Open baskets filled with Pakistani spices

Catalyzing & Innovating

Conservation requires moving people to action with new ideas and new programs.  For 30 years I have been helping organizations recognize, organize and implement new approaches to achieving conservation.

I have been instrumental in:

  • Creating, funding and running two interdisciplinary graduate training programs at the University of Florida (Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation and Tropical Conservation and Development Program)
  • Developing the first ecoregional handbook for The Nature Conservancy (Designing a Geography of Hope: Guidelines for Ecoregion-based Conservation in The Nature Conservancy)
  • Reestablishing the American Bison Society on its 100th anniversary to bring together stakeholders from industry, Native American, government, academia and the NGO sector to develop and begin to implement a 100 year vision for the ecological restoration of bison.
  • Developing a vision to receive as a gift from Goldman Sachs a very large Wildlife Conservation Society private reserve in Chilean Tierra del Fuego and helping on strategic planning and research development (Karukinka Reserve, Chile)
  • Running the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Futures Group which considered future global scenarios that would affect WCS’ mission of wildlife and wildland conservation (see Futures of the Wild in “Resources”)
  • Serving an incubator function to test new program ideas, establish those that have broad acceptance, and hand them over to other parts of the institution (Ecoregional conservation at The Nature Conservancy; Landscape ecology and species programs at the Wildlife Conservation Society)
  • Writing synthetic forward-looking pieces on important issues in conservation (see “Resources”)

As the Principal at Archipelago I have:

  • Co-leading session on “novel entities” at the GEF-IUCN Global Commons workshop (2016) which led to preparation of a paper on novel entities for the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility
  • Presented invited seminars on synthetic biology and conservation to the US National Park Service and the US Department of Agriculture (a meeting of Latin American agricultural officials in Costa Rica)
  • Worked with IUCN’s Species Survival Commission to plan a workshop on synthetic biology and conservation at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center; I presented an invited talk at the workshop
  • Co-lead with Revive & Restore a workshop in 2015 entitled “New Genomic Solutions for Conservation Problems” to examine if and how synthetic biology technologies could be applied to intractable conservation problems.
  • Worked with colleagues and partners to survey the status of privately protected areas globally, write an IUCN technical document, and organize and run sessions at the 2014 World Parks Congress to promote the support and establishment of more PPAs.
  • Brought together the conservation and synthetic biology communities to create opportunities to discuss collaboration and written papers about the importance of mutual engagement.
  • Consulted with a large international NGO on growing its portfolio of wilderness investments.
  • Worked with the Global Environment Facility to help frame its new signature programs.
  • Worked with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on developing its new conservation strategy and subsequently serving on its Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel.
  • Advised the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on developing approaches to increasing funding for field programs and build a new field program on species conservation.
  • Spoken at three zoo and aquarium venues on the implications of synthetic biology for species conservation.
  • Developed and published new approaches to the interaction between ex-situ and in-situ conservation.