About Dr. Hamilton
Dr. Healy Hamilton is Chief Scientist at NatureServe, a western hemisphere biodiversity information network focused on management and conservation of at-risk species and ecosystems. She is a biodiversity scientist with graduate degrees from Yale and the University of California, Berkeley, and extensive field experience in the tropical forests of Latin America. At NatureServe, Dr. Hamilton leads a staff with expertise in ecology, zoology, botany, conservation, data science, and information management. Together they deliver foundational information on the distribution, conservation status and trends of species and their habitats. Dr. Hamilton has co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed studies on biodiversity, conservation, and global change. She is a member of the IUCN U.S. Executive Committee, an honorary Fellow of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, a member of the Key Biodiversity Areas steering committee, and past President of the Society for Conservation GIS. She is a Switzer Foundation Environmental Leadership fellow and a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar.
Keynote: Precision Conservation at the Scale of a Nation
The United States has globally significant biological diversity that contributes to our economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual well-being. Every day, Federal agency staff make countless decisions that must balance a diversity of resource demands from our lands and waters while still providing habitat for the plants and animals that are our nation's natural heritage, particularly for those already at risk of extinction. NatureServe, a western hemisphere biodiversity information network, is using big data, GIS, and cloud computing to produce high resolution biodiversity maps that help reduce conflicts without sacrificing conservation outcomes. To this end, the NatureServe network has produced the Map of Biodiversity Importance, spatial analyses of modeled suitable habitat for over 2,200 species at risk in the continental U.S., including plants, pollinators, vertebrates and aquatic invertebrates. These national biodiversity maps leverage GIS tools to support iterative, collaborative science, where the maps are living products that will dynamically improve over time to support the best available science in decisions about our nation's living resources.