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Future Earth

Bio, Publications

I am the Director of the Colorado Global Hub of Future Earth, as well as a principle in the Sustainability Innovation Lab and Research Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and I am a Senior Scholar in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. In addition, I am the executive editor of Conservation Magazine, which will soon re-launch as Anthropocene, a flagship product of the Future Earth Media Lab. I also serve on the advisory board of the Leopold Leadership Program.

Some Context: As a Global Hub Director, I am part of the globally distributed Future Earth executive team. I work closely with a local hub team focusing on capacity building, research enabling, and communication, and I also work with a globally-distributed secretariat, our set of international science and engagement advisors, and the Future Earth Governing Council. A lot of my work is with partners, inside and outside of Future Earth.

What I do: The goal of all my work is to support a transition to a more sustainable relationship between people and the rest of the planet. Future Earth is at the heart of this work: generating global sustainability science relevant to societies, connecting research communities across disciplines and geographies and connecting these communities to societal partners, Future Earth will help drive a step change in how international science engages with societal partners and stakeholders. Anthropocene is also central, because evidence-based solution-oriented independent journalism is fundamental, both for building the conversations we need to have across societies, and for working our way to the narrative we need for a rapid transition to a more sustainable future.

Prior to my current positions, I founded the Luc Hoffmann Institute, a collaborative research center embedded within the secretariat of WWF International. In that capacity, I built the institute, initiated a global fellows program, and launched a dozen or so research projects, including work on the Food-Energy-Water nexus in South-East Asia, Development corridors in East Africa, the mapping of global threats to biodiversity, and the development of regionally-appropriate low-carbon sustainability targets for urban areas.

Prior to this work, I was the Maggie and Doug Walker Endowed Professor of Natural History at the University of Washington, where my work focused on global change issues, including the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, the potential of landscape connectivity to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and the impacts of species loss on ecosystem function. I am an ecologist by training, I have published over 100 peer reviewed papers, and been lucky enough to get a good number of these in top journals (Nature, Science, PNAS etc), and I have worked both within and outside of academic institutions to build structures and processes that bring science together across disciplines and increase the impact of science on decision-making.

I received my BA from Prescott College in 1992 and my PhD from the University of Montana in 2000.