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Jennifer Molnar


Jennifer Molnar

Lead Scientist, Sustainability Science

Jen Molnar is a scientific leader in incorporating nature into human decisions at the corporate and policy level. As lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, with a focus on sustainability science, she researches how we can improve society’s ability to make smarter decisions so that both nature and people can thrive. 

Jen’s current work focuses on achieving significant conservation outcomes through policy and corporate practices, including projects on sustainable agriculture and natural infrastructure. She is also the science lead for the TNC-Dow Chemical Company collaboration, demonstrating how a company can change its core decision-making to account for nature. This work has led to Dow’s ground-breaking ten-year Valuing Nature Goal – a commitment to consider nature in all of the Fortune 50 company’s capital, R&D, and real estate decisions by 2020, while aiming to generate $1B in business value from projects that are good for business and good for ecosystems. 

Jen has over 15 years of experience in applying science to decisions that improve the state of the natural world and how people depend on it, including through research, global assessments, corporate practice innovations, and environmental remediation.  

She frequently speaks on conservation topics at national and international conferences and has published widely in academic journals. She is editor and a lead author of The Atlas of Global Conservation (University of California Press, 2010). 

Jen received a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and now serves as a board member of the Alumni Association. She has a B.S. in environmental engineering from Harvard and has previous experience in hydrology and environmental remediation. 

Download Jen's CV

Read Jennifer Molnar's Full Biography

Studies by Jen

Blogs by Jen

Bringing Nature into the Engineer’s Toolbox

Mention engineering to a typical conservationist and thoughts turn to concrete. And lots of it. But perhaps that’s unfair, as engineers increasingly look to nature for solutions.

Jen In the News

 

Publications

Studies

Bringing Nature into the Engineer’s Toolbox

Mention engineering to a typical conservationist and thoughts turn to concrete. And lots of it. But perhaps that’s unfair, as engineers increasingly look to nature for solutions.

The Science of Valuing Nature Becoming Business as Usual

Can valuing nature become part of business as usual? Jen Molnar, Lead Scientist, shares the progress made by the Nature Conservancy’s collaboration with The Dow Chemical Company and the tools to take their findings mainstream.

The Business Case for Conservation

So there are numerous economic reasons for companies to consider how they rely on and impact the environment. The Conservancy is looking to make the economic case for investing in nature — to corporate culture at large.

Book

Hoekstra, J. M., J. L. Molnar, M. Jennings, C. Revenga, M. D. Spalding, T. M. Boucher, J. C. Robertson, T. J. Heibel, with K. Ellison. 2010. The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. Ed. J. L. Molnar. Berkeley: University of California Press

Articles

Molnar, J.L. The Power of NGO Science to Change Corporate Practices. In prep.

Meyer, S.R., J.L. Molnar, and P. Wheeler. Can Impact Capital Save Conservation? In review.

Molnar, J.L. and P Kareiva. 2015. Conservation chemistry. Chemistry & Industry, 79: 40.

Meyer, S.R., J.L. Molnar, and P. Wheeler. Can Impact Capital Save Conservation? In prep.

Reddy, S.W., D. Whipple, G. Guannel, R. Griffin, J. Faries, T. Boucher, J. Fisher, M. Thompson, J. Brenner, J. Bernhardt, G. Verutes, S. Wood, J. Silver, J. Toft, A. Rogers, A. Maas, A. Guerry, J.L. Molnar, J. DiMuro. Enabling Businesses to Evaluate the Role of Coastal Habitats in Hurricane Risk Mitigation. In prep.

Reddy, S.M.W., R.I. McDonald, A.S. Maas, A. Rogers, E.H. Girvertz, S. Wood, J.L. Molnar, T. Finley, G. Leathers, J. DiMuro. 2015. Identifying Hidden Water Risk in US River Basin. Water Resources and Industry. In press.

Reddy, S.W., R.I. McDonald, A. Maas, A. Rogers, E.H. Givertz, J. North, J.L.Molnar, T. Finley, G. Leathers, J. DiMuro. 2015. Finding solutions to water scarcity: A case study of incorporating ecosystem service values into business planning at The Dow Chemical Company’s Freeport facility. Ecosystem Services http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.12.001i.

