A Natural Laboratory for Global Change
Dr. Randi Rotjan
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is owned and operated by the Republic of Kiribati, and is the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the central Pacific just below the equator, it is an excellent laboratory for global change: It is home to fewer than fifty people in an ocean area the size of the state of California, with coral reefs, open ocean, deep sea, and terrestrial ecosystems. This special place is now closed to all extractive activities; it was once heavily fished for tuna, but is now a safe haven for all marine life. Dr. Randi Rotjan will describe the lessons scientists and other stakeholders are learning within and across these ecosystems. She will share the latest science and will discuss how PIPA fits into a global and growing context of ocean conservation. Dr. Rotjan is a research assistant professor at Boston University and co-chief scientist of the PIPA Conservation Trust.