Kyle Burnett working with SEMRU in Ireland

Student Name:   Kyle Burnett

Fellowship Organization:   SEMRU/NUI (Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit/National University of Ireland)

Fellowship Location:  Galway, Ireland

Dates of Fellowship:  June 4 – August 17, 2018

Description:  Kyle will be working on Marine Spatial Planning with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and the economic impact of seafloor resources.  Ecosystems provide a large range of benefits to human well-being. Ecosystem services contribute to both market benefits, which are valued in measures of national accounting such as the gross domestic product (GDP), and non-market benefits. As part of the EU Atlas project he and his team will adapt existing ecosystem service frameworks to provide a socio-economic assessment of the value per unit of services from 12 Atlantic deep water case study areas and the valuation of the ocean services which they supply to humanity.

The framework will be used to determine values of services based on expert scores. The main objective of this research is to assess and map the ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats in the European North Atlantic Ocean, in the context of the “Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services” (MAES) programme, the European Biodiversity Strategy and the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). In total, 62 habitats have been analyzed in relation to 12 ecosystem services. Galparsoro et al. (2014) have estimated habitat service scores the assessment was based on the expert judgment of ecologists and social scientists. Using these expert score overlaid on EMODnet (European Marine Observation and Data Network) GIS data  on deepsea habitats in each case study[; European Commission; Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)] allows us to build maps of service values across the case studies. Where additional information on services such as fisheries data is available this will be added to the provisioning service maps as well. The mapping and assessment of the ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats is a highly valuable source of information for understanding their current and potential benefits to society.

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