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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

NatureServe

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: NatureServe is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action. The NatureServe network includes more than 80 member programs in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, and the Caribbean. 

Geographic areas served: International

Programs: Conservation products and services: includes developing products and services based on natureserve and nhp/cdc data, and projects that focus on providing analytical or interpretive services to meet specific customer needs. Activities include; eo-based products and services; gis services; biodiversity mapping; conservation assessment and planning; issue oriented publications; forestry certification and public web offerings.

scientific data and methods: includes projects that involve developing methodology and standards. Projects may include some analysis and interpretation, but this is not the primary focus. Activities include: terrestrial vegetation methods and data development; freshwater data methods and data development; marine methods and data development; benchmark data standards; trends and viability analysis through element and occurrence ranks and specifications; multi jurisdictional dataset development; heritage systems support; ecological systems methods and data development.

technology research and development: includes development of information management and delivery systems to support the organization's mission of building a knowledge base for biodiversity status, distribution and trends; and the delivery of that knowledge via online tools and desktop/cloud-based applications.

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the past three years I have worked closely with NatureServe in jointly managing a major collaborative project called LandScope Chesapeake. Our partnership in this effort is extremely productive, positive and mutual. NatureServe leadership and staff have been superb. We are true partners in the effort with shared values.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

A great organization is all about its people, and NatureServe employs some great people who are committed to the mission of the organization. The Conservation Leadership Programme collaborated with NatureServe to implement a leadership training in Latin America, and the network members who participated were dynamic and committed to having a positive impact on conservation across the region.

Shane F.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is a get-things-done organization! I used to work for NatureServe and enjoyed the culture and inertia so when an opportunity to volunteer, I jumped right in. I have seen and been a part of the ongoing growth end development of NatureServe and what constantly amazes me is how the different members of the network diligently work away at the conservation issues of the day. I hope to continue to volunteer or work for NatureServe in some form throughout my working career or beyond.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a conservation biologist for over 25 years, I have relied on NatureServe for the best available information so critical to protecting the Earth's rich biological diversity. Natural areas data is the single most important tool in my tool box and few organizations know more about natural areas data than NatureServe. As the national association of the state natural heritage programs within the U.S. as well as a highly respected international conservation organization, NatureServe combines essential on-the-ground local expertise with strong working relationships with leading conservation, industry and economic interests globally. This enables NatureServe scientists to develop and advance the leading conservation technologies and structured decision-making processes from around the world with locally evaluated data from scientist and natural resource professionals who know the local ecology and the unique ecological dynamics of the areas where the information will be applied. I know of few organizations comprised of more dedicated and committed professionals to protecting natural areas and local biodiversity and I would not be surprised if even the success of those organizations are due in part to NatureServe data or their ecosystem-based management tools.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NatureServe is an non-profit organization (based in Arlington), which makes the difference in the day-to-day with their innovative methodologies connect the social sciences and conservation of
nature, so it has a great influence on decision-makers, academia, business and the general public
on crucial issues such as adaptation to climate change, species and ecosystems’ health and the establishment and consolidation of protected areas across the Americas. This organization composed of very professional and committed people; for me it is very clear that this group is
willing to offer their best to do their jobs and support other organizations and individuals with an interest or influence on the conservation of nature. If there were no NatureServe, we would have to create it ...

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

NatureServe helps my Conservation Data Center in man ways. They are always providing us information about opportunities of funding, awards and others. Their paig Infonatura http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura/ is useful and an excelent reference about wildlife of Latinamerica and the Caribean

Client Served

Rating: 5

NatureServe was our (BLM) contractor to do two ecoregional assessments in the Great Basin and Mojave areas. These assessments were driven by management questions that required extensive data acquisition and evaluation along with development and application of conceptual models. NatureServe personnel were very knowledgeable in these areas and helped our project management team refine our management question for clarity and intent. NatureServe's knowledge in identifying appropriate datasets to use and developing the models helped the management team structure the assessment to get the best results in addressing the questions. NatureServe conducted several in-person workshops and webinars during this process where they worked collaboratively with the management and technical teams to resolve questions and concerns so final processes were agreed upon. NatureServe also worked with a subcontractor to provide BLM with bioclimatic change envelopes for selected conservation elements. This work is cutting edge in climate change science and provided BLM, for the first time, potential forecasts on how conservation elements may shift under two climate change scenarios. Previously BLM could only address climate change in very general terms; now we have a tool that can be used to address the potential “how” climate change may affect the landscape. NatureServe was the only contractor on BLM’s seven ecoregional assessments to provide this pioneering model. BLM staff have been very receptive of change envelopes. NatureServe's staff were always very professional and responsive to our needs and provided an impressive and useful product. It was a huge undertaking for which we will benefit for many years. Through this effort we have established an excellent working relationship that continues to expand into other areas. We will continue to work with NatureServe on future projects.

