The Power and Potential of Collaboration for Real-World Results — The Nature Conservancy in Washington


“Climate change poses massive impacts to nature and people and it is touching down at Ellsworth,” says Michael Case, Forest Ecologist at The Nature Conservancy and a leader in coordinating the ongoing collaborations at the preserve. “There is an urgency to build climate change resilience and our work would not be possible without collaborations and partners.”

Driven by the passion of scientists and researchers like Boving and Case, the research continues to evolve and inform forest management decisions today with additional partners like Portland State University, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, Washington DNR, Oregon State University, Seattle Audubon, The Evergreen State College, UW Arboretum, and the Burke Museum. For Phil Levin, Lead Scientist at The Nature Conservancy and Professor of Practice at the University of Washington, this collaborative approach is the foundation of how long-term, actionable knowledge is gained. Levin’s dual roles are part of a scientific partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the University of Washington that infuses the former’s scientific capacity with flexibility and vigor by University of Washington students and researchers.

“Conservation science is, and must be, interconnected and intertwined with stakeholders, students, partners, community members, and entities that all work together in real-world settings to achieve lasting, on-the-ground results,” says Levin.

The power of this approach is clear when looking at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, which links with Ellsworth Creek Reserve along more than five miles of Willapa Bay shoreline. The physical connection naturally led to a long-term partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy as they’ve shared resources and strategies over the past 20 years.

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