NatureServe

Science > Data > Technology > Conservation

Arlington, VA   |  www.natureserve.org

Mission

NatureServe leverages the power of science, data, and technology to guide biodiversity conservation and resource management. In the United States and Canada, more than 60 NatureServe Network programs collect, manage, analyze, and deliver data about plants, animals, and ecosystems using the same methods and adhering to a rigorous set of standards. The NatureServe Network is the leading source of information on the precise locations and conditions for at-risk species and threatened ecosystems. Collectively, we have documented over a million locations that contribute to the long-term survival of nearly 100,000 species and ecosystems in North America.

Notes from the nonprofit

NatureServe is the leading organization collecting, analyzing and distributing data on the state of biodiversity across North America. As a conservation technology organization our work is critical to those organizations, governments and corporations who are making daily decisions on protecting and conserving the most at risk species and on identifying Key Biodiversity Areas across the world as we collectively face the 6th mass extinction. Check our website to explore data, mapping, and species at www.natureserve.org.

Ruling year info

1995

President & CEO

Dr. Sean T. O'Brien Ph.D.

Main address

2550 South Clark Street Suite 930

Arlington, VA 22202 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1884438

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Preventing extinctions and protecting habitats in North America

NatureServe's programs focus on four main areas: (1) documenting the conservation status and location of species and ecosystems; (2) producing analyses to guide critical conservation decisions; (3) developing and supporting capacity for our network of natural heritage programs and conservation data centers; and (4) creating information technology tools that bring biodiversity information into the land and water-use planning process. Our publicly available web-based database, NatureServe Explorer (www.natureserve.org/explorer), provides searchable authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals, and ecological communities of the United States and Canada.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Top Rated Nonprofit 2017

Great Nonprofits

Making a Difference Award 2019

ESRI

Special Achievement in GIS 2016

ESRI

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of contracts/purchase agreements that the organization holds for purchase of its products/services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Preventing extinctions and protecting habitats in North America

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

NatureServe contracts and subcontracts with a number of agencies to create custom data sets and mapping to inform on the ground conservation actions and decisions.

Number of critically endangered species in the region that have their conservation needs assessed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Preventing extinctions and protecting habitats in North America

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

NatureServe in 2022 tracks 100,000 species of plants and animals to determine What it is, Where it is found, How it is doing. This information is contained in our Biotics database.

Number of requests for data

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Preventing extinctions and protecting habitats in North America

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

NatureServes is the authoritative source of species data in the US and Canada and serves federal, state, local governments, academic institutions, nonprofits, corporations, citizens, and scientists.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

NatureServe envisions a world where decisionmakers recognize the value of biodiversity, fully understand the importance of science in identification and protection of species and ecosystems, and invest in science as the basis for their decisions that affect biodiversity.

Informed by sound scientific understanding, those who make decisions that impact the natural world—governments, conservation organizations, corporations, landowners, and the scientific community—will draw upon the resources of the NatureServe network to focus conservation actions. As a result, the sustained health of this natural heritage will support prosperous human and non-human communities for the benefit of current and future generations.

Outcomes and strategies for 2012 through 2016:

1) Collect and use increasingly high-quality and up-to-date scientific knowledge in order to conserve biodiversity
* Update data constantly via a web-enabled, sustainable, and adaptable data-management system
* Better communication of trends and implementation of standards across the network
* Guide network-wide development of knowledge for freshwater and marine biodiversity conservation strategies

2) Enhance network effectiveness for building biodiversity knowledge
* Strengthen intra-network connections
* Meet and exceed institutional/technological standards
* Engage in broader partnerships with like-minded organizations that collect and disseminate biodiversity data and get Eastern Hemisphere organizations to share information

3) Inform key societal challenges through analyses and syntheses
* Illuminate large-scale challenges to biodiversity by integrating with other key information to shape environmental, scientific, economic, and social policy questions and solutions

4) Address clients' specific needs with the use of NatureServe data, tools, and expertise
*Respond quickly to opportunities and partner needs
* Improve NatureServe's use of adaptive management

NatureServe established a Natural Heritage Program network across North America. We currently have 60 programs in the US and Canada that employs 1,000+ scientists to gather data, perform monitoring and generally engage in the science needed to answer three core questions: What is it? Where is it? How is it doing? Deceivingly simple, these core questions, if appropriately answered, allows global decision makers to know how to focus limited resources to protect the most imperiled ecosystems and species. We are expanding our network to include every state in the US over the next 3 years. We have a staff of 63 scientists and technology experts to qualify the data. We have developed several technology platforms to distribute the information and are developing additional platforms to harness the power of technology and science to help stop the 6th mass extinction taking place now.

NatureServe scientists in collaboration with other partners has produced several important publications: The Global Reptile Assessment; The Global Tree Assessment and the Map of Biodiversity along with the Key Biodiversity Areas Map. We will continue to publish critical peer reviewed information and update our data to keep up with a rapidly changing and extremely impacted world. Guiding conservation decisions by on the ground federal, state, local, private and public organizations is essential to giving species and ecosystems disappearing from the planet the best chance of survival.
We intend to expand our network having established 60 Natural Heritage Programs to date.

We are upgrading our data set (Biotics 5) to include input from citizen scientists and updated conservation status rankings - also essential to making good decisions.

We are building out our multiple software platforms with the intention of making more information available for free by any user.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    NatureServe provides data on biodiversity to individuals, organizations, governments and corporations through free and contracted services. These groups use the data to determine where key biodiversity areas exist, what is found there and how it is doing in order to make decisions on ecosystems and species in greatest need of protection and conservation. We have a network of 60 Natural Heritage Programs and 1,000 scientists on the ground in North America tracking 100,000 species and 7,000 ecosystems to date. We work locally, regionally, nationally and globally with diverse partners focused on protecting biodiversity across the world.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email, Monthly calls, working groups, topic calls,feedback forms, conferences and workshops.,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    NatureServe is currently preparing to upgrade an essential data platform, Biotics, to a version that will serve the users based on direct input and needs assessments from our constituency groups.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, The users of our software products. ,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    NatureServe is based on intense collaboration in our technology development, data analysis and use of data to make accurate and scientifically based decisions. We seriously consider, and rely on, feedback from our network of 60 Natural Heritage programs and the on-the-ground scientists .

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

NatureServe
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

NatureServe

Board of directors
as of 11/25/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bryce Maxwell

Sean O'Brien

NatureServe

James Brumm

Glastonbury Commons, Ltd

Jane Breckenridge

Euchee Butterfly Farm

Carolyn Hendricks

Johns Hopkins Medical Center

Urban Lehner

Retired- Telvent DTN

Steven Quarles

Nossaman LLP

Alberto Székely

Permanent Court of International Arbitration at The Hague

John Trezise

Retired- Department of the Interior

Urban Lehner

Bryce Maxell

MT Natural Heritage Program

Chris Friesen

Manitoba Conservation Data Centre

Brian Klatt

UN Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Jed Sundwall

Amazon Web Services

Nancy Weiss

M.D. (Retired)

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/25/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/13/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.