Three people standing on Burnt Mountain in Vermont, looking at the view.
Exploring Burnt Mountain Vermont staff hike to the top of Burnt Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom. © Eve Frankel/TNC

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The Nature Conservancy’s Dr. Mark Anderson Receives Prestigious Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award

Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Center for Resilient Conservation Science Mark Anderson has received the distinguished Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award from the Land Trust Alliance.

Anderson was recognized for his ground-breaking work to identify a network of climate resilient landscapes across the United States that can provide plant and animal species refuge from droughts, floods, and other growing threats from climate change.

For the past 10 years, Anderson worked with more than 150 scientists to map this “Resilient and Connected Network” and develop an online mapping tool that allows government agencies, land managers, local communities, and other decision-makers to locate these special lands and take conservation action that will help nature overcome climate threats now and into the future.

“The resiliency science Mark is leading is a game-changer for the conservation community,” said Jan Glendening, The Nature Conservancy’s Regional Managing Director for North America. “We now have a roadmap that shows how nature can thrive in the face of climate change.”

Andrew Bowman, president and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance, said Anderson’s work is now used by land trusts throughout the nation to help them identify and secure lands that are and will continue to be resilient to the impacts of climate change.

“For years, Mark has been at the forefront of climate science and how to combine it effectively with ecology,” Bowman said. “For his visionary climate work and his longstanding commitment to the land trust community, we are honored to name Mark this year’s Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award winner.”

The Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award honors people who have enriched the conservation community with their outstanding leadership, innovation, and creativity in land conservation.

With the award, Anderson will serve as the Kingsbury Browne Fellow for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy for 2021-2022. Kingsbury Browne fellows engage in research, writing, and mentoring, and facilitate a project that builds upon and shares their experience with the broader community.

In accepting the award, Anderson called out the tireless work of his team at The Nature Conservancy: Melissa Clark, Arlene Olivero, Analie Barnett, John Prince, Erik Martin, Mary Khoury, and Marta Ribera.  Anderson also thanked the organizations that helped fund the resiliency work over the years: the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Open Space Institute, The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Sweetwater Trust, The Kohler Foundation, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife agencies.

“Our challenge is to accelerate the pace and scale of conservation and conserve a representative network of resilient, connected lands and waters that will allow nature to adapt to climate change,” Anderson said. “Climate change is forcing all of us to rethink our strategies to ensure the full diversity of nature —including humanity — will be able to thrive for future generations. This roadmap provides a tool to help us do that.”

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 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.