Women in conservation: Megan Barnes

What I do for nature
As a research scientist at the University of Hawaii and the Centre of excellence in Environmental Decisions, my work focuses on helping support managers and policy makers to make the best decisions possible for conserving the amazing species and places on this planet. I work collaboratively to better understand the difference out conservation actions make, support wise use of resources, and target science to where it is most needed to support decisions. I work on international conservation policy, in particular for protected areas, to ensure the places we love are safe, and on local management of land and ocean resources in Hawaii, Australia and Canada to make decisions in the face of uncertainty about what will happen in the future.

“I help support excellent decisions that protect the wonders of the land and sea for generations to come”

 

Why I do it

I have always been connected to the land. Growing up in Australia some of my most vivid memories are of wading through rockpools with my family, adventuring in mysterious wet forests in ex-volcanic craters to find a Lyrebird with my grandparents, and sunset above cloud base surrounded by a sea of red tinted waves on top of mountains in the Victorian highlands. I trained as a biologist, simply fascinated by the way the world around me worked, especially its complexities and the interactions between living things. As I grew as a scientist though, I realised that I could not only study a world in peril. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic education, and was in a position where I had the privilege, opportunity intellect and passion to make a positive difference. So, I developed the skills and networks to do that, and combine statistics and decision science, with time in the field, in communities, and in boardrooms to make it happen. I am lucky enough to work with a huge number of passionate and brilliant colleagues around the world.

“I am connected to the land and sea and had the privilege, opportunity intellect and passion to make a positive difference. I combine statistics and decision science, with time in the field, in communities, and in boardrooms to help conserve our land and oceans”

 

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