Our People

Timothy Boucher

Senior Conservation Geographer

Arlington, VA

Senior Conservation Geographer

Timothy Boucher Tim Boucher is "a world-class geographic information systems (GIS) scientist wo uses satellite data to monitor the status of healthy and threatened habitats." He is also a bird-crazy map guy who has braved civil war and landslides to find and see birds. © Dave Lauridsen for The Nature Conservancy


Conservation Science, Bioacoustics, Conservation Biology, Remote Sensing


Justine E. Hausheer


Tim Boucher is a conservation geographer at The Nature Conservancy. Working in international conservation science since 1998, he has used remote sensing and geographic information science to assess habitat condition, protection, and threats. He has conducted field assessments on six continents, applying spatial analyses to a wide range of conservation issues ranging from marine spawning aggregations in Belize to global land-cover analysis.

In 2012, he investigated the linkages between conservation and human well-being. This research assessed the condition of grassland conservation projects that have socio-economic components. Using satellite data, he tested whether the conservation action has resulted in improved or stabilized grassland condition by comparing the conservation area against control sites. This work was conducted in South Africa, Mongolia, Ecuador and Kenya.

He has also worked on the Dow Collaboration – one that will help businesses incorporate the value of nature into their decision-making. Specifically, he investigated the effects of climate change on coastal habitats and their value on mitigating natural hazards.

Recently, Tim led the Natural Infrastructure Theme in Central Science, which examined where and how natural solutions may be effective and economical alongside or instead of gray solutions (e.g., levees, sea walls), with the goal of contributing the evidence base that can inform investments made by communities, governments and industry.

Currently, Tim is working on developing novel, scientifically credible and cost effective ways to provide monitoring information for conservation project and programs.

Amongst his many publications, Tim is a co-author and the senior geographer for the Atlas of Global Conservation, and responsible for publishing the maps online. Tim is a South African native, has a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Maryland, enjoys photography, hiking, and is an avid birder with an enviable life list.Tim is also a regular contributor to Cool Green Science, blogging about birds, science and things that pique his interest.

Download Tim's Resume

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Deciding the Fate of Myanmar’s Forests

After decades of overharvesting, Myanmar’s forests teak are at a crisis point. Tim is collecting acoustic data to help Myanmar's government reform their forestry practices, which will help protect both the biodiversity within these forests and the ecosystem services they provide to Myanmar’s people.

Visit Timothy's Google Scholar Profile for a full list of publications.


Ayana, E.K., Fisher, J.R.B., Hamel, P. & Boucher, T.M. (2017). Identification of ditches and furrows using remote sensing: application to sediment modelling in the Tana watershed, Kenya. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 38, 4611–4630.

Fisher, J.R.B., Acosta, E.A., Dennedy-Frank, P.J., Kroeger, T. & Boucher, T.M. (2017). Impact of satellite imagery spatial resolution on land use classification accuracy and modeled water quality. Remote Sens Ecol Conserv. doi: 10.1002/rse2.61

Burivalova, Z., Towsey, M., Boucher, T., Truskinger, A., Apelis, C., Roe, P. & Game, E.T. (2017). Using soundscapes to detect variable degrees of human influence on tropical forests in Papua New Guinea. Conservation Biology.


McDonald, R., Kroeger, T., Boucher, T., Longzhu, W. & Salem, R. (2016). Planting healthy air: a global analysis of the role of urban trees in addressing particulate matter pollution and extreme heat. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA.

McDonald, R.I., Weber, K.F., Padowski, J., Boucher, T. & Shemie, D. (2016). Estimating watershed degradation over the last century and its impact on water-treatment costs for the world’s large cities. PNAS, 113, 9117–9122.

Reddy, S.M., Guannel, G., Griffin, R., Faries, J., Boucher, T., Thompson, M., Brenner, J., Bernhardt, J., Verutes, G., Wood, S.A., Silver, J.A., Toft, J., Rogers, A., Maas, A., Guerry, A., Molnar, J. & DiMuro, J.L. (2016). Evaluating the role of coastal habitats and sea-level rise in hurricane risk mitigation: An ecological economic assessment method and application to a business decision. Integr Environ Assess Manag, 12, 328–344.


Fisher, J.R., Boucher, T.M., Attwood, S.K. & Kareiva, P.M. (2014). How do we know an agricultural system is sustainable? The Nature Conservancy.

McDonald, R.I., Weber, K., Padowski, J., Flörke, M., Schneider, C., Green, P.A., Gleeson, T., Eckman, S., Lehner, B., Balk, D., Boucher, T., Grill, G. & Montgomery, M. (2014). Water on an urban planet: urbanization and the reach of urban water infrastructure. Global Environmental Change, 27, 96–105.


Boucher, T.M., Spalding, M. & Revenga, C. (2013). Role and trends of protected areas in conservation. In: Encyclopedia of Biodiversity (Second Edition). Academic Press, Waltham, pp. 485–503.

Leisher, C., Touval, J., Hess, S.M., Boucher, T.M. & Reymondin, L. (2013). Land and forest degradation inside protected areas in Latin America. Diversity, 5, 779–795.

