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Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools and methods for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a network to share knowledge, tools, and experiences to promote ecosystem-based management of coastal and marine environments. This column presents some of the new tools, resources, and initiatives for dealing with the effects of climate change on ocean ecosystems that were presented at the recent International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans, held in Washington, DC.

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OpenChannels.org has just updated and expanded its list of ocean conservation, management, and science-related conferences. (Over 50 conferences from around the world listed right now!) Check out the list at https://www.openchannels.org/conferences.

Submit additional suggestions for the list at https://www.openchannels.org/submit-conference.

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The EBM Tools Network recently co-hosted a webinar on Reducing Coastal Risk with Natural Defenses: The Latest Ecology, Engineering, and Economics of Natural Infrastructure, presented by Mike Beck of The Nature Conservancy and the University of California Santa Cruz. This talk summarized recent high-level research findings on the ecology, engineering, and economics of natural infrastructure and gave more detail on topics covered in MEAM’s recent lead article “Can we insure our way to healthier oceans and ocean communities?

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“Most of us grew up in a world where data were rare and expensive to collect. In contrast, culturomics is firmly situated in the 21st-century world of abundant, ‘messy’ data, produced from the interactions between humans and the digital world.”

---- Richard Ladle, Federal University of Alagoas

In the past, MEAM’s coverage of social media has focused on how social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram) can be used to communicate with and educate stakeholders and the general public. But this view of social media as primarily an outreach tool largely ignores the fact that these platforms (as well as other digital venues such as online discussion groups and internet search engines such as Google) also provide a source of publicly available information on human interactions with coastal and marine environments. Analyzing data from these platforms can tell us where people are going in coastal and marine environments, why they are going there, what they are doing once they get there, what they are seeing and hearing, and how they are feeling about it – often complete with geotags, timestamps, photographs, and videos.

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A new paper in Marine Policy (pre-print available for free in the MarXiv research repository) discusses the importance of effective metaphors for marine conservation and policy. Metaphors are figures of speech that describe something in terms more familiar to listeners, e.g., “a blanket of snow”. Good metaphors help shape understanding of something and can mobilize appropriate action. Poorly-chosen metaphors are, at best, ineffective at mobilizing support for the intended cause, and, at worst, counterproductive because they lead to oppositional behaviors or decrease the credibility of the messenger.

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MEAM is a project of OCTO (www.octogroup.org). OCTO serves over 80,000 ocean professionals annually with a wide range of services.

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In lieu of a lead article this month, we spent our time expanding MEAM’s compilation of ocean planning and management training opportunities to help current and future practitioners connect with useful opportunities to add to their knowledge and skill sets. Over the past few months, we have added more than 60 training opportunities directly related to marine planning and management, and we know there are more out there! If you know of other opportunities that we should include – especially opportunities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America – please let us know. In the meantime, many thanks to the many EBM Tools Network and MEAM readers who supplied information on training resources they provide or have found useful. Check out the compilation of training opportunities.

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Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools and methods for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

A new method helps ocean planners and stakeholders find the best locations for a wide range of ocean uses, while minimizing negative interactions among ocean uses and environmental impacts. This method was described in a recent article in Nature Communications. MEAM learned from authors Sarah Lester, an assistant professor of geography at Florida State University, and Crow White, an assistant professor with Center for Coastal Marine Sciences at the California Polytechnic State University, what makes this technique different from other marine spatial planning tools and what sorts of data sets are needed to use it.

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