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About Us

The Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) was established by Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich in the Department of Biology at Stanford University in 1984 and is directed by Prof. Gretchen C. Daily.  In pursuit of its mission, the CCB conducts interdisciplinary research to build a sound basis for the conservation, management, and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services, to evaluate factors that are leading to declining environmental security and increasing inequity, and to find practical solutions to that predicament.

Our work is oriented around understanding the dynamics of change in the biosphere, their implications for human well-being, and the deep societal transformations needed to secure people and nature.  Specifically,

  1. Given intensifying change in land use and climate, what elements of nature will survive over coming decades and centuries? We have pioneered the field of countryside biogeography to understand and forecast the dynamics and implications of change in biodiversity, across a wide array of taxa and regions, and spanning native and intensively managed ecosystems.
  2. What are the values of nature, and the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being?  We have played a pioneering role in advancing the field of ecosystem services to characterize the contributions of nature to people, ranging from physical and economic to psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of well-being.
  3. How can we transform the way people think and act on the environment, opening a pragmatic pathway to inclusive, green development?  We have played a foundational role in mainstreaming a science-based framework for integrating the values of nature into policy, finance, and management.  To this end, Gretchen has co-founded and directed the Natural Capital Project, an international partnership advancing this framework in over 60 nations, and now applied in 185 nations through our Natural Capital Data & Software Platform. 

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In recognition of the ancestral lands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe where our academic institution sits, we offer our grateful appreciation for the opportunity to live and work here and we celebrate the culture and perseverance of the Muwekma Ohlone people, and their strong identity. We recognize the powerful historical and contemporary roles that racism plays in academia and society. Conservation has a history of oppression and land dispossession, and we embrace the urgent challenge of decolonizing science and conservation, as well as advancing environmental and social justice.

As scholars of the diversity of life, we value human diversity in all forms: in gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, socioeconomic background, immigration status, age, academic discipline, and political views, and we recognize the intersectionality of personal identities. We value all people equally and stand in solidarity with those who are oppressed and marginalized. We strongly support the Black Lives Matter movement and all efforts dedicated to eradicating racial injustices.  We strongly support the deep cultural shifts underway to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion in academia and across society. We believe and engage in open science, primarily through co-developing scientific understanding and its applications together and reciprocally with people in communities, governments, development institutions, businesses, and NGOs across all walks of life, aiming together to make new knowledge accessible and actionable. 

We are committed to antiracist and anti-discriminatory practices within our teams and places where we work.  We are committed to uncovering and minimizing our implicit biases, addressing institutional racism and injustices, and advancing justice in science; to recruiting, mentoring, and advancing diverse students and more senior scientists; to knowledge co-production with collaborators and partners across the world, learning from and centering indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing, and communicating the products of our shared work in multiple ways and languages; and to teaching in inclusive ways, such as by amplifying the work of diverse scientists in the U.S. and worldwide. We acknowledge our privilege and the position of power associated with this privilege. We will leverage this power to uphold these commitments and make change within our institutions.