Bryan Piazza is the director of freshwater and marine science for The Nature Conservancy’s Louisiana Chapter. Bryan’s work focuses on developing and implementing freshwater and coastal science to support conservation and restoration both in Louisiana and in collaboration with other Conservancy programs (Gulf of Mexico, Global Marine Team, Great Rivers Partnership). He also enjoys engaging graduate students in conservation issues. Bryan serves as adjunct assistant professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at Louisiana State University, where he teaches a course on environmental decision making.
Bryan’s work focuses on the connection between science, resource management, and environmental policy and the role of decision making in that space. In that capacity, he works with talented teams on the development science-based decision making processes, decision-support tools, and products for engaging stakeholders in conservation and restoration. Current projects include 1) using spatial analysis to identify priority areas for conservation in the Atchafalaya River Basin; 2) development of a statewide freshwater assessment for Louisiana and Mississippi; 3) working with public, academic, private and political stakeholders to develop and implement a basin-wide decision making and management structure in the Atchafalaya River Basin in Louisiana; and 4) applying environmental and social science to improve management of oyster habitat across the northern Gulf of Mexico. He also worked on the development of TNC’s Gulf of Mexico Resilience Decision Support Tool and provides consultation on stakeholder application of that tool. Bryan is also interested in the role of habitat and hydrologic restoration in nutrient cycling and using market-based approaches to incentivize conservation.
Prior to joining TNC, Bryan designed and implemented applied research in aquatic systems across the Louisiana coast, particularly focused on the effects of re-connecting the Mississippi River to the coastal wetlands that it created and restoring oyster reefs. He specializes in developing ecosystem metrics to measure restoration success in aquatic systems. He also has experience developing coastal policy, managing projects to restore coastal wetlands, and developing monitoring protocols and installing instrumentation to monitor the effects of these projects.
Bryan has a B.S. in Wildlife Management and Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, an M.S. in Wildlife Science from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in Oceanography and Coastal Science from Louisiana State University. He has published on a number of conservation and restoration topics and is the author of a book titled The Atchafalaya River Basin – History and Ecology of an American Wetland. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife and two gregarious sons.
- The Atchafalaya River Basin: History and Ecology of an American Wetland
- Louisiana Freshwater Assessment
- Mississippi Freshwater Assessment
- Coastal Resilience Gulf of Mexico Decision Support Tool