05:01 PM

For Immediate Release

Defenders of Wildlife Announces Director of the Center for Conservation Innovation

WASHINGTON (July 9, 2018) – Defenders of Wildlife has promoted Jacob Malcom to be Director of the Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI). Dr. Malcom came to Defenders in January 2015. He earned his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Texas at Austin and has a deep understanding of the practice of endangered species and habitat conservation, having worked as a biologist from 2000-2008 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at San Bernardino and Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuges in Arizona.

Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO, Jamie Rappaport Clark, issued this statement:

“As Director of Defenders of Wildlife’s Center for Conservation Innovation, Jacob will provide strategic vision and strong leadership to better inform our work to increase the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act and develop enduring solutions to advance imperiled species conservation efforts. His deep knowledge of policy, technological savvy, and facility with data analysis has been key in the innovative work produced by the Center.

“The mission of the Center is to improve endangered species conservation in the U.S., using data, technology, and interdisciplinary approaches to pioneer innovative, pragmatic conservation solutions. We look forward to having Jacob in this important role.”


About the Center for Conservation Innovation

  • The Center focuses on improving