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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Climate and Conservation: Tools and Data at the Scale of Land Use Decision-makingNovember 20

About Our Speakers

Karen Gaffney

Karen Gaffney is the Conservation Planning Manager at the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. Working with a diverse cross section of the community, Karen is currently leading landscape scale initiatives related to climate change, ecosystem services, and conservation prioritization. A graduate of U.C Berkeley, she has a Master’s degree in biology from Sonoma State University and is a Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellow. Karen serves on the Department of Conservation Statewide Watershed Advisory Committee, is past president of the Board of Conservation Corps North Bay, past president of the Society for Ecological Restoration, California Chapter, and has served on the board of directors of the international Watershed Management Council.

Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson has worked in land conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area for fourteen years. As Conservation Planner for the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Tom focuses on developing data, decision tools and strategies that promote effective and efficient conservation of the county’s agriculture and natural resources. Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in ecology from U.C. San Diego, is a master’s student in geography at San Francisco State University, and a Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellow.

About the Talk

Conversion of natural land for human uses is responsible for an estimated 17% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. In the U.S., a large proportion of land use change decision-making occurs at the local level. The goal of our work is to develop an accounting framework that integrates carbon data and conservation priorities to reveal the greenhouse gas emissions benefits of conservation-oriented land use policy and land conservation activities at the county scale. With robust carbon data and an accounting framework, counties can demonstrate the role local jurisdictions play in helping meeting state and federal GHG emissions reductions goals.


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This talk was held at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on November 20, 2014, as part of the Carbon Monitoring System Applications Policy Speaker Series.

For upcoming events, check out CMS Applications Policy Speaker Series.

Your suggestions for future speakers or feedback about our series are welcomed.  Contact the Applications Team.