The Nature Conservancy-Cornell Partnership
NatureNet Science Fellows
In partnership with Cornell and five other leading universities, The Nature Conservancy launched the NatureNet Science Fellows Program to train interdisciplinary science talent to carry out the new work of conservation. The world faces unprecedented demands for food, water, and energy. Meeting these demands without exacerbating climate change and degrading natural systems is the challenge of our generation.
The Nature Conservancy is confronting these challenges through new priorities that focus on everything from green infrastructure to sustainable agriculture and fisheries, natural defenses against extreme weather, encouraging sustainable energy, and corporate practices. In TNC's words, the world needs new brands of science to tackle these new challenges—science that blends economics, business, engineering, technology, and communications with conservation and ecology.
The NatureNet Science Fellowships are awarded annually to six outstanding early-career scientists who seek to expand their research skills while tackling problems at the interface of conservation, business, and technology. One postdoctoral fellow per year is selected for a two-year post at Cornell, working with Cornell faculty and TNC leadership.
Cornell's NatureNet Fellows
2016 - Shannan Sweet: Protecting NY Water Resources
Shannan Sweet is the newest NatureNet postdoc to join the Cornell–Nature Conservancy team. Working with soil ecologist David Wolfe, she is identifying climate-driven weak points in the state’s agricultural water resources and developing tools to help local farmers successfully adapt to climate change.
2015 - Aaron Iverson: Preserving Farm Biodiversity
Aaron Iverson began a two-year NatureNet fellowship at Cornell in September. Working with plant ecology expert Alison Power and local farmers, he will develop practical models of sustainable agriculture to help farmers produce abundant harvests, limit toxic agrochemicals, and reap the best economic and ecological returns.
2014 - Joleah Lamb: Keeping Coral Reefs Healthy
Joleah Lamb launched her NatureNet research in the reefs around Indonesia’s Spermonde Islands, where she examined corals for signs of disease. Working with marine ecologist Drew Harvell, she is studying oceans and waste, including natural methods for mitigating the spread of run-off pollution that causes infectious disease in coral reefs.
2013 - Dan Auerbach: Balancing Water Use and Conservation
As Cornell’s inaugural NatureNet fellow, Dan Auerbach brought a new economic model to the ongoing effort to clean up and conserve the world’s limited water supply. With ecologist Alex Flecker, he developed workable, realistic plans for water funds, a market-based approach to managing water at the confluence of biodiversity protection, river basin hydrology, and human demand.