Milestones: Fall 2012

 

Where We’re Headed: Launching NatureServe’s New Strategic Plan

Providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action is what motivates and inspires us. To ensure our continued success, this spring we launched a new Strategic Plan. Read more...


Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard Receives Federal Approval

One of the greatest remaining obstacles to effective ocean conservation has been the lack of a standard language for describing and comparing marine ecosystems. NatureServe and its partners have helped marine scientists take a big step forward in solving this fiendishly complicated problem. Read more...


Shaping the Issues that Affect our World

In recent months, NatureServe scientists have authored or co-authored six scientific publications illuminating pressing global conservation issues and their impact on efforts to protect our natural world. Read more...


William D. Ruckelshaus Receives 2012 NatureServe Conservation Award

NatureServe presented William D. Ruckelshaus with the 2012 Conservation Award during the Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference in Portland, Oregon, in April. Read more...


Getting Creative with Giving

Philanthropy comes with both an urge to make a difference and the satisfaction of knowing that you are taking action. Find out what motivates our donors, and how you can help. Read more...


Biodiversity Profile: Oblong Rocksnail

This freshwater snail, declared extinct in 2000, was recently rediscovered in the Cahaba River by a University of Alabama graduate student. Read more...

 

 

Where We’re Headed: Launching NatureServe’s New Strategic Plan

Providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action is what motivates and inspires us. To ensure our continued success, this spring we launched a new Strategic Plan that will guide for our work over the next five years. Based on a comprehensive network-wide assessment, the plan addresses the driving forces that will shape how we advance our mission.

The plan relies on a results-chain framework that identifies our target results and outcomes, key activities for achieving them, and metrics for tracking our implementation progress. This approach also led us to organize the results of the plan across four themes:

Our commitment to provide science-based information and expert advice infuses the entire plan. Through this work, we will play a fundamental role in sustaining the benefits that society gains from a diverse and resilient natural world—clean air and water, communities more secure against natural disasters, extensive genetic resources for food, fuel, and medicine, and cultural sustenance.

An executive summary and the full plan are available for download. To request a printed copy of the plan, contact Patrice Leighty.

 

 

CMECS Receives Federal Approval

One of the greatest remaining obstacles to effective ocean conservation has been the lack of a standard language for describing and comparing marine ecosystems. NatureServe and its partners have helped marine scientists take a big step forward in solving this fiendishly complicated problem.

Over the past decade, NatureServe has collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and more than a hundred scientists and coastal managers to develop and implement a new standard for marine ecosystem classification. Recently approved by the Federal Geographic Data Committee, the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) is the first-ever, comprehensive federal standard for classifying and describing coastal and marine ecosystems.

CMECS offers a straightforward framework and common terminology for characterizing natural and human-influenced ecosystems, from the upper tidal reaches of estuaries to the deepest portions of the ocean. The use of CMECS will improve our knowledge of marine ecosystems and will help us refine the classification over time.
To learn more, contact Kathy Goodin, deputy director for science. See the catalog of units at www.cmecscatalog.org.

 

 

Shaping the Issues that Affect our World

In recent months, NatureServe scientists have authored or co-authored six scientific publications illuminating pressing global conservation issues and their impact on efforts to protect our natural world. Here are some of the highlights:

Targeted conservation to prevent imminent species extinctions also provides substantial benefits to people. A study conducted by NatureServe and Conservation International published in the journal PLoS ONE shows that protecting habitats in priority areas to halt the loss of biodiversity will yield multiple benefits to people in terms of ecosystem services, such as climate change mitigation, clean water, the future “option value” of biodiversity, and cultural services.

Conserving biodiversity benefits the world’s poor. A study co-authored by chief scientist Tom Brooks reveals that protecting areas of highest biodiversity value—one of NatureServe’s top priorities—also delivers significant, life-sustaining services and income to the world’s most impoverished people, valued at US$1 trillion per year.

Carbon payments for forest conservation would dramatically reduce global species extinctions. Data from the NatureServe network contributes to the first global analysis of how much, where, and when carbon-based incentives for forest conservation could benefit biodiversity by saving at-risk species.

These findings highlight the urgent need for biodiversity conservation and the data that makes it possible. NatureServe scientists continue to act at the forefront of scientific analyses and syntheses to better inform the conservation community.

See more NatureServe publications.

 

 

William D. Ruckelshaus Receives 2012 NatureServe Conservation Award

NatureServe presented William D. Ruckelshaus with the 2012 Conservation Award during the Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference in Portland, Oregon, in April. The award recognizes Mr. Ruckelshaus’ distinguished career and the unique character, scale, and diversity of his contributions to the protection of the natural environment.

Best known for his tenure as the first (and fifth) administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Ruckelshaus has long demonstrated a commitment to science as a guide to policy in both the public and private sectors. The award honors the many contributions that the Indiana native has made to biodiversity conservation in both of his adopted Washingtons—D.C. and state—and beyond.

Mr. Ruckelshaus joined us at a special award reception and dinner in Portland. In his remarks, he cited the importance of “advanced technical assistance” in making conservation decisions: “[NatureServe] stands for the kind of technical advice that can be so helpful in making rational public policy.”

Mr. Ruckelshaus is the third winner of the award, joining previous winners, biologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Edward O. Wilson (2011), and founder of the NatureServe network’s natural heritage methodology, Dr. Robert E. Jenkins (2010).

Watch video of the presentation and speech.

 

 

Getting Creative with Giving

Philanthropy comes with both an urge to make a difference and the satisfaction of knowing that you are taking action. For most NatureServe supporters, it is about giving to conserve our shared natural heritage and supporting the special places and species we care about.

We have found that donors are often motivated by three desires:

Whatever the reasons why you care about our mission and want to donate, we offer a variety of ways to do so. In some cases, a planned gift made from your estate may be the answer. Contact Erin Chen, director of development, at 703-908-1841 for help matching a gift to your goals.

Please consider making a gift today!

 

 

Biodiversity Profile: Oblong Rocksnail

 

Scientific name: Leptoxis compacta

Status: Presumed extinct, until a single population was discovered recently in Alabama. This freshwater gastropod is still highly susceptible to a single catastrophic extinction event, such as a large pollution incident or a natural climactic threat.

Range: Endemic to Alabama; historically restricted to the Cahaba River and one Coosa River tributary

Habitat: Freshwater shoal habitats

Distinguishing features: About the size of a nickel with a yellow body and a black band on its head, this snail has unique, microscopic teeth, used to scrape algae off of rocks

Source: NatureServe Explorer and University of Alabama News

This freshwater snail, declared extinct in 2000, was recently rediscovered in the Cahaba River by a University of Alabama graduate student. In the next five years, NatureServe will strategically pursue opportunities to tap citizen science and build partner collaborations to support more comprehensive gathering of observation data and documentation of trends in the distribution and condition of species and ecosystems.