Oakleaf, J.R., Kennedy, C.M., Boucher, T. & Kiesecker, J. (2013). Tailoring global data to guide corporate investments in biodiversity, environmental assessments and sustainability. Sustainability, 5, 4444–4460.

Sayre, R.G., et al. (2013). A new map of standardized terrestrial ecosystems of Africa. Association of American Geographers, Washington, D.C.


Butchart, S.H.M., et al. (2012). Protecting important sites for biodiversity contributes to meeting global conservation targets. PLOS ONE, 7, e32529.

Goldman-Benner, R., Benitez, S., Boucher, T., Calvache, A., Daily, G., Kareiva, P. & Ramos, A. (2012). Water funds and payments for ecosystem services: practice learns from theory and theory can learn from practice. Oryx, 46, 55–63.

Leisher, C., Hess, S., Boucher, T.M., Beukering, P. van & Sanjayan, M. (2012). Measuring the impacts of community-based grasslands management in Mongolia’s Gobi. PLOS ONE, 7, e30991.

Sanjayan, M., Samberg, L.H., Boucher, T. & Newby, J. (2012). Intact faunal assemblages in the modern era. Conservation Biology, 26, 724–730.


Leisher, C., Brouwer, R., Boucher, T.M., Vogelij, R., Bainbridge, W.R. & Sanjayan, M. (2011). Striking a balance: socioeconomic development and conservation in grassland through community-based zoning. PLOS ONE, 6, e28807.

McDonald, R.I. & Boucher, T.M. (2011). Global development and the future of the protected area strategy. Biological Conservation, 144, 383–392.

Rodríguez, J.P., Rodríguez-Clark, K.M., Baillie, J.E.M., Ash, N., Benson, J., Boucher, T., Brown, C., Burgess, N.D., Collen, B., Jennings, M., Keith, D.A., Nicholson, E., Revenga, C., Reyers, B., Rouget, M., Smith, T., Spalding, M., Taber, A., Walpole, M., Zager, I. & Zamin, T. (2011). Establishing IUCN red list criteria for threatened ecosystems. Conservation Biology, 25, 21–29.


Hoekstra, J., Molnar, J.L., Jennings, M., Revenga, C., Spalding, M.D., Boucher, T.M., Robertson, J.C., Heibel, T.J. & Ellison, K. (2010). The atlas of global conservation: changes, challenges, and opportunities to make a difference. University of California Press, Oakland, CA.


Parr, M.J., Bennun, L., Boucher, T., Brooks, T., Chutas, C.A., Dinerstein, E., Drummond, G.M., Eken, G., Fenwick, G., Foster, M., Martínez-Gómez, J.E., Mittermeier, R. & Molur, S. (2009). Why we should aim for zero extinction. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 24, 181.


Boucher, T. (2008). Animals Under Siege. TIME.

Jennings, M.D., Hoekstra, J., Higgins, J. & Boucher, T. (2008). A comparative measure of biodiversity based on species composition. Biodivers Conserv, 17, 833–840.

Stolton, S., Boucher, T., Dudley, N., Hoekstra, J., Maxted, N. & Kell, S. (2008). Ecoregions with crop wild relatives are less well protected. Biodiversity, 9, 52–55.

Wiens, J.A., Anderson, M.G. & Boucher, T. (2008). Land cover and conservation: from protected areas to landscapes. In: North America Land Cover Summit (eds. Campbell, J.C., Jones, K.B., Smith, J.H. & Koeppe, M.T.). Association of American Geographers, Washington, D.C., pp. 153–168.


Kareiva, P., Watts, S., McDonald, R. & Boucher, T. (2007). Domesticated nature: shaping landscapes and ecosystems for human welfare. Science, 316, 1866–1869.


Ricciardi, A., Jameson, S.C., McManus, E., Besançon, C., Johnson, T., Spalding, M., Kelleher, G., Boucher, T., Fish, L., Mora, C., Andréfouët, S., Costello, M.J., Kranenburg, C., Rollo, A., Veron, J., Gaston, K.J. & Myers, R.A. (2006). How protected are coral reefs? Science, 314, 757–760.


Hoekstra, J.M., Boucher, T.M., Ricketts, T.H. & Roberts, C. (2005). Confronting a biome crisis: global disparities of habitat loss and protection. Ecology Letters, 8, 23–29.

Ricketts, T.H., et al. (2005). Pinpointing and preventing imminent extinctions. PNAS, 102, 18497–18501.


Brooks, T.M., Bakarr, M.I., Boucher, T., Fonseca, G.A.B.D., Hilton-Taylor, C., Hoekstra, J.M., Moritz, T., Olivieri, S., Parrish, J., Pressey, R.L., Rodrigues, A.S.L., Sechrest, W., Stattersfield, A., Strahm, W. & Stuart, S.N. (2004). Coverage Provided by the Global Protected-Area System: Is It Enough? BioScience, 54, 1081–1091.

Calderón, R., Boucher, T., Bryer, M., Sotomayor, L. & Kappelle, M. (2004). Setting biodiversity conservation priorities in Central America: Action site selection for the development of a first portfolio.

Young, B.E., Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A. & Boucher, T.M. (2004). Disappearing jewels: the status of New World amphibians. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.