Virginia

Staff Experts


Brian van Eerden

Virginia Pinelands Program Director

As the director of the Virginia Pinelands Program, Brian’s work with The Nature Conservancy touches approximately 30,000 acres. In his nearly twenty years with The Conservancy, Brian has come to specialize in longleaf pine ecosystems, fire ecology and management, native plant conservation, wetland restoration, and land protection.

Brian on Why His Work is Rewarding 

“The Conservancy operates on a large scale and not only a spatially large scale but also a large time scale. We think about the future and how to make our conservation work relevant. We look for lasting results. It’s not only about dreaming big but also about making sure those dreams are relevant now and into the future.”

Program Benefits 
  • Using science-based methods to restore natural fire regimes at Piney Grove Preserve to return longleaf pine to its historic range and restore habitat for red-cockaded woodpeckers.
  • Partnering with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore hydrology in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to reduce the intensity of naturally occurring fires and improve air quality.
  • Protecting and managing watershed land for improved drinking water.
Recent News Coverage 
Key Partners 
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (Natural Heritage Program)
  • Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  • Virginia Department of Forestry
  • Center for Conservation Bio
Credentials 
  • M.S. in Botany from University of Georgia
  • B.S. in Plant Science from Penn State University 

Publications

Brian van Eerden

Virginia Pinelands Program Director

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