Michigan State University Extension’s Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) will receive the Science and Technology Advancement Award for 2014 from NatureServe next week at the NatureServe annual meeting in New Orleans.
MNFI is receiving the award for work related to wind energy. The work influenced state and agency policy, and resulted in significant new findings concerning bird and bat activities related to wind energy development.
Dr. Brian Klatt, director of MNFI said, “This is recognition of a truly organization-wide effort … nearly every single scientist here at MNFI has been a PI (principal investigator) on one of the related projects.”
Based in Arlington, Virginia, NatureServe is a nonprofit organization that provides wildlife-conservation-related data, tools and services to private and government clients, partner organizations and the public. Read my previous Spotlight article about the connection between MNFI and NatureServe
This year, NatureServe is one of seven recipients of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MACEI). The award recognizes exceptional nonprofits, helping ensure their long-term sustainability. NatureServe will receive $1 million to amplify its voice in global change.
Based in Arlington, Virginia, NatureServe is a nonprofit organization that provides wildlife-conservation-related data, tools and services to private and government clients, partner organizations and the public.
NatureServe is an umbrella organization that helps coordinate the activities of a network of natural heritage programs throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. In the U.S., each state has a natural heritage program whose mission is to maintain a database on the location and condition of threatened, endangered and other rare species, conduct research in conservation and make that information available to decision makers. Science-based information for decision makers sounds a lot like the overall mission of Michigan State University Extension, doesn’t it? In fact, the natural heritage program for Michigan is MSU Extension’s own Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI).
MNFI and NatureServe share a long history of cooperation and connections. A number of senior NatureServe staff were formerly with MNFI, including NatureServe’s current president and CEO Mary Klein. MNFI’s current director Brian Klatt is a member of NatureServe’s U.S. Section Council.
More important than the personal connections is the shared mission. As the MacArthur Foundation stated in announcing the award, “Conservation and protection of the Earth’s land, natural resources, and biodiversity is a messy, complex business.” The NatureServe network “helps civil society, governments, and private companies establish benchmarks and make effective decisions about environmental stewardship. By responding to more than six million data queries each year, the NatureServe network informs land use and natural resource management decisions that guide conservation to the most important places and diminish harmful impacts on biodiversity.”
Both the award to our partner and our role in the network via MNFI are yet more reasons to be proud of MSU Extension’s activities.
Dr. Brian Klatt, director of Michigan State University Extension‘s Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), was appointed to the U.S. Section Council of NatureServe.
Sound natural resource management begins with knowing the extent, status and diversity of our natural resources. NatureServe, a non-profit conservation organization, represents an international network of biological inventories known as natural heritage programs. A natural heritage program exists in each of the 50 states, many of the Canadian provinces and a number of Latin American countries.
The MNFI serves as the natural heritage program for Michigan. As such, MNFI maintains the most comprehensive database on threatened, endangered, and other rare species and high quality habitats in the state and conducts research into a variety of conservation issues. In the best Extension tradition, MNFI uses this information to inform decision makers as to sound conservation practices at individual landowner, local government, non-governmental organization, state agency and federal levels.
NatureServe aggregates the information maintained by these programs into an international database. As a member of the U.S. Section Council, Dr. Klatt will provide input into the direction and annual goals of NatureServe and help coordinate activities across the network in the U.S. We’re fortunate to have Dr. Klatt’s leadership on behalf of Michigan and MNFI’s connection to MSUE.