica