Valerie Pietsch McNulty
Conservation Scientist, Caribbean Division
Valerie Pietsch McNulty (Val) is Conservation Scientist for The Nature Conservancy's Caribbean Division. She specializes in geospatial analysis and marine ecosystem modeling, which she uses to develop conservation decision-support tools and to support effective solutions for ocean protection, habitat restoration and climate resilience.
Val has developed a suite of apps in Google Earth Engine and ArcGIS Online to deliver scientific data to stakeholders in an interactive and user-friendly format, for both The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Division and its Hawai’i-Palmyra Program. Most recently, she developed a comprehensive suite of monitoring and evaluation data, with an accompanying online dashboard, to improve the processes through which the organization tracks its conservation impact.
Her current work includes using remote-sensing technologies to evaluate and utilize the blue carbon storage potential of mangroves; creating models to prioritize coral reef restoration and insurance efforts; completing marine spatial planning for improved ocean protection and management; and creating models to analyze the costs and benefits of reef and mangrove restoration initiatives.
Val has been with The Nature Conservancy since 2017. Prior to joining the Caribbean Division, she worked in migratory species conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and urban heat island mitigation in New York City. She has previously worked at the NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.
Val earned an M.A. in climate and society from Columbia University and a B.S. in environmental engineering with a minor in the science of earth systems from Cornell University. She is also a certified scientific diver through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences.