1. NatureServe
    Chief Ecologist
    (703) 797-4802

    Patrick J. Comer is Chief Ecologist, NatureServe, responsible for coordinating initiatives to develop a classification of terrestrial and palustrine ecosystems across North America. He serves as consulting ecologist to develop maps of vegetation coverage for the southwest US with the National Gap Analysis Program with USGS. Mr. Comer holds an M.S. in natural resources (forest ecology) from the University of Michigan.

  1. NatureServe
    Senior Ecologist & Conservation Methods Coordinator
    (703) 908-1816

    Don Faber-Langendoen is Senior Ecologist and Conservation Methods Coordinator for NatureServe. He works closely with the NatureServe Network across North America and partners in Latin America to advance NatureServe’s mission of management and conservation of at-risk species and ecosystems. He has collaborated with state, federal agency, and international partners on standardized methods for classifying the diversity of ecosystems (through the International Vegetation Classification), and assessing their conservation status and ecological integrity. He serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Ecological Society of America’s USNVC Peer Review Board and co-chairs the CNVC Committee. He has assisted the Network on projects from Great Lakes marsh restoration to forest and wetland surveys, U.S. National Park vegetation mapping, and mangrove management. Prior to his work with NatureServe, Don conducted research in tallgrass prairies and oak savannas, and tropical forests in Colombia and Madagascar. He lives in Syracuse, New York.


Threatened Ecosystems

When we convert land for agricultural, urban, and industrial land uses, we remove some portion of a functioning ecosystem. When we use land and water too intensively, we may change the way ecosystems function and affect its health, integrity, and capacity for resilience.

A cloud forest in Costa Rica. Photo by Patrick Comer | NatureServe.

Land use and management activities, if not compatible with natural ecological processes, threaten the health of ecosystems. NatureServe uses ecological classifications to describe and map the location of ecosystem types. We then document trends in ecosystem extent and integrity in order to assess the risk that we may lose the many functions and services provided by a given ecosystem type.

  1. NatureServe Explorer®

    ProductData & Maps
  2. Conservation Status Assessment

    ProductStandards & Methods
  3. IUCN Red List of Ecosystems

  4. Biodiversity Values of Geographically Isolated Wetlands in the United States

  5. Biodiversity at Risk in Isolated Wetlands

    PublicationJournal ArticleNational Wetlands Newsletter
  6. Gauging Ecological Threats in the Southeastern United States


  8. Grasslands of the World

  9. Conservation Rank Calculator

  10. Ecological Integrity Assessment

    ProductStandards & Methods