Director of Conservation Science
Areas of Expertise
Climate Resilience, Community Ecology, Conservation Planning, Landscape Ecology
Media ContactKaren Foerstel
Mark provides science leadership, ecological analysis, and landscape assessments for conservation efforts across 22 states in the Eastern United States. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from University of New Hampshire and has worked as an ecologist for over 30 years – 27 with The Nature Conservancy. He has published widely on climate change resilience, large landscape conservation, biodiversity, and forest dynamics. A co-author of the National Vegetation Classification, his current research interests focus on the intersection between ecological services, biodiversity, and geophysical properties. He manages a team of six scientists specializing in landscape ecology, aquatic and terrestrial connectivity, marine spatial planning, and regional data management.
In 2017, Mark received TNC’s Conservation Achievement Award for his work to identify climate resilient “strongholds” – areas where complex topographies, elevations and geologies allow them to withstand climate impacts and continue supporting people and nature. Mark and his team have created a comprehensive map of these strongholds across the continental United States which is being used by TNC, government agencies and other conservation organizations to prioritize the most important lands and waters to protect in order to sustain the diversity of life on Earth.
The Boston Globe
A new approach to conservation prioritizes land that can withstand climate change.
Finding and protecting the most climate-resilient places—and the paths species will take to get there.
Nature Conservancy magazine
Protecting the most diverse landscapes will help protect biodiversity by offering plants and animals the greatest number of options to cope with a changing climate. Mark Anderson calls these places resilient sites.
Beller, E., Spotswood, E., Robinson, A., Anderson, M.G., Higgs, E., Hobbs, R.J., Suding, K., Zavalata, E., Grenier, L, and R. Grossinger. 2019. Building ecological resilience in highly modified landscapes. BioScience 69 (1) pp 80–92.
Anderson, M.G., M. Clark, A. Olivero Sheldon, K. Hall, J. Platt, J. Prince, M. Ahlering, and M. Cornett. 2018. Resilient and Connected Landscapes for Terrestrial Conservation in the Central US. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science, Eastern Regional Office. Boston, MA.
McManamay RA, Troia MJ, DeRolph CR, Olivero Sheldon A, Barnett AR, Kao S-C, et al. 2018 A stream classification system to explore the physical habitat diversity and anthropogenic impacts in riverscapes of the eastern United States. PLoS ONE 13(6): e0198439.
Anderson, M.G., M.A. Ahlering, M. M. Clark, K.R. Hall, A. Olivero Sheldon, J. Platt and J. Prince. 2018. Resilient Sites for Terrestrial Conservation in the Great Plains. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science and North America Region. Boston MA.
Anderson, M.G. and Barnett, A. 2017. Resilient Coastal Sites for Conservation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science. Boston, MA
Anderson, M.G., Barnett, A., Clark, M., Prince, J., Olivero Sheldon, A. and Vickery B. 2016. Resilient and Connected Landscapes for Terrestrial Conservation. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science, Eastern Regional Office. Boston, MA.
Anderson, M.G. and Johnson, N. 2016. Maintaining Forest Diversity in a Changing Climate: a geophysical approach, in Sample, V.A., Bixler,R.P. and C. Mille eds. Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene: Science, Policy, and Practice. U of Colorado Press. Boulder. 346 p.
Anderson MG, Comer PJ, Beier P, Lawler J, Schloss C, Buttrick S, Albano C, Faith D. 2015. Case studies of conservation plans that incorporate geodiversity. Conservation Biology 29 (3) DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12503
Beier, P., Hunter, M.L., Anderson, M.G. 2015. Special Section: Conserving Nature's Stage. Conservation Biology 29 (3) 1523-1739.
Lawler J.J, Ackerly, D.D., Albano, C.M., Anderson, M.G., Dobrowski, S.Z., Gill, J.L., Heller, N.E., Pressey, R.L., Sanderson, E.W., Weiss, S. B. 2015. The theory behind, and challenges of, conserving nature’s stage in a time of rapid change. Conservation Biology 29:618–629. Abstract
Pelletier, D. Clark, M., Anderson, M.G., Rayfield, B., Wulder, M.A., Cardille, J.A. 2014. Applying Circuit Theory for Corridor Expansion and Management at Regional Scales: Tiling, Pinch Points, and Omnidirectional Connectivity. PLoSONE 9 (1)
Anderson, M.G., M. Clark, and A. Olivero Sheldon. 2014. Estimating Climate Resilience for Conservation across Geophysical Settings. Conservation Biology 28 (4) 1523-1739.
Anderson, M.G., A. Barnett, M. Clark, C. Ferree, A. Olivero Sheldon, and J.Prince. 2014. Resilient Sites for Terrestrial Conservation in the Southeast Region. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science. 127 pp.
Trombulak, S.C., R.F. Baldwin, J.J. Lawler, J. Cymerman-Hepinstall, and M.G. Anderson. 2012. Landscape-scale conservation planning for climate change in the Northern Appalachian/Acadian ecoregion. In: C. Chester, J. Hilty, and M. Cross, eds. Conservation and Climate Change: Ecoregional Science and Practice in a Changing Climate. Island Press.
Anderson, M.G., M. Clark, and A. Olivero Sheldon. 2012. Resilient Sites for Terrestrial Conservation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science. 168pp.
Anderson, M.G., and C.E. Ferree. 2010. Conserving the Stage: climate change and the geophysical underpinnings of species diversity. PLoSONE July (5): 7 e11554.