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Irvine Ranch Conservancy Staff Spotlight – Dr. Nathan Gregory

PictureNathan with his dog, Dozer

Meet Dr. Nathan Gregory, Director of Science and Stewardship
Innovation in science, research and monitoring is central to the mission of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. Our Science & Stewardship team collaborates with partners and colleagues to implement large-scale ecological restoration, remove invasive plant and animal species, monitor sensitive natural resources, and conduct scientific research to improve management over time.
Dr. Nathan Gregory was recently promoted to Director of the Science and Stewardship Department at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, working to apply the best science and practice to the long-term adaptive management of the land. Early in his career, Nathan worked on invasive species control and wildlife conservation and management issues in Hawaii, Alaska, and Colorado, and he later earned his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, where he studied the effects of land use, particularly managed fire and grazing, on bird communities in Kenya. Nathan then worked as a research ecologist and project manager for the non-profit Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) focusing on the conservation of the desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert and the recovery of the San Clemente Island fox. 

After leaving IWS, Nathan served for two years as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the United States Agency for International Development. As a fellow, Nathan worked to combat the wildlife poaching and trafficking crisis with a focus on demand reduction, technological innovation and work with local communities to value wildlife. He also trained conservation practitioners in best practices for adaptive management and strategic planning in countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, the Philippines and Indonesia.
“Nathan’s extensive knowledge of our local environment and the inner workings of our organization as well as his experience with strategic planning for adaptive management and relationships with our local and regional partners are a tremendous asset,” said Dave Raetz, Irvine Ranch Conservancy Deputy Director. “He understands the sensitive nature of working in an urban-wildland setting and values the contributions of our volunteers and the community at large. He is the perfect fit for the job, and we are so happy to have him.”

As the Director of Science and Stewardship, Nathan’s focus will be on expanding and enhancing IRC’s monitoring program to have a greater focus on wildlife and the incorporation of innovative technology. Nathan was promoted from within the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Science and Stewardship department so an internal priority of his is to find opportunities to build the capacity of both Science and Stewardship staff and volunteers and to promote the professional development of the staff.    
“We are thrilled to have Nathan as our next Director of Science and Stewardship,” said Irvine Ranch Conservancy Executive Director, Michael O’Connell. “Nathan is a world-class conservation scientist with a tremendous background and education. Throughout his time at the Conservancy he has been dedicated to the success of the organization and our partners. He is a shining example of the talent that Irvine Ranch Conservancy is able to attract and cultivate. We couldn’t be more delighted.”
Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s landscape-scale adaptive approach to land management is based in principles of science and ecology- from restoring and monitoring habitats to providing visitor experiences that increase appreciation of the lands, as well as building and maintaining trails that support visitor enjoyment. To learn more about science and stewardship and resource management visit