April 30, 2024

Olander Joins Team Preparing National Nature Assessment

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Lydia Olander, program director at the Nicholas Institute

The U.S. Global Change Research Program has announced Lydia Olander, program director at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, as one of more than 150 experts who will write the first-ever National Nature Assessment.

Over the next two years, the authors will take stock of nature’s inherent worth, as well as what it provides to culture, health and well-being, jobs and livelihoods, safety and more. The assessment will also look ahead to understand how these benefits might change in the future.

Experts were selected by the 11 chapter leads in consultation with federal leadership, based in part on a public call for author nominations. Olander, who is also an adjunct professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment, will coauthor the first chapter on the approach to the assessment.

In her role at the Nicholas Institute, Olander works on improving evidence-based policy and accelerating implementation of climate resilience, nature-based solutions, natural capital accounting and environmental markets. She leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership and sits on Duke’s Climate Commitment action team.

Olander recently spent two years with the Biden administration at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) as director of nature-based resilience. During her time at CEQ, she co-led development of a federal roadmap to identify opportunities for using nature-based solutions to address climate change, nature loss and inequity.