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Putting Ecosystem Services on the Map: A Seminar with Taylor Ricketts, Ph.D.

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01/23/2011

Taylor Ricketts is the Director of WWF's Conservation Science Program, and he served as a Convening Lead Author of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment - the 5-year, UN-sponsored effort to assess the world's ecosystems and their contribution to human well-being. Taylor is also co-founder of the Natural Capital Project, a partnership among WWF, The Nature Conservancy, and Stanford University. The project maps ecosystem services, estimates their value, and uses this information to inform and finance conservation investments.

The value of an ecosystem may seem impossible to quantify. But Taylor is striving to determine exactly that. He puts his doctorate in ecology and conservation biology - along with 15 years of conservation experience - to work measuring the value of biodiversity in monetary terms. Taylor believes effective conservation depends on quantifying the benefits that humans receive from nature: "ecosystem services," as he calls them, provided by forests, wetlands and other natural resources.

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