The Nature Conservancy in Illinois announced today the promotion of Dr. Jeff Walk to director of science from conservation planner. In this role, Walk will oversee planning, research and management of Conservancy-protected sites in the state. He will also collaborate with neighboring states and international programs to protect connected ecosystems.
“I am enthusiastic about Jeff working in this role that will allow him to expand his contribution to natural areas management,” said Bob Moseley, director of conservation for the Conservancy in Illinois.
Walk joined the Conservancy in 2007 and has served as a conservation planner since that time. Previously, he was a research scientist with the Illinois Natural History Survey and a professor of biology and environmental science at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. Walk received his doctorate and master degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“It’s an honor to serve the Conservancy in this role,” said Walk. “The Conservancy has a long commitment of using science to develop solutions to conservation challenges, and I’m looking forward to working with the science team on innovative strategies.”
A life-long Illinois resident, Walk grew up on a family farm, where he developed a strong connection to land and water and the importance of managing it well. He is especially eager to pursue solutions through Conservancy-led research at the Franklin Demonstration Farm on the Mackinaw River. “Agriculture has an important role to play in conservation,” he said, “and I look forward to participating in those conversations.”
Walk also serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Audubon Society, the Illinois Ornithological Society, and is past president of the Illinois Wildlife Society. He and his wife reside in Toulon, Illinois, near Peoria. They frequently explore the state’s landscape by running and biking.
Walk noted that, “the Illinois landscape has changed tremendously over time – and yet it remains beautiful. We still have remarkable natural areas and abundant resources to conserve for current and future generations.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.