Our People

Susan Cook-Patton

Senior Forest Restoration Scientist


Susan Cook-Patton, Senior Forest Restoration Scientist at TNC.

Susan Cook-Patton Susan Cook-Patton is Senior Forest Restoration Scientist for The Nature Conservancy. © Peter Ellis

Areas of Expertise

Reforestation, Forest Restoration, Natural Climate Solutions, Carbon Accounting, Ecosystem Function


Susan Cook-Patton is a Senior Forest Restoration Scientist on the Natural Climate Solutions Science Team at The Nature Conservancy. She works to quantify the climate mitigation potential of reforestation and other natural climate solutions and infuse the best-available science into policy decisions. To do this, she collaborates with scientists across the globe, and from academic, government, and other non-governmental organizations.

She has over a decade of experience leading scientific investigations into how changes in biodiversity and climate are impacting forest, grassland, and urban ecosystems. Before joining the Nature Conservancy in 2016, she was a policy fellow at the US Forest Service and a research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Susan holds a PhD in Community Ecology from Cornell University, and bachelor degrees in Biology, Psychology and English from Indiana University.

Her publications cover topics ranging broadly from invasive species to prehistoric Native American middens to climate change impacts on mangrove forests. Her work can be found in leading journals, such as Nature, Nature Climate Change, Science Advances, and Global Change Biology. As an avid proponent of effective science communication, she has shared much of her research with the public via videos for grade school classrooms, public lectures, and major news outlets such as National Public Radio, the BBC and The Guardian.

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