Dr. Bryan Piazza, director of freshwater and marine science for The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana, provides scientific support and strategic guidance for freshwater and coastal conservation and restoration projects in Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico coast and the Mississippi River basin. 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.
A frequent speaker before scientific and non-technical audiences, Bryan has spoken before audiences of various sizes across the world on issues ranging from ecological restoration to water management. He is experienced delivering and moderating plenaries, lectures, and panel discussions and has also delivered print, radio, and video media interviews. Bryan is a past Fellow of the Loyola University Institute for Environmental Communication. As a current member of The Nature Conservancy’s Science Impact Project, he has been trained in the Alda Center Method of science communication as well as the delivery of effective presentations, media interviews, and talks in the style of TED conferences.
Bryan’s current projects include 1) the Atchafalaya River Basin Initiative – conservation and restoration of America’s largest river swamp; 2) development and expansion of The Freshwater Network – an online decision support network for freshwater resources; 3) developing innovative ways to deliver technical information into statewide water policy development in Louisiana; 4) applying environmental and social science to improve conservation, restoration, and management of oyster habitat across the northern Gulf of Mexico; 5) understanding the role of habitat and hydrologic restoration in nutrient cycling; and 6) using market-based approaches to incentivize conservation. He also currently serves as the science and science communication team leader for TNC’s America’s Great River Project and worked on the development of Gulf of Mexico Resilience Decision Support Tool.
Bryan also mentors undergraduate and graduate students across a range of disciplines – all aimed at developing cutting-edge science and educating future leaders. He leads the TNC-Louisiana Conservation Fellows Program and serves as adjunct assistant professor at Louisiana State University, where he also teaches a course on environmental decision making, Nicholls State University, and Southern Illinois University.
Prior to joining TNC, Bryan applied research in aquatic systems across the Louisiana coast, particularly focused on the effects of re-connecting the Mississippi River to its coastal wetlands and restoring oyster reefs. He has developed ecological metrics to measure restoration success and has experience developing coastal policy, managing habitat restoration projects, developing monitoring protocols, and installing scientific monitoring instrumentation.
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 lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife and two gregarious sons.