Maine's Director of Science, Samantha Horn
Samantha Horn Maine's Director of Science, Samantha Horn © TNC


The Nature Conservancy in Maine Welcomes Samantha Horn as Next Director of Science

A leading expert in natural resource-based planning, policy, and public decision-making

Brunswick, ME

The Nature Conservancy in Maine (TNC) has hired Samantha Horn, a leading expert in natural resource-based planning, policy, and public decision-making, as its next Director of Science. She will begin her work at TNC on October 1.

Horn's experience in conservation science and conflict resolution has spanned the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors—including stints working for TNC as a preserve caretaker in California and a prescribed burn crew member in Minnesota. Since 1999, she has worked for Maine state agencies, including the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Department of Marine Resources, and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. For the past decade, she has managed the planning staff at Maine's Land Use Planning Commission, and currently serves as the commission's acting executive director.

At TNC, Horn will lead a team of scientists, land stewards, and conservation planners in identifying and implementing solutions to major environmental challenges and advancing the organization's conservation vision in Maine. Horn will also facilitate the Maine chapter's scientific collaboration across TNC, as well as with TNC's outside science partners in academia, agencies, and non-profits, building and enhancing the way conservation is carried out for the benefit of nature and people.

Horn cited TNC's work finding solutions to climate change as a particular inspiration for her. "Effective action on climate change requires natural and social scientists working in partnership with the community," she said. "The Nature Conservancy is a leader in identifying and nurturing science-based approaches to climate change that are workable for people and the planet. I couldn't be more pleased to join this talented and dedicated team in pursuit of a sustainable future."

"Science-based conservation planning is so critical to Maine and to the planet, and it's getting more important every day," said Kate Dempsey, State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine. "Samantha understands this deeply. She has a demonstrated commitment to and understanding of rural communities, extensive experience at the intersection of science and human issues, and a proven track record leading high-performing teams. All of this makes her the ideal person to step into this important role at a pivotal moment for Maine and the nation."

Horn has a Masters in Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a focus on conflict resolution in natural resource issues, and a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She previously served as chair of the RSU #38 School Board, and is currently President of the Maine Association of Planners.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.