The Nature Conservancy Announces New Terrestrial Conservation Director

Mountaintop view of a thickly forested mountains and foggy valleys in Hawaii.
Wainiha Valley The healthy forests in Wainiha Valley and the Alaka'i Summit Plateau on Kaua'i are home to hundreds of native plants found nowhere else. © 2012 Ethan Welty

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JC Watson stands atop a mountain in Hawaii.
JC Watson JC is the Terrestrial Conservation Director for The Nature Conservancy in Hawai‘i and Palmyra. © Courtesy of JC Watson

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Hawai‘i and Palmyra is pleased to announce that JC Watson has been selected as the new Terrestrial Conservation Director.

Watson’s background includes both on-the-ground fieldwork and organizational leadership. He has experience with tactical and strategic conservation and invasives species management across Hawai‘i, including in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Previously as the manager of the Ko‘olau Mountains Watershed Partnership, Watson served on the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance, the Hawai‘i Association of Watershed Partnerships, Honolulu County Stormwater Advisory Commission and the Kahala Environmental Hui.

“JC is deeply rooted in Hawai‘i conservation, and his leadership skills and extensive experience will be a tremendous asset to our terrestrial program,” says Trevor Taylor, TNC’s director of conservation. “I’m excited by his commitment to biocultural conservation as well as his ability to facilitate positive relationships, build capacity and collaborate with legislative, federal, state, county, university and community partners.”

Watson was previously a planner for the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council and worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and at Limahuli Preserve with the National Tropical Botanical Garden. He worked at the Environmental Department for the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i, at Pono Pacific and with the Hawaiʻi Youth Conservation Corps. Watson also has experience managing a small nonprofit and operates his own consulting business.

“I am very excited at the opportunity to have a larger impact across the State and Pacific with The Nature Conservancy team,” says Watson. “I am committed, and I take pride in my ability to come up with effective solutions, lead a diverse staff and build lasting partnerships.”


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The Nature Conservancy is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Informed by science and guided by traditional values and practices, we apply innovative, nature-based solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive. TNC has forged partnerships to manage 14 preserves and other sites in Hawai‘i and Palmyra Atoll, working with government, private parties and communities to protect Hawai‘i’s and Palmyra’s forests and coral reefs for their ecological value and for the many benefits they provide to people. Visit

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. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.