Our People

Jennifer McGowan

Spatial Planning Technical Coordinator

Arlington, Virginia, United States

Jennifer McGowan Jennifer McGowan, Spatial Planning Technical Coordinator © Luke McNee


spatial planning, prioritization, decision science


Matthew L. Miller


Jennifer is the Spatial Planning Technical Coordinator for TNC’s Global Science team and is responsible for supporting spatial action mapping under the Conservancy’s Shared Conservation Agenda. Jennifer’s work also focuses on the development and uptake of tailored decision-support tools for conservation prioritization and planning.

Jennifer has spent the last five years helping countries and NGOs around the world integrate decision-support tools into their biodiversity and conservation strategies.  She advised the spatial planning process which delivered the Coral Triangle’s largest multi-use marine park, Tun Mustapha Park in Malaysian Borneo, and has worked on a diverse range of prioritization problems from the highly contested waters of the Adriatic Sea to the remote seascapes of Papua New Guinea.

She has also invested a significant amount of time into teaching spatial planning theory and advancing the technical capacity of conservation practitioners. She has trained over 600 scientists and policy-makers across 15 countries in the world’s leading spatial planning decision-support tool, Marxan.  

Jennifer received her PhD in spatial conservation prioritization and decision science from the University of Queensland, Australia. She also holds an MA from San Francisco State University in Environmental Planning and Resource Management.

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