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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.

In her position with the Global Invasive Species Team, she works with nurseries and landscape architecture firms across the nation to help them implement voluntary codes of conduct designed to minimize the introduction, use and spread of ornamental plants that become harmful invasives. Some businesses have agreed to stop selling plants that are currently on regional invasive species lists and are marketing alternative, non-invasive plants. Valerie and other TNC staff and partners are working on developing a assessment tool for businesses to use to test whether a new plant for the market has invasive qualities. This tool will be very helpful to screen out a large percentage of potentially harmful plants.

TNC is partnering on this effort with the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri, where Valerie is based. Valerie can be reached at vvartanian(at)tnc.org.

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