Staff Experts

Brian van Eerden

Southern Rivers Program Director

As the director of the Southern Rivers Program, Brian’s work with The Nature Conservancy touches approximately 30,000 acres. In his sixteen 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. Currently, Brian’s areas of expertise and focus are ecological restoration and land protection, and his projects include longleaf pine restoration and wetland restoration.

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
  • Restoring hydrology in wetlands for improved air quality conditions in the Great Dismal Swamp area
  • Protecting and managing watershed land for improved drinking water
  • Sustainably managing forests to promote the forest product industry and maintain the ecological integrity of the forest
Brian’s Hopes for the Next 3-5 years
  • Reducing carbon emissions at Dismal Swamp
  • 30,000 acres of northern range forest under conservation ownership
Recent News Coverage
Key Partners
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Virginia Department of Game and Fisheries
  • M.S. in Botany from University of Georgia
  • B.S. in Plant Science from Penn State University



Brian van Eerden

Southern Rivers Program Director


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