Liz Chornesky's profile

Dr. Liz Chornesky

Independent Consultant


Dr. Elizabeth Chornesky has worked for more than two decades on integrating science into policies and practices related to ecosystem management, sustainability, and global change. Since 2002, she has done so as a freelance consultant, assisting non-profit organizations, philanthropies, and public agencies in designing science, policy, investment, and organizational strategies. Previously, as National Director of Stewardship and then Director of Conservation Research at The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Chornesky oversaw that organization’s multi-million dollar research programs and led a team of >20 extension scientists specializing in ecological management, monitoring, and restoration. She also worked for five years as a project director and policy analyst at the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment – a science and technology think tank that advised the U.S. Congress – on national assessments related to invasive species and pesticide alternatives. Dr. Chornesky has served as a consultant and advisor to, among others, the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (USGS), the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She was elected member-at-large for the AAAS Section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering in 2005 and has served on numerous statewide and national committees, including a National Research Council committee evaluating the national strategic plan for climate and global change research, an initiative of the Ecological Society of America’s Governing Board to bolster the future impacts of the ecological sciences, and an expert panel convened by the California Ocean Science Trust to help evaluate options for decommissioning offshore oil and gas platforms.

She recently led the work of a science panel convened by the Resources Legacy Fund to identify guiding principles for adapting California’s ecosystems to climate change. Dr. Chornesky’s early career was as a research scientist in marine ecology and systematics at the Smithsonian Institution and Lehigh University. She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.