LandScope and the NatureServe Network

The NatureServe network of natural heritage programs has been at work developing information on locations, condition, and status of species and ecosystems throughout the U.S. (and beyond) for more than 30 years.  The voluntary nature of this network, with each program an independent entity set within a unique institutional, policy, and legal framework, has meant that the “network” is only as real as we make it be. LandScope America can provide a unified window into the network, a common structure for sharing and presenting the rich information we have accumulated about our natural places and the special species and ecosystems they harbor, a two-way window that will also help us to see our network connections.

One feature that I’m especially excited about is the opportunity to tell some of the inspiring stories of conservation successes from across our network, and to feature video clips of some of our superb biologists - in the field - conveying their contagious enthusiasm for nature.

LandScope America provides an opportunity to disseminate and propagate innovations in data presentation that have arisen around our network in individual programs, making them accessible to other programs. It also offers the opportunity to tap the extensive and varied connections and experience of our network in providing information to many different types of decision processes and decision makers - from local land use planning, to land trusts, to natural resource management planning, resource-based industries, and environmental policy decisions. Coupling this with the experience of National Geographic in conveying science in accessible and engaging ways, promises to produce new presentations of information that are highly accessible, and particularly useful. We’re excited to have members of our network in five states participating as pilot programs in all aspects of the project – our member programs in FL, VA, CO, ME & WA, and we’re planning other opportunities for engagement of other state programs as the project progresses.

-- Judy

- Judy Soule

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