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2017 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

79 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

NatureServe has been a great partner over the last 10 years in providing timely and relevant information to help in conservation decisions. They have also helped provide tools to better manage biodiversity information.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

A network of people from a variety of organizations with cross functional roles all trying to work together for a purpose. Its something to be apart of.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I personally have known and worked with many of the staff in NatureServe for many years. They are all top-notch professionals who are enormously dedicated to nature conservation and providing North America in particular with biodiversity information that all public and non-profit conservation organizations must have to get our jobs done. Their classifications of ecosystems and conservation rankings of species are everyday parlance of most state and federal natural resource agencies. NatureServe fills a very unique niche among conservation nonprofits - they along with state natural heritage programs are managers and disseminators of invaluable data on the status and distribution of plants, animals, and habitats in North America.

Donor

Rating: 4

NatureServe is the information engine for conservation. They have a clear vision, top scientists, and great integrity to their work. While what they do isn't as glamorous as saving whales or fuzzy pandas, it's essential to conservation. I know the organization well and trust it with my donation.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a staff member of a state natural areas agency, I have worked with NatureServe since it was created. NatureServe gives our state agency National/International priorities on the species and natural communities we protect, keeps us in communication with other similar programs around the nation and the world, allows us to add our data to analyses of larger areas, provides us with common classifications and nomenclature, and provides many other services. Simply, NatureServe makes us more important that we would be otherwise. We depend on them!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

More than just the leading source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems in the Americas, NatureServe is full of bright, intelligent and passionate people who find effective ways to support conservation action with new technologies and partnerships.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NatureServe provides a framework for managing and sharing conservation information that is not available from any other source. It also plays a critical role in coordinating the efforts of the 85 US and international natural heritage programs and conservation data centers. NatureServe and the partner programs play a significant role supporting the protection of rare species and the establishment of conservation lands across North American and Central America. These conservation lands, whether state or national parks, wildlife refuges, or watershed protection initiatives are critically important to the ecological health of our planet and the well-being of its citizens.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have worked with NatureServe and some of their scientific and technical staff, administration, and leadership since 1997. NatureServe has incredible staff who always do a great job providing technical expertise and assistance; providing high quality and useful training, tools, and information; facilitating communication and collaboration among the natural heritage network and its many partners; providing leadership and support for the natural heritage network and biodiversity conservation internationally. NatureServe has facilitated and contributed to biodiversity conservation in so many ways. NatureServe is a fantastic and invaluable organization and resource.

Anthony Z.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former research associate and an ecologist currently working in Ontario, Canada, I use NatureServe's Biodiversity Explorer tool routinely to obtain information on conservation priority species. I have personally benefited from the many insightful articles and papers written by NatureServe's network of conservation experts.