The Nature Conservancy’s scientists in California are working to inform, influence, and inspire conservation in today’s human-dominated world, to build a future in which people and nature thrive together.

Our World

Welcome to California. From vast desert wildlands to iconic mountains, coasts and ocean, the Golden State is an extraordinarily diverse complex of ecosystems. It is also a social, economic and cultural leader. California provides a tremendous experimental arena for applied scientists developing and testing ideas to increase the pace, scale, and effectiveness of conservation.

Science helps drive the conservation our increasingly crowded world so urgently needs and shows how conservation can advance other societal goals like clean air, clean water, and sustainable livelihoods. Here’s how our scientists in California are contributing to that world.

Freshwater Systems

California is one of the most hydrologically altered landscapes in the world.… >>

Terrestrial Systems

In California, a day’s drive can take a visitor from record-setting desert… >>

Marine Systems

The California Current is one of only four temperate upwelling systems in… >>

Our Approach

The Conservancy’s Conservation Approach – Conservation by Design – is an adaptive process designed to advance systemic change in the world to benefit both people and nature.

Core to that approach is revealing the relevance of nature and its conservation to people, in order to inspire them to transform policy and practice so that biodiversity – and the myriad benefits conservation provides – can be sustained into the future.

By applying conservation science and planning approaches, technology and economic principles, our scientists clarify what nature needs and determine how meeting those needs can align with other societal objectives, like protecting clean air and water, or providing jobs and recreational opportunities.

Science in Action

Terrestrial | Science

Invasive Ant Removal

How can we eliminate a large-scale infestation of invasive ants – and how would we know when we have?

Marine | Technology | Science

Closing the Abalone Data Gap

Can putting technology in the hands of citizen scientists transform how abalone are managed?