Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota

Mark White, M.S. - Forest Ecologist

Mark White is the Forest Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Prior to joining the Conservancy in 2004, Mark was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute.

His work focuses on biodiversity conservation in forested landscapes within Minnesota’s Superior Mixed Forest and Great Lakes Ecoregions. The science of forest conservation in this region involves integrating knowledge on natural forest variability, and ecologically based forest management along with information on recent and historical forest change. Other interests include monitoring forest change, forest insects and disease, remote sensing of forested landscapes, effects of prescribed fire and the implications of climate change for forest conservation.

Feature Project

Scenarios for Forest Reserve Expansion and Adaptive Management under Alternative Climate Change Scenarios in the northern Great Lakes. In collaboration with research partners at Portland State University and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, Mark is exploring how an expansion of reserves and climate-adaptive management may bolster resilience in northern forests. Adaptation strategies identified through this work will be integrated into an ongoing regional Climate Change Response Framework to link the results to land management throughout the Northwoods. The work is funded with generous support from the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative.


Climate change is an emerging stress on northern forests. Mark has decades of experience working on long-standing threats to the Northwoods, including excessive browsing by white-tailed deer. He recently published a paper on the topic:

Q&A - Read interview with Mark White concerning his study of the long-term effect of deer browsing on Minnesota's Northwoods

Science Team
Meet our scientists in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota