Andelman, Sandy J.

Conservation International

Sandy Andelman is vice president and director of the Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network, based at Conservation International. She previously served as deputy director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Through her work on TEAM, she has pioneered the creation of a global biodiversity monitoring and forecasting system – an early warning system for the state of tropical forests worldwide. The TEAM Network is providing real time data to understand how tropical forest ecosystems are being impacted by global climate change and land cover change and to improve conservation decisions. Traditionally, ecological studies have involved one or a few scientists working at a single site, making very focused measurements over only a few years. This scientific model is losing relevance in today’s rapidly changing world, where environmental threats made by people happen across very large geographic and temporal scales – magnitudes too large for a single scientist at one site to comprehend. Ecology needs to scale up to provide the knowledge needed to address global climate change and other environmental threats. Andelman wants to help create a new culture of ecology; one that is relevant to our increasingly connected world. She envisions dynamic, diverse networks of scientists that transcend organizational and national boundaries, collaborating across the globe. Using unified methods and innovative informatics and mobile technologies, she aims to create global public data resources and forecasting and problem-solving tools to tackle some of the world’s most important environmental problems.