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STEM, NatureServe Style

Science and Technology for Environmental Management

NatureServe maintains a unique and critical scientific resource: the most comprehensive and high-quality data available on the location and condition of the nation’s at–risk species and natural habitats. Based on a 40–year partnership with our network of natural heritage programs, these data are regarded as the gold standard for informing conservation and natural resource management. Maintaining these high standards requires an on-going commitment to improvement of the scientific techniques for gathering and managing these data, and a dedication to quality assurance. 

This work is pivotal to supporting the conservation planning and resource management needed to keep pace with environmental change and impact. NatureServe provides the technology framework to support this process and to put the right data into the hands of scientists, decision-makers, and the public. The framework structures a comprehensive set of systems and tools for database management, analysis, geographic information system (GIS) and decision support, web services, and wide-ranging websites. As both technology and conservation demands change rapidly, there is a continual need to advance our technology framework and to keep it aligned with current information management capabilities.

To assure quality and consistent scientific information is delivered on a state–of–the–art technology framework, NatureServe seeks support of these core needs of the organization. To learn how you can assist in assuring scientific and technology excellence in species conservation, please contact us at (703) 908-1841.

Setting Data Free

Educating and Informing the Public

NatureServe provides conservation and scientific data to the public through various educational and informational venues. While each venue provides different types of information about conservation issues, aimed at different audiences, all advance NatureServe’s overall goal of making environmental conservation information widely accessible to the public. In all, the following NatureServe websites receive more than 3 million unique visits per year. Our ultimate goal is to provide this information to anyone who makes conservation decisions, thereby having a direct impact on environmental issues.

LandScope America — a collaborative project among many public and private partners — is a new online educational resource for the land-protection community. By bringing together the best-available conservation science, information technology and professional expertise, LandScope America is designed to increase the pace and effectiveness of conservation action and investment throughout the U.S.

NatureServe Explorer provides authoritative conservation information in a searchable database for more than 70,000 plants, animals, and ecosystems of the U.S. and Canada. It provides the most comprehensive, in—depth information and images on rare and endangered species currently available, and includes extensive information on common plants and animals as well. The website was recently ranked by the American Library Association as one of the top free reference websites.

A multi-lingual education resource, InfoNatura provides conservation information on the birds, mammals, and amphibians of Latin America and the Caribbean—more than 8,500 common, rare, and endangered species in 44 countries and territories. The website includes information on taxonomy, conservation status, and distribution for each species, all in a searchable database. The website is available in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

NatureServe seeks funders for this entire initiative or a particular site. Funding will allow us to dramatically expand the scope and quality of our education and information offerings, while reaching millions of people with reliable and scientifically sound information about the environment. This initiative presents a funder with significant visibility opportunities. To discuss funding options, please contact Erin Chen, Director of Development, at (703) 908-1841.

Landscape Change and Resilience

Landscape-scale change poses a serious and pervasive threat not only to human communities, but also to plants, animals and their habitats. NatureServe has long been involved in helping reveal the impacts of these changes on biodiversity, but is now increasing its efforts to respond to this urgent issue. Applying lessons learned over the past three decades in evaluating the conservation needs of wildlife, we developed a Climate Change Vulnerability Index to identify which habitats will be most susceptible to climate change, and therefore most in need of conservation attention. With our international network of partners, NatureServe is well positioned to keep tabs on shifts in the distribution and abundance of key species and habitats. NatureServe has identified three goals in confronting the climate change issue:

  1. Advance the understanding of climate change impacts on plants animals and their habitats.
  2. Reduce adverse effects on plants and animals from human responses to climate change.
  3. Facilitate adaptation of plants and animals to climate change.

Click here to see a story about how NatureServe and its partners are revealing landscape-scale change in the American Southwest.

To continue our work and make a greater impact, NatureServe seeks partners to fund our climate change initiatives. We seek general sponsors and funders of specific program initiatives. To learn more about funding opportunities available, please contact Erin Chen, Director of Development, at (703) 908-1841. 

Empowering Future Conservation Leaders

Leadership Training

NatureServe provides environmental conservation education and training through its Leadership Training Program, Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference, regional meetings, and technical training courses. These events bring together natural heritage program managers, biologists, scientists, state and federal policy–makers, corporate executives, and conservation groups to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Offering workshops and training sessions, the conferences, regional meetings and technical courses focus on science, technology and information, conservation action, and leadership and capacity building for conservation professionals. These leaders take the newly learned skills and information back to their respective locations, thereby having a greater impact on their local conservation efforts.

Click here to learn more about how American Express is supporting NatureServe's Leadership Program.

Biodiversity Without Boundaries Conference

The NatureServe Biodiversity Without Boundaries Conference is an international training and education event for the environmental conservation community. Conservation leaders, thinkers and managers come together for three days of education, discussion, idea exchange, innovation sharing, and professional networking. The conference brings together natural heritage program managers, biologists, scientists, ecologists, biological information managers, college and university staff, and others. Offering over 100 workshops, field trips, sessions, plenaries, and more, the conference focuses on science, technology and information, conservation action, and leadership and capacity building for conservation professionals.

Funding opportunities available include sponsoring general sessions, education tracks, workshops, receptions, keynote speakers, breakfasts, coffee breaks, scholarships, and more. Sponsorship levels range from $1,000 to $75,000. Your organization can receive visibility through various means such as brand and name recognition in the media, conference marketing collaterals, web site, general sessions, promotional materials, publications and receptions. For additional information, please contact Erin Chen, Director of Development, at (703) 908-1841.

Planning for a Better Future

Advancing Conservation Planning

Intertwined with, and supported by many of our other initiatives, NatureServe works directly with specific industry sectors to establish pathways for bringing the best information about species and ecosystems into established planning processes. We are actively engaged with forestry, transportation, land trusts, local governments and international lending agencies throughout the Western Hemisphere to help them achieve conservation objectives in the context of competing needs. Through our conservation analysis and planning services and family of websites, we continuously work to improve our ability to provide information to people and companies that need it to comply with established certification standards (e.g., forest product certification, LEED certification, biofuel production standards, etc.).

New innovations in conservation planning methods and tools are occurring everyday and NatureServe strives to evaluate and implement these new approaches so that we can continue to provide quality consultation and technical assistance to local communities, resource managers, and environmental groups. We seek funders for this initiative to assure NatureServe can offer the most comprehensive consultation and technical assistance to those who can make a difference. To explore opportunities to advance conservation planning, please contact Erin Chen, Director of Development, at (703) 908-1841.

Click here to see a story about how NatureServe developed a free guide to coastal climate planning tools.

Click here to learn about how we are helping communities catalyze conservtion planning on Southern Peru.