- Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
- High Meadows Environmental Institute
Susan Cook-Patton is a Senior Forest Restoration Scientist on the Natural Climate Solutions Science Team at The Nature Conservancy.
Her talk on November 1st will consider how restoring forest cover represents a promising tool for removing carbon from the atmosphere with ways to use this tool wisely or poorly. Dr. Susan Cook-Patton will describe her efforts to improve our scientific understanding of reforestation as a climate solution, as well as develop tools to help decision makers determine where and how to optimize the use of this natural climate solution.
In her current work, Cook-Patton works to quantify the climate mitigation potential of reforestation and other natural climate solutions and infuse the best-available science into policy decisions. To do this, she collaborates with scientists across the globe, and from academic, government, and other non-governmental organizations.
She has over a decade of experience leading scientific investigations into how changes in biodiversity and climate are impacting forest, grassland, and urban ecosystems. Before joining the Nature Conservancy in 2016, she was a policy fellow at the US Forest Service and a research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Susan holds a PhD in Community Ecology from Cornell University, and bachelor degrees in Biology, Psychology and English from Indiana University.
Her publications cover topics ranging broadly from invasive species to prehistoric Native American middens to climate change impacts on mangrove forests. Her work can be found in leading journals, such as Nature, Nature Climate Change, Science Advances, and Global Change Biology. As an avid proponent of effective science communication, she has shared much of her research with the public via videos for grade school classrooms, public lectures, and major news outlets such as National Public Radio, the BBC and The Guardian.