What do you get when you cross a conservation biologist with an engineer? A "bioneer," of course. The Bioneers integrate ideas and practices from many disciplines and cultures, with the broad goal of restoring the Earth and its environment. Each year since 1990, the Bioneers have brought together leading thinkers (and doers) at their annual conference to exchange ideas, foster connections and build new skills.

In honor of Blog Action Day, we're excited to announce that, this year, the Bioneers have invited the Google Earth Outreach team to lead a series of demonstrations and hands-on tutorials on Google Earth/Maps. We will be helping them understand how to visualize their important ideas and projects in the context of the real Earth, to collaborate more effectively with one another and to communicate more powerfully with citizens and decision-makers around the world.

For those of you out there who also want to "save the planet," our Google Earth Outreach site offers online resources to help you get started -- such as video tutorials, case studies, and a showcase gallery of great public-benefit Google Earth projects. Our team also staffs a help forum to answer your technical questions.

The goal of Bioneers is ambitious -- going beyond "sustainability" to the more challenging task of actual restoration of the Earth. As they comment:

Restoration addresses the premise that "sustainability" is problematic in the context of an environment that is already depleted. As Paul Hawken has noted, sustainability is simply the midpoint between destruction and restoration. The goal of Bioneers is restoration, addressing the interdependent array of economics, jobs, ecologies, cultures, and communities.

The Bioneers 2007 Conference runs from October 19-21 in San Rafael, California. We hope to see many of you there!

Update: Our presentation schedule at the conference is now online. Join us!