My association with NatureServe dates to the founding of the organization at which time I was the natural resources program manager for the Department of the Air Force. In that capacity I was responsible for ensuring compliance with environmental laws and sound natural resources stewardship was practiced on Air Force lands. The nearly nine million acres of Air Force land is distributed throughout the country and is typically characterized by high biological diversity and other important environmental values. Ensuring sound stewardship of the Air Force lands was imperative for the accomplishment of the Air Force’s primary mission of military testing and training. Although the Air Force, as well as the other military services, maintain professional staffs to manage the natural resources on individual installations, those individuals often required assistance in dealing with specific issues involving critical species management. For that reason the Department of Defense established a partnership with NatureServe to assist in the management of its critical species management programs as well as other efforts for the general conservation and enhancement of biological diversity. Over the years that partnership has yielded spectacular results and directly enabled the military services to effectively manage their natural resources programs. NatureServe has felicitated access to Natural Heritage databases and other resources to help military natural resources managers make assessments of the status of individual species on their lands. Additionally, they have provided resources to assist military planners in reducing the impact of future military operations on sensitive species and they have provided educational resources to help inform military natural resources managers of current issues and strategies for enhancing biological diversity on military lands.
Since my retirement from the Air Force, I continue to use NatureServe programs and resources. For example, as an active member of the Arizona Native Plant Society, I and others in our organization working on the protection of Arizona’s native flora have found NatureServe’s Explorer website to be an invaluable source for information on the status of the sensitive plants and ecosystems we are attempting to protect.
In summary, NatureServe is an outstanding organization which provides truly unique and priceless resources to government agencies, private industry, environmental organizations, and individuals seeing to protect and enhance biological diversity.
NatureServe is committed to using science to inform conservation. There is clearly a deep culture of scientific integrity and value for biodiversity. NatureServe protects endangered species and ecosystems by harnessing large amounts of knowledge and data while also connecting to small projects and groups. I have personally met NatureServe's CEO and am impressed with her tireless commitment, energy and vision. this is truly one of the most important nature non-governmental organizations.
NatureServe is amazingly effective and is unique in its ability to bring together the power of a Network of Heritage programs throughout the world to address big questions. Their receipt of the 2014 MacArthur award for being a Creative and Effective institution reflects this. NatureServe Scientists are leaders in conservation science and NatureServe is working with a broad set of partners to help lead conservation and provide answers to big questions.
I was recently hired by NatureServe to facilitate a conversation among the Board of Directors and Senior Professional Team on deepening lay leadership engagement and strengthening the lay/professional partnership to accelerate the organization's exciting strategic direction. From the moment I met the NatureServe team, I was wowed! by their strategic acumen, passion for conservation, and commitment to achieving even greater excellence.
Andrea B. Wasserman
President and Founder of Social Profit Ventures
NatureServe is about science. It's about fundamentally understanding the bits and pieces of nature, seeing how they fit together, and doing everything in their modest power to bring this understanding to others. Their method combines the information gathered from 80+ conservation data centers with hundreds of top-notch biologists together with their talented science staff to provide relevant, meaningful biodiversity information.
The end-goal is science-based conservation and this is steeped in deep knowledge of the natural world, the bits and pieces of nature, understood and disseminated by this incredible organization.
Natureserve is a very special nonprofit. The core of it was originally the science staff from The Nature Conservancy, back when TNC had biological staff. TNC funded it for several years, after which Natureserve needed to find its own funding, which it has, and successfully so.
Natureserve is the "mother ship" for the large array of natural heritage programs found in the United States. Natural heritage programs track the locations and status of all of the rare and endangered and special status species and natural communities in the country. There is a program in each state, as well as in Canadian provinces and in several countries in Latin America. They are all tied together by common methodology and philosophy and, to some extent technology, maintained by Natureserve. It's a big job!
I am continually impressed with the professionalism and talent found at Natureserve. I've worked for them (briefly), or with them as a colleague in another agency, for many years and count many of the staff as friends. This is a nonprofit truly worth supporting.
NatureServe is a unique institution gathering and synthesizing the best science to inform natural resource policies and the conservation of critical habitats.
I've worked with NatureServe for over a decade and they have been an essential partner in helping our organization achieve its mission. They have helped us with technical expertise, scientific review/feedback (especially taxonomic expertise), strategic planning, and fundraising. Their annual conferences help us network with other organizations, give us with new ideas/inspiration, and provide training. Their staff have always been professional and helpful.
We would be hard pressed to achieve our goal of having the best scientific information for New Mexico without NatureServe's assistance.
NatureServe is responsible for something most people presume the US (or Canadian) government would be doing: keeping the definitive database of endangered species and endangered ecosystems in the US (and in Canada).
NatureServe is a network of dedicated biologists across the US and Canada, who collaborate to ensure this information is not only stewarded and updated, but made accessible, for free, on line, to any interested person, schoolroom, or researcher.
As a board member (unpaid, as are all non-profit board members) for NatureServe, I have an insiders' view, and am hugely impressed with the devotion to mission and careful stewardship of resources at NatureServe.
NatureServe is one of the greatest non-profits that I have worked with. They provide essential data, data management management, organized thinking and useful tools for conservation. NatureServe takes on conservation standards, which is the less glamorous part of conservation, but is absolutely fundamental. And they do it extremely well. NatureServe provides standard template for ranking species and ecosystems that has been adopted around the word.
Go and grow NatureServe!
NatureServe is an outstanding organization. I have worked closely with the staff for many years and depend on them for the highest quality and most complete information on biodiversity and ecosystems. This data is essential to inform planning and management decisions across the United States and internationally. NatureServe does what state and federal natural resource agencies should be doing - collecting, maintaining, sharing, interpreting, and data on biodiversity, in a consistent and efficient manner.
I have worked with NatureServe over the last 8 years and found them to be an outstanding not for profit. They are well run with a dedicated team of employees. They are committed to their mission and their focus on nature and the environment are to be commended.
Bill Aiton, President
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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
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.
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.