DiMuro, J. and J.L. Molnar. 2013. The Economics of Ecosystems. Natural Resources & Environment. 28(1): 43-46.

Molnar, J.L. and I. Kubiszewski. 2012. Managing natural wealth: Research and implementation of ecosystem services in the United States and Canada. Ecosystem Services. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2012.09.005

Molnar, J.L., R. Gamboa, C. Revenga, M. Spalding. 2008. Assessing the Global Threat of Invasive Species to Marine Biodiversity. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 6(9): 485–492.

Spalding M.D., H.E. Fox, G.R. Allen, N. Davidson, Z.A. Ferdana, M. Finlayson, B.S. Halpern, M.A. Jorge, A. Lombana, S.A. Lourie, K.D. Martin, E. McManus, J.L. Molnar, C.A. Recchia, J. Robertson. 2007. Marine Ecoregions of the World: a bioregionalization of coast and shelf areas. BioScience. 57(7): 573-583.

Spalding M., H. Fox, N. Davidson, Z. Ferdana, M. Finlayson, B. Halpern, M. Jorge, A. Lombana, S. Lourie, K. Martin, E. McManus, J. Molnar, K. Newman, C. Recchia, J. Robertson. 2006. Global Coastal and Marine Biogeographic Regionalization as a Support Tool for Implementation of CBD Programmes of Work. COP8 Information Document 34. Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada

Molnar J., M. Marvier, and P. Kareiva. 2004. The Sum Is Greater than the Parts. Conservation Biology 18 (6), 1670-1671.

Molnar, J. and K. Goodridge. 1997. Methane Production and Transport within the Marsh Biome of Biosphere 2. NASA Technical Report 19990021123 

As lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, Jen provides thought leadership on improving society’s ability to create a more sustainable future for nature and people, including through corporate practices and policy. 

Jen has 15 years of experience bringing science to decisions that improve the state of the natural world and how people depend on it, including through research, global assessments, corporate practice innovations, and environmental remediation. 
 
She is the science lead for the TNC-Dow Chemical Company collaboration
to incorporate nature and the value it provides to people into corporate decision-making. This work has led to Dow’s ground-breaking ten-year Valuing Nature Goal – a commitment to consider nature in all of the Fortune 50 company’s capital, R&D, and real estate decisions by 2020, while aiming to generate $1B in business value from projects that are good for business and good for ecosystems.

Most recently, Jen was the director of science for The Nature Conservancy, where she was responsible for helping the Conservancy bring the best possible science to the organization's evolving conservation work. She led an interdisciplinary program of scientists and economists dedicated to cutting-edge research and practice on ecosystem services, social science and economics, climate science, conservation methods and measures, and science communications.  

Jen joined The Nature Conservancy in 2004 as part of an international team of scientists that collected, tracked, and analyzed global data to inform conservation. She was editor and co-author of The Atlas of Global Conservation (University of California Press, 2010). Partnering with some 70 institutions around the world, she and her Conservancy co-authors compiled and developed an unprecedented number of global maps to describe the state of the natural world. Jen worked with partners to make all of the data behind the global maps publicly available online. She led global analyses of habitat condition and threats with a focus on marine and freshwater systems, including the first global assessment of the distribution, pathways, and ecological impacts of marine invasive species.

Jen has been both a Sawhill Global Leadership Fellow and a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow. She is recognized as a global thought leader in sustainability science, speaking frequently at national and international conferences, and publishing widely in the academic literature.
 
Jen received a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she studied the impacts of land use change on coastal ecosystems and now serves as a board member of the Alumni Association.  She has a B.S. in environmental engineering from Harvard and has previous experience in hydrology and environmental remediation.

 

Contact

Geraldine Henrich-Koenis
Media Contact
Phone: (703) 841-3939
E-mail: ghenrich-koenis@tnc.org

Areas of Expertise

  • Sustainability
  • Valuing Nature's Benefits
  • Climate Change Adaptation

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