The Nature Conservancy
Joseph Kiesecker is a Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy where he has spent the last decade developing guidance to balance energy and infrastructure demands with environmental conservation. He has also been at the forefront of moving development and mitigation planning to a landscape scale. He pioneered the Conservancy’s Development by Design approach, an initiative that seeks to improve development planning through the incorporation of predictive modeling to provide solutions that benefits conservation goals and development objectives and directs its implementation in over a dozen countries around the world. To date the program has helped shape changes to national level environmental licensing policy in the USA, Mongolia and Colombia; helped to guide the implementation of approximately a billion dollars in offset and other conservation funding in the USA; and help guide the establishment of ~170,000 km2 of new protected areas in Mongolia. His past work has focused primarily on the conservation and ecology of freshwater systems. This line of research has involved investigating how perturbations resulting from climate change and land use changes can stress organisms, making them more susceptible to disease. Joe has published over 150 articles, on topics ranging from climate change to the effectiveness of conservation strategies; examples of his work have been published in Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Conservation Biology, Ecology and American Scientist. He recently published a book, Energy Sprawl Solutions, that examined how smart large-scale planning can ensure this development solves for the challenge of “energy sprawl” reducing the land-use footprint of needed energy sources, protect the rights of local communities, safeguard ecosystem-services and biodiversity, and even potentially accelerate the transition to renewables. Prior to joining the Conservancy, he was a professor at Penn State University and has also held faculty appointments at Yale University and the University of Wyoming.