WCS North America


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Darren Long
Progam Director, Climate Adaptation Fund
As program officer with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Darren is responsible for all management, administration and grantmaking activities of the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, which will make $4 million in grants available to organizations working to implement applied climate adaptation projects for wildlife over the next two years. Darren spent four years at WCS directing giving and strategy for the Wildlife Action Opportunities Fund, that awarded more than $7.5 million in support for nonprofit conservation organizations working to implement priorities of strategic habitat conservation plans in all 50 states and six U.S. territories. Both programs have been made possible by the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Before moving to Montana in 2006 to join the Wildlife Conservation Society team, Darren spent four years at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, where his work focused on green space preservation and the expansion and improvement of urban parks through the Foundation’s Environmental Initiative. Also in Georgia, Darren served as the Program Associate for Habitat at the Turner Foundation. There, his principal focus was the funding of public policy advocacy, litigation and local grassroots efforts to preserve terrestrial and marine biodiversity through landscape-scale habitat protection. And from 1996-2002, Darren spent many happy hours observing the behavior of apes and monkeys while coordinating research, conservation and education programs for the Living Links Center - Emory University's institute for the study of human and ape evolution. Darren has volunteered as a consulting editor for the children’s science magazine Odyssey. He has also made various public appearances as "Captain Planet," the world’s only environmental superhero, in support of the Captain Planet Foundation, which provides grants for youth-run environmental projects. He received a master's degree in Political Science at Montana State University, is a graduate of The George Washington University and studied history and environmental policy at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia.
Kathryn Dunning
Director of Communications and Operations, Climate Adaptation Fund
Kathryn Dunning is the Director of Communications and Operation with the Climate Adaptation Fund. Here, she works with current non-profit partners awarded funding to create creative and innovative communications about their work, helping advance the field of climate adaptation, while tracking the progress of projects to ensure their success. In addition, she works to promote the program broadly throughout the conservation community. After receiving a B.A. in Sociology and Philosophy, she promptly went to work in the non-profit sector, writing grants, outreach materials, web content and op-ed pieces for several organizations throughout Wyoming and Montana. A passion for wildlife and natural resources lead her to pursue a B.S. in ecology while running field and laboratory projects examining community and disease ecology with the Rocky Mountain Research Station. This experience lead to editorial work with the Journal of Wildlife Management as well as freelance science writing popular press pieces, grants and outreach and communication pieces for a variety of conservation and environmental organizations.
Molly Cross
Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator
Molly Cross, Ph.D., is the Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for the North America Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Her work focuses on bringing together science experts and conservation practitioners to translate broad-brush climate change adaptation strategies into on-the-ground conservation actions. Molly is helping to lead climate change planning efforts involving diverse stakeholders at several landscapes across North America, focused on a range of targets from individual species to more complex ecosystems. She recently co-edited the book Climate and Conservation: Landscape and Seascape Science, Planning and Action, and co-wrote a guidebook and associated training course on Scenario Planning as a tool for climate change adaptation. Molly has contributed to several national climate change efforts including the U.S. National Climate Assessment, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies guidance on incorporating climate change into state wildlife action plans, and the Climate-Smart Conservation guide to climate adaptation. She is the Science Advisor to the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, which supports applied projects demonstrating effective interventions for wildlife adaptation to climate change. Molly got her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied ecosystem responses to climate warming and plant diversity loss in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
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