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 Peter Kareiva

Peter Kareiva, Ph.D.

Chair of the Science Cabinet

VIDEO: Watch Peter Kareiva's talk about a "new environmentalism" as part of the National Academy of Sciences Distinctive Voices program.

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Peter Kareiva is the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where he is responsible for developing and helping to implement science-based conservation throughout the organization and for forging new linkages with partners. 

Peter joined The Nature Conservancy’s staff in 2002 after more than 20 years in academics and work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he directed the Northwest Fisheries Science Center Conservation Biology Division. In addition to his duties as the Conservancy’s chief scientist, his current projects emphasize the interplay of human land-use and biodiversity, resilience in the face of global change, and marine conservation. 

Peter publishes prolifically, having authored over 100 scientific articles in such diverse fields as mathematical biology, fisheries science, insect ecology, risk analysis, genetically engineered organisms, agricultural ecology, population viability analysis, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology and global climate change. In 2007, Peter was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the Society for Conservation Biology. 

Peter also cofounded (with Gretchen Daily and Taylor Ricketts) the Natural Capital Project, a pioneering partnership among The Nature Conservancy, Stanford University and WWF to develop credible tools that allow routine consideration of nature’s assets (or ecosystem services) in a way that informs the choices we make everyday at the scale of local communities and regions, all the way up to nations and global agreements. 

Peter maintains connections with several universities and still advises students and teaches courses. He has taught at over eight different Universities around the world (including Brown University, Uppsala University, University of Washington and University of Virginia) and authored six books. In addition to conducting research, Peter believes that general communications and writing are essential in science, and has written (with Dr. Michelle Marvier of Santa Clara University) the just-published conservation textbook Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature (Roberts & Company 2010). 

In May 2011, Peter Kareiva was named a member of the National Academy of Sciences for his excellence in original scientific research.

Peter received a master’s of science degree in environmental biology from the University of California, Irvine, and his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. 

Read Peter Kareiva, Ph.D.'s Full Biography

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Blog Posts by Peter Kareiva 

Finding the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders: Conservation tends to be old, white and suburban -- which is why Peter thinks it should go younger, urban and diverse.
Why We Engage With the Energy Industry: It’s For Nature: Why is Peter glad the Conservancy works with BP wind energy and gas exploration?
Worry About Air Pollution, Not Just Climate Change: Global warming is a big challenge -- but why can't conservation organizations also pay attention to global pollution as a whole?
Children and Their Carbon Legacy: What does population growth mean for the world's greenhouse gas emissions? It depends on where you live. 

Recent Articles by Peter Kareiva 

Why are Scientists Bad Communicators? It's an epidemic -- and it's preventing the public from getting important information, says Peter in this Science magazine article.
The End of the Wild? Humans have almost completely domesticated nature, argues Peter -- and it's up to science to help us domesticate it more wisely.
Conservation for the People: What's the best reason to do conservation? Peter and Michelle Marvier write in Scientific American that it's to benefit people.
Sell Off Some Protected Areas? Yes, writes Peter in Nature -- cashing in on some less effective ones would pay for priority conservation.


Protected Areas: Trade In to Trade Up


Kareiva, P. 2010. Conservation science: Trade-in to trade-up. Nature 466:322-323 doi:10.1038/466322a.

Science Communication: It's Bad, But Can Get Better


Kareiva, P. 2010. Am I Making Myself Clear? A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public. Science 327:34-35.

Climate Wizard


Girvetz, E. H., C. Zganjar, G. T. Raber , E. P. Maurer, P. Kareiva, J. J. Lawler. (2009) Applied climate-change analysis: The Climate Wizard tool. PLoS One 4: e8320, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008320.

Nature Experience and Conservation Support


Zaradic, P. A., O. R. W. Pergams, P. Kareiva. 2009. The impact of nature experience on willingness to support conservation. PLoS ONE 4: e7367, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007367.

Protected Areas and Cities


McDonald, R. I., R. T. T. Forman, P. Kareiva, R. Neugarten, D. Salzer, J. Fisher. 2009. Urban effects, distance, and protected areas in an urbanizing world. Landscape and Urban Planning 93:63–75.

Resource Management and Climate Change


Lawler, J. J., T. H. Tear, C. Pyke, M. R. Shaw, P. Gonzalez, P. Kareiva, L. Hansen, L. Hannah, K. Klausmeyer, A. Aldous, C. Bienz, and S. Pearsall. 2009. Resource management in a changing and uncertain climate. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7, doi:10.1890/070146.

Easements and Conservation


Fishburn, I. S., P. Kareiva, K. J. Gaston, and P. R. Armsworth. 2009. The growth of easements as a conservation tool. PLoS One 4: e4996.

The World Bank and Conservation


Kareiva, P., A. Chang, and M. Marvier. 2008. Development and conservation goals in World Bank projects. Science 321:1638-1639.



Peter Kareiva

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