Like many fellow high-school students, Loring LaBarbera Schwarz found inspiration in the first Earth Day in 1970. Unlike many, this Long Island native turned that inspiration into a 35-year career in conservation.
After taking her graduate degree from the Yale School of Forestry in 1978, Loring joined The Nature Conservancy, and by the early '80s, she became the Director of Heritage Operations for TNC's nascent Natural Heritage Network. Today led by NatureServe, this network and the public and private organizations that comprise its members are united by a shared scientific mission to document the rare and imperiled species and habitats of the Americas.
The hemispheric-wide focus of Loring's experience lends a unique perspective to her understanding of the NatureServe network and the importance of its ability to synthesize information from across state, provincial, territorial, and national boundaries.
Loring worked for a decade with the Massachusetts Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, overseeing policy and conservation strategies in the Commonwealth while specializing in forests and climate change. She also served as Interim Director of the Eastern Caribbean Program, and continues to work on conservation issues in the Caribbean and Belize. Loring now serves as the director of the climate change program at Mass Audubon.