An Evening with The Nature Conservancy

Data Science for Sustainability
Data Science for Sustainability
Public group
Location image of event venue


Carrie Schloss, a Spatial Data Scientist with The Nature Conservancy, will talk about TNC's natural resource accounting tool.


• 6:30 doors open + networking

• 7pm talk

Thanks to our generous hosts at Trulia who are providing pizza and drinks, there is no charge to register for this meetup!

About Carrie: Carrie is a Spatial Data Scientist in The Nature Conservancy’s California Program. She focuses on multi-benefit conservation planning and climate change adaptation. She uses data analytics and creates decision support tools to encourage the integration of conservation values across sectors. She explores how natural resource and social science information can be combined to reveal new opportunities to advance the conservation of natural lands in an urbanizing landscape. She also conducts statewide assessments that identify how the landscape can enhance resilience and adaptation to climate change to support climate-smart conservation decisions.

Carrie's talk: At the Nature Conservancy, our mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Traditionally a land trust, the Nature Conservancy has conserved over 120 million acres of land world-wide. However, our traditional strategies for land conservation cannot keep pace with the pace and scale of global threats including population growth and the land use change associated with the increased demand for food, energy, and infrastructure. Typically, natural resources and other conservation values are not considered early in transportation and city and county planning processes resulting in extensive impacts to natural resources, habitat fragmentation, and unsustainable growth patterns. Our hypothesis is that if planners and other decision makers have access to conservation data in the tools they are already using, they will make decisions that are better for conservation and that will lead to sustainable growth.

The conservation module is a natural resource accounting tool that is meant to work in conjunction with regional scenario-based planning tools. It consists of spatial data and a series of scripts that evaluate scenarios of development and density patterns and quantify the impacts to natural resources for each development scenario. Metrics are calculated for water resources (e.g. reductions in groundwater recharge, impacts to water quality, development within drinking water source watersheds), agriculture (e.g. economic impacts from the loss of cropland), biodiversity and habitat (e.g. development within know conservation priorities, reduction in acres of habitat for threatened and endangered species), and the potential greenhouse gas emissions from loss of carbon stored in the land base. Through this work, we use data analysis and visualization to quantify and reveal natural resource impacts to guide decision makers towards more sustainable development options.