WWF’s conservation work is grounded in science. Our scientists develop innovative approaches and apply the best available information to advance cutting-edge tools and methods, connect natural and social systems, and find solutions to the planet’s most pressing and complex threats.

WWF scientists work across multiple disciplines, juxtaposing expertise in planetary and big data science with human-centric approaches, including sociology, education, and psychology. Working with partners, WWF scientists lead global and regional analyses and communicate the science of implementation and scale—for both people and nature in our changing world.

A climate high, a climate low, and our climate future

In these strange days of summer, we witnessed an extreme climate high and an extreme climate low. Both have significant implications for the planet’s health and for confronting the climate crisis moving forward.

Sun breaks through clouds over Montana grasslands

What WWF Is Doing

La Chorrera indigenous community and WWF-Colombia



Advancing Science: Fuller Science for Nature Fund

People seated on a stage at the Fuller Symposium

The Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund, named in honor of the former president and CEO of WWF-US, supports and harnesses the most promising conservation science research and puts it into practice. The fund supports the annual Thomas Lovejoy Science for Nature Symposium featuring global leaders in science, policy, and conservation. Additionally, it supports the Fuller Seminar Series, a regular forum for the conservation community to learn, discuss, and network.

Monitoring for Impact

Nicolas Moity Antonio Busiello WW289465

Monitoring progress toward global goals for human well-being, nature conservation, and climate change is critical when determining the impact of conservation investments. WWF scientists are working to integrate impact reporting at multiple scales and interventions to better track project and organizational impact in the land- and seascapes that WWF works in. In addition, by providing technical systems analysis, systems design facilitation support, and capacity development, scientists are working to ensure that WWF and the broader conservation sector design projects and programs that create true transformational change for the diverse needs of people and nature.

Scaling Locally Driven Conservation

Two women looking at potted plant

WWF recognizes that investing in science capacity and conservation leadership is critical for advancing biodiversity conservation. That's why for nearly three decades, the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) has been providing financial support to individuals and institutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. EFN is working to enhance the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to address conservation challenges at local, regional, and global scales.

Ensuring Sustainable Plates

Two hands picking tomatoes from a plant

The food system is the single greatest driver of environmental degradation. Transforming how the world produces and consumes food, from land and the sea, is essential to stabilizing the climate and protecting nature and its services. As one critical area of research, WWF scientists are identifying and developing the science required to fill knowledge gaps on the dietary shifts needed within each country to achieve nutrition guidelines for all people. These take into account each country’s commitments to global targets to understand how food system transformation pathways will take shape at the local scale to simultaneously achieve global health, climate, and biodiversity goals.

Harnessing Data and Artificial Intelligence

A smartphone on a table showing a map

Until recently, the vast number of variables in conservation made measuring the effectiveness of strategies difficult. Fast, accurate, replicable, easy-to-understand impact reporting is necessary, and advances in technology are starting to put this within reach. Remote sensing technology has become much more advanced, along with data processing tools and platforms that can organize the information so it is understandable and directly usable. To streamline impact monitoring systems and ensure their work is effective and measurable, WWF scientists are working to build open source platforms and tools, harness artificial intelligence and machine learning, and closely collaborate with local communities.

Contributing to Peer-reviewed Research

Closeup of man working

WWF employs a wealth of scientific expertise in its work around the world. Our scientists have extensive publication records within peer-reviewed literature, serve on scientific and academic bodies to further their own understanding and to shape the future of their fields, and are frequently called upon to contribute insight, data, and analyses to globally significant assessments, reports, and publications.

Valuing Nature

The Amazon and its tributaries

Natural ecosystems support livelihoods and economies in countless ways: they store carbon to slow climate change, purify and regulate water supplies, pollinate crops, and provide food and medicine. WWF scientists quantify these benefits and map their sources so the value of these ecosystem services are included in policy and decisions.  


  • The Natural Capital Project

    Centered at Stanford University, the Natural Capital Project is a partnership among WWF, Stanford, University of Minnesota, The Nature Conservancy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Stockholm Resilience Centre. Through pioneering science, cutting-edge technology, and collaborative partnerships worldwide, the Natural Capital Project works to integrate the value nature provides to people into all major decisions.

  • Improving Renewable Siting

    A dramatic expansion of renewable sources of electricity—such as wind, solar and hydropower—is required to meet goals for delivering climate-safe and abundant electricity. This transition must happen in a way that does not negatively impact communities or landscapes, such as the widespread loss of healthy rivers and floodplains to hydropower dams or the conversion or degradation of important terrestrial and marine habitats to wind and solar expansion and transmission lines. WWF scientists, with partners, are researching pathways to expand renewable energy through policies and practices that meet urgent climate goals while minimizing negative impacts to social and environmental resources.

View More Projects