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The Global Invasive Species Team's role is to help ensure that The Nature Conservancy and other organizations can succeed in protecting native plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by addressing invasive species threats to biological diversity. Many of The Nature Conservancy's state and country programs and partner organizations and agencies have long experience and expertise in controlling invasive species, particularly plants and some vertebrate invaders, on preserves and other conservation areas. But we know that this is not enough to adequately abate the damage being caused by established invaders or to prevent the harmful new invasions that continue to occur. For these reasons the Team is focused on two goals:
  1. Prevent invasions and the spread of invaders at the national and international scale.

  2. Build the capacity of The Conservancy's organizational "regions," country and state programs and partner organizations to assess, prevent, rapidly detect and control priority invasive species threats of all types (plants, animals, diseases) in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.
We seek to prevent new invasions both by advancing public policies in the US and other nations and by working collaboratively with businesses, professionals and consumer groups in voluntary programs designed to minimize the use and distribution of invasive species and the introduction of new invaders.

We help build capacity by helping The Conservancy's state and country programs create realistic, effective invasive species strategic plans and by providing tools, training, information and advice to land and water managers and other conservationists. This website is a key part of our ongoing effort to provide information and tools on best practices for preventing, controlling and managing invasive species.

Staff profiles

John Randall, Director

John The Nature Conservancy and other conservation agencies and organizations identify invasive species as a top threat to biological diversity conservation in terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats around the world. What is worse is that harmful new invasions continue to occur, although many of them are preventable.

The Global Invasive Species Team's role is to help The Conservancy and our partners ensure that invasive species of all types, plants, animals, diseases and other microbes, do not eclipse all our efforts to effectively protect native species and natural communities. To this end, GIST is focused on two goals:

  1. Preventing harmful new invasions and the spread of invaders at the national and international scale.

  2. Building the capacity of The Conservancy's regions, country and state programs to assess, prevent, rapidly detect and control priority invasive species threats to conservation targets and ecosystems....
More from John Randall....


Frank Lowenstein, Deputy Director

Global Invasive Species Team
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203-1606

More from Frank Lowenstein....(coming soon)

Stas Burgiel, Senior Global Invasive Species Policy Advisor

Stas Globally, invasive alien species are recognized as one of the top two threats to biological diversity, endangered species and fragile ecosystems with additional impacts on human health and local livelihoods. World trade and travel are primary drivers for transporting species between countries with the movement of goods, vehicles and people in an increasingly integrated world system. Given this expanding rate and volume of trade and travel we expect the number of new harmful invasions in terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats to continue increasing unless we take action now. Fortunately, we do know how to prevent many invasions at a cost that is far less than the harm they would inflict or the resources required to manage them if they are allowed to invade and establish.

While The Nature Conservancy and our partners must continue to manage the most damaging invaders established on and near high priority conservation sites, we must also turn out attention to preventing new invasions. The Nature Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Team is working with governments, the private sector and other organizations to develop policy and technical measures to reduce the introduction of invasive alien species around the world, while also avoiding or minimizing adverse impacts on economic growth....

More from Stas Burgiel....

Faith T. Campbell, Senior Policy Representative

Faith Invasive species are widely considered to pose a serious threat to biological diversity conservation, to ecosystem services, and to human well-being around the world. Non-native insects and plant diseases that attack tree species threaten ecosystems and the character of our neighborhoods, as well as links across generations. These non-native insects and plant diseases are particularly challenging to manage because of the high level of damage that they cause and the difficulty in containing them once they have been introduced. More than 400 non-native insects and pathogens already are killing trees across North America. Worse, harmful new invasions continue to occur, although many of these introductions are preventable. Within the Global Invasive Species Team, the forest pest and pathogen program helps The Conservancy and our partners ensure that invasive species of insects and plant diseases do not undermine all our efforts to effectively protect native tree species and natural forest communities. To this end, our work has focused on two goals....

More from Faith Campbell....


W. Lindsay Chadderton, Aquatic Invasive Species Ecologist

Great Lakes Program
The Nature Conservancy
8 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2301
Chicago, IL USA

More from Lindsay Chadderton....(coming soon)

Leigh Greenwood, Coalitions and Networks Manager

Leigh The Nature Conservancy is only one piece of a huge puzzle in the fight against invasive species.

As the Coalitions and Networks Manager for the Global Invasive Species Team, I work with a diverse group of private industry leaders, academic organizations, non-profits and our colleagues at state chapters of The Nature Conservancy to combat existing invasions and prevent future invasions from occurring. By bringing these voices together and keeping the lines of communication open, the interests of all the different groups can be heard, respected, and our common interests can be advanced.

More from Leigh Greenwood....

