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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.