We build custom teams for each project, calling on diverse experts. We work with designers, environmental lawyers, environmental policy experts, farmers, fishermen, indigenous people, ranchers, PhD scientists, and other innovators and entrepreneurs. We therefore have a great deal of flexibility to tailor the three core services described below.
Research, analysis, & synthesis
We investigate the literature to summarize the state-of-the-science as a basis for conservation action, municipal or regional planning, and sustainability for people and nature. Disciplines range from agroecology, biodiversity, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, ecology, governance, hydrology, nature’s benefits or ecosystem services, ocean sciences, and improving conservation practice. Products have included annotated bibliographies, syntheses of cutting-edge research, and expert response to science advisory teams.
Experimental design, statistics & decision tools
If you need to assess the effectiveness of a program or experiment, the most powerful place to start is in the design phase. We consult on experimental design, conduct statistical analyses, and can report back on program results. We conduct geographic information system (GIS) analyses, most often in combination with decision tools focused on coastal resilience, ecosystem-based management, ecosystem services and potential trade-offs, integrated land-sea management (also called ridge-to-reef management), living shorelines, and anticipating vulnerabilities to sea-level rise and storm surge.
Emerging fields in conservation
Investments in nature-based solutions, payments for ecosystem services, and climate-smart restoration are examples of emerging avenues for building a robust and resilient future. For example, climate-smart restoration asks restoration practitioners to design habitats not only for today’s water, weather, and ecosystem conditions, but for those of the future. We can introduce your organization to emerging ideas, their applications, and their utility to your mission. Previous work with the Natural Capital Project, the Nature Conservancy, and the federal system of National Estuarine Research Reserves gives us a solid foundation in these emerging fields.
These emerging fields in conservation are making their way into legislation and mandates. Agencies that steward land, freshwater, or oceans – national marine sanctuaries; wildlife agencies; federal, state, and regional land managers; and water agencies, among others – are being asked to meet new requirements. For example, in late 2015, the White House directed all federal agencies to incorporate ecosystem services and natural infrastructure into their management. Integrated regional water management plans now must address climate change. We can provide scientific guidance for how to successfully and efficiently meet new mandates in alignment with existing agency mandates. In translating the most recent scientific research to options for implementation, we consult on converting strategy to action. We listen carefully to who you are as an organization, your values and culture, and the course you are charting.
Over the course of ten years of working with Joanna Nelson, I have found her to be very reliable, thoughtful, and thorough, yet still efficient and timely. Joanna excels at brainstorming while designing new experiments and at thinking “outside the box.” She shows mastery at all the skills involved in planning, conducting, and evaluating research projects. She is organized and provides excellent, critical feedback on scientific literature and technical reports. She can provide structure, creativity, and analysis for any project – I most highly recommend working with her.