Catherine Hazlewood, Senior Policy Advisor for North America

Catherine Catherine is the Global Invasive Species Team's Senior Policy Advisor for North America. She is based at The Nature Conservancy's World Office in Arlington, Virginia, and lives a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Catherine leads the government advocacy efforts of the Team to improve U.S., Mexico, and Canada policies to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species. Catherine additionally directs the Conservancy's advocacy efforts relating to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her work includes drafting and commenting upon legislation and federal rules, working with policy makers within federal agencies of all three countries, and engaging The Nature Conservancy's land managers, scientists, and staff to inform and strengthen public policy.

Catherine was appointed in 2006 by the United States Department of Interior to serve on the National Invasive Species Council Advisory Committee, which provides advice to federal agencies in their responsibilities to prevent and manage invasive species threats. She additionally serves on the North American Plant Protection Organization's (NAPPO) Invasive Species Panel. NAPPO was created under international treaty to coordinate the efforts of efforts of Canada, the United States and Mexico to protect their plant resources from invasive species while facilitating trade....

More from Catherine Hazlewood....

Barry Rice, Invasive Species Scientist

Barry By training, I am a scientist--my undergraduate degree is in Physics and Astrophysics, my Ph.D. is in Astronomy. This background has given me tools to address issues systematically and analytically. By nature I am an educator and writer, so I have an interest in getting the best information available to people at all times.

This is why I work for the Global Invasive Species Team. I am the Communications Manager, working in what some would call marketing, and I provide scientific and communications expertise to our team.

I maintain the Team's "practitioner" web site (that is, the one you are currently reading!), our wiki site, our blog, and I have recently taken on the responsibility of keeping our content on nature.org and the intranet fresh and relevant. I also develop marketing materials such as brochures that will be useful for philanthropy and fund raising. I also handle all the incoming inquiries to The Conservancy about invasive species issues. If I don't know the answer to something, I probably know who does!

Why is all this important? Because our work is critical. Alien invasive species--plants, animals, and pathogens--pose the second greatest threat to biodiversity around the world. They can prey upon, compete with, or displace native species. They can even completely transform environments by changing ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, hydrology, or fire regimes. These threats, unaddressed, stand between us and The Nature Conservancy's conservation goals, and risk undoing those conservation successes we have made to date. While daunting, invasive species should not be thought of as overwhelming. Instead, the severity of the situation demands strategy and planning in order for our efforts to be successful.

More from Barry Rice....

Mandy Tu, Invasive Species Ecologist

Mandy Mandy Tu is an Invasive Species Ecologist with TNC's Global Invasive Species Team. She is based out of TNC's Portland, Oregon office and works as a technical science advisor for invasive species prevention, EDRR and management.

As part of her work with the Conservancy, Mandy serves on the steering committees for the Center of Invasive Plant Management, the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, and iMapInvasives, and is adjunct faculty at Portland State University and at Washington State University, Vancouver.

Mandy has a B.S. in Botany from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California at Davis. As a busy and energetic member of the Global Invasive Species Team, Mandy works to build the capacity of TNC country, regional and state programs to address invasive species by providing...

More from Mandy Tu....

Valerie Vartanian, Horticulture and Landscape Professions Liaison

Valerie Valerie joined the staff of The Nature Conservancy in November 2004 as the Horticulture and Landscape Professions Liaison.

In fact, this marked her re-joining the Conservancy after a 6 year hiatus. Valerie worked on invasive species issues (especially, her old nemesis Arundo donax) for TNC as a project manager in Southern California from 1993 to 1998. She has also taught elementary school science, and supervised three wildlife sanctuaries for Los Angeles County Natural Areas Parks division. In 1998, she moved to the Midwest when her husband Mike joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University (SIU). Since then, Valerie earned an M.S. in Biogeography from SIU, and worked as director of the Gateway Wildlands, a coalition of ten natural resource agencies and organizations promoting biodiversity conservation in a 20-county region around St Louis, MO, before rejoining the Conservancy....

More from Valerie Vartanian....

Where we work
Thumbnail reports of invasive species projects being done by The Nature Conservancy.
Conservation stories
Invasive species management is not impossible. Read these success stories and be inspired.
Assessments and regional plans
Assessments of invasive species issues for various operating units in The Nature Conservancy.
1998-99 survey
Learn about our 1999 survey--a snapshot of invasive species issues across all of The Nature Conservancy.
Contact us
Address information to help you contact GIST staff.

Other site resources

Weed Information Management System (WIMS)
A fully-integrated hardware and software application for mapping invasives and tracking management actions.
Remote sensing
A review of remote sensing technology, as applied to invasive species detection and mapping.
Templates and examples
Adaptive management planning tools such as model plans for sites, weed control templates, etc. Very useful!
Invasive species learning networks
Learn about Invasive Species Networks that help promote best practices for invasive species abatement among staff in The Nature Conservancy, partner agencies, and other organizations.
Join our listserve to voice your frustrations and trumpet your successes.

Updated February 2009
©The Nature Conservancy, 2005