Society for Conservation Biology

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SCB's North America Policy Program

Our Mission

The mission of the North America Policy Program (NAPP) is to leverage the research and scientific expertise of the Society’s members to ensure that critical knowledge relating to the conservation of biological diversity is used by decision makers when shaping policies that affect the planet’s biodiversity.

How We Accomplish Our Mission

SCB has a long history of bridging conservation science and policy and its emphasis on using best science to inform policy and management decisions has been repeatedly supported by its Board of Governors and its membership over many years.  Since the founding of the North America Policy Program in early 2013, we have implemented our Mission by focusing on core policy priorities that exemplify SCB's value-added policy "story" to its members, being more responsive to our member interests, and directing our efforts to those policy initiatives where SCB can make a difference.

History of the North America Policy Program

The SCB Board of Governors has recognized that, as a mission-driven discipline, it is important for conservation biologists and conservation practitioners generally to be aware of and involved in the policy process on issues that affect biodiversity. 

From 2007 to 2013, the SCB policy program worked both within the United States and around the world to strengthen and defend the policies that conserve biological diversity.  During this time, SCB was an active participant within the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as the more recently Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Within the United States, SCB has participated in public commenting on agency proposals, presented testimony before the U.S. Congress on issues affecting endangered species, climate change, and public lands, and has worked with other partners to defend the laws designed to conserve biological diversity. SCB also worked extensively to develop and improve policies to uphold the integrity of the scientific process.

In 2013, the SCB board of governors decided to decentralize the policy program in line with a goal of developing greater capacity for regional sections to influence policy in their respective regions. A North America Policy Subcommittee (NAPS) was approved by the global board for the purpose of overseeing the development of a North America-focused policy program.  

The membership of NAPS includes:

  • Carlos Carroll (Chair), Klamath Center for Conservation Research
  • Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute
  • Kristin Carden, COMPASS
  • Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity
  • Meade Krosby, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group
  • Kai Chan, University of British Columbia
  • Courtney Schultz, Colorado State University