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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 Nature Conservancy’s Senior Science Advisor and the Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

Peter works closely with The Nature Conservancy’s President and CEO Mark Tercek, and serves as Chairman of its Science Cabinet, working with world-class science talent to advance the organization’s conservation mission. He is also a member of The Conservancy’s Science Council and as a member of the Board for its Science for Nature and People (SNAP) collaboration with other conservation organizations.

At UCLA, he directs an institute with more than 80 faculty members from academic departments across campus. Research is focused on environmental challenges such as climate change, air and water quality, biodiversity and conservation, energy, coastal and water resources, urban sustainability, corporate sustainability and environmental economics, with much of it coordinated through eight research centers.

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

Peter joined The Conservancy 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.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Peter has published more than 100 widely cited papers 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. He has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the Society for Conservation Biology.

Peter has taught at many other universities around the world (including Brown University, Uppsala University, University of Washington and University of Virginia) and authored six books.

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

Related Links

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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