Habitat & Conservation  |  05/29/2024

Podcast Ep. 266: Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Making the Map for Grasslands

Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Irene Liu, Wenfei Tong, and Tom Swartwout, along with web developer and software engineer Ben Cooley for a “behind the scenes” conversation about the creation of the Map for Grasslands. The map is the output of a partnership spanning two years between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and more than two dozen conservation organizations working toward the creation of the North American Grasslands Conservation Act

Episode Highlights:
  • As a producer, editor, and director with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Media, Swartwout explains his organization’s interest in grasslands conservation and his team’s role in turning data into a visual tool for the public.
  • Liu and Tong discuss the data sources behind the map’s focus on bobwhite quail, pheasants, monarch butterflies, elk, and northern pintails as five of the fifteen different wildlife species highlighted within the MapForGrasslands.org.
  • Cooley then explains how he turned the tremendous volume of data sources into a heart-breaking AND compelling story of the need for grasslands habitat conservation by utilizing the “martini glass” principle.

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