Donor

Rating: 5

NatureServe is a remarkable organization with outstanding programs, initiatives and personnel. In having worked closely with many NatureServe employees, I am continuously impressed with the overwhelming dedication, commitment and enthusiasm everyone has for such an incredible cause. I look forward to continuing my relationship with NatureServe.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have cooperated with NatureServe and the organization from which it budded off (The Nature Conservancy) since 1988. It is very professional and is the only organization doing what it does in a field that gets little credit in relation to the importance of its work. The organization, its mandate, its staff, and the way they go about their business have been huge inspirations for me as a conservation biologist. I highly recommend NatureServe as a starting point for finding out about the elements of biodiversity (species and ecological communities) in the Western Hemisphere.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

The strength of NatureServe and the Natural Heritage Network lies with the expertise, passion and dedication demonstrated on a daily basis by staff. Kudos to the exceptional work completed to date, and best wishes for continued success in the future.

Steven25

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NatureServe is uniquely situated between State/provincial and Federal Government agencies on one hand, and volunteers, naturalist groups and those concerned about that status of our wildlife legacy on the other. By filling the information void, and by providing value-added analyses and interpretation of the data from a wide variety of sources NatureServe enables soundly based conservation decisions to be made whether by governments, resource sector industries, or others. It is truly a remarkable organization with an intelligent and relevant business plan.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Before retiring, I was the Endangered Species Listing Coorinator for the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Southwest Regional Office. In reviewing information presented on the status of any rare species, I regularly turned to NatureServe's website because I trust them to present the best available science-basded information. Good science is important in decision making on rare and endangered species, and I trust the science NatureServe presents.

Andrew K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a botanist in the US Forest Service, I often check the "NatureServe Explorer" web site to find important information about a rare plant. NatureServe provides one-stop-shopping for global and state ranks (numerical scores from 1 to 5 indicating status from "critically imperiled"to "secure" based on rarity and threats). NatureServe's national system allows the Forest Service to take a more consistent approach nation-wide in considering relative rarity of species across state lines and among the many different National Forests and National Grasslands we manage for the public. We use this information to focus limited funds and our efforts to conserve biological diversity. Without NatureServe, we would not have this consistency.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi, as a senior biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I worked extensively and closely with many Nature Serve staff, from CEO Mary Klein to various staff biologists. I found nothing but dedication and professionalism, as well as new friends, at all levels. Nature Serve did much for the National Wildlife Refuge System during the time I worked with them, and I'm sure they continue to do so under long-term agreements we set up. I highly recommend them as for their unique mission as a non-profit, for their professionalism as conservationists, and for their good-natured dedication to all they do!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NatureServe serves a critical role in accumulating, analyzing, and disseminating information on biological diversity to inform conservation planning and implementation.

Board Member

Rating: 5

NatureServe and its member network provides critical information and tools to help decision-makers make informed land use decisions. Better informed decisions will guide conservation and biodiversity efforts. I have been incredibly impressed by the commitment and passion of the NatureServe staff. All of my contributions to NatureServe have been unrestricted because I understand the care and thoughtfulness that goes into projects that meet the organization's mission.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NatureServe has many strengths, but what resonates with me is the combination of global vision with a local presence. Through its natural heritage programs and conservation data centres, NatureServe is able to provide objective biodiversity data and expertise to solve problems at the local level. Through its vast network of member programs and data resources, NatureServe is able to place this local biodiversity data in both regional and global contexts -- a valuable service not available anywhere else.

Board Member

Rating: 5

NatureServe, an offshoot of The Nature Conservancy, is the umbrella organization for the network of natural heritage programs in every U.S. state and Canadian province as well as in many Latin American countries. NatureServe provides the scientific basis for effective conservation action throughout the Western Hemisphere. It is inconceivable to me how one could effectively target scarce conservation dollars towards those species most at risk and those ecosystems most deserving of conservation attention without the information researched, compiled, and distributed by NatureServe.

Steve Young

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We are fortunate in the United States to have amazing biodiversity -- plants, animals, and other organisms -- including living things not found anywhere else in the world. To understand and hold on to our biodiversity, we need a reliable, science-based organization that does the hard work to pin down where the life forms are. And that's NatureServe. Their Natural Heritage program is the best, most comprehensive effort to inventory and map the life that helps to make our places special. Thanks to NatureServe, we know much more about our biodiversity, and we stand a much better chance of conserving it for future generations.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been affiliated with NatureServe since they first launched and was a user and contributor of Natural Heritage data for many years prior. I'm a firm believer in the work they do as a fundemental building block for conservation work. It's not necessarily sexy and they don't spend money on slick calendars and gimmicky swag to sway prospective donors but they do the hard work to make sure that authoritative data and information are curated and available for agencies and the public to make informed decisions.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I think most people expect conservation science information from NatureServe. Well, so do I, but more importantly, I find that NS staff provide leadership in conservation science and data delelopment. They listen to what we know or need to know and forge into data development that is responsive and progressive. Their influence is obvious when I participate in conservation planning forums, not only at the national level but at every scale. Sometimes NS staff are at the table. Even when they are not, people that are present speak to the perspectives and data products that I recognize from NS leaders. I think the conservation community expects a lot from NS. I know that I do. - Dennis Figg