Peter Kareiva Named to National Academy of Sciences

Peter Kareiva, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his excellence in original scientific research, the academy announced today.

Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Kareiva was one of just 71 elected to the NAS this year, joining an elite group of just over 2,000 active members. He will be inducted into the academy next April during its 149th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Kareiva joined The Nature Conservancy in 2002 after more than 20 years in academics and work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he directed the Northwest Fisheries Science Center Conservation Biology Division. In addition to his duties as the Conservancy’s chief scientist, his current projects emphasize the interplay of human land-use and biodiversity, resilience in the face of global change and marine conservation.  He received a master’s of science degree in environmental biology from the University of California, Irvine, and his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University.

(Read Kareiva’s latest piece for Nature Conservancy magazine: Beyond Man vs. Nature.)

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Established in 1863, the National Academy of Sciences has served to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government. Among the NAS’s historically renowned members are Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell. Over 180 living Academy members have won Nobel Prizes.

(Image: Peter Kareiva (at right) addressing Nature Conservancy trustees. Image credit: Erika Nortemann/TNC.)

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  1. What’s his position on human over population ? Too hot to handle is it?

  2. This is the scientist who doesn’t care about biodiversity (see the link above). Why are Nature Conservancy members supposed to care about him?

  3. Kareiva says, “The ultimate goal is better management of nature for human benefit.” A major reason the environment is in such peril is that we have put human benefit first and think we have the ability to “manage” nature. This is arrogant in the extreme. I won’t be supporting The Nature Conservancy in any way as long as this guy is a part of the organization.

  4. I think that humans are every bit as much a part of nature as coral reefs, though perhaps only a few of them are as beautiful.

    Since anthropogenic forces are affecting every aspect of our world, it only makes sense that a human management model must be applied to conserving and restoring every bit of the planet that we can.

    Without balancing the emotional and the practical, though, we won’t achieve the ultimate of what mother nature has in store for us.

    You cannot measure the emotional, but if you can involve common people with their environment in an emotional context, you will gain the support you need to be effective in preserving both special places and meet the broad environmental restoration needs of our world.

  5. I agree with David Bertelsen. I’ll withhold support from the Nature Conservancy while they hold a position that “nature” is now what we will make of it. Putting forth a position of accepting the better of two evils is not science and it is certainly not environmental stewardship. The path they’re proposing, through Dr. Kareiva, is one of allowing the slimming down ecosystems to a minimal functional capacity, as if we know what that limit is. This is, at least, a dangerous hubris of land managers and academics, who forget why they choose the fields they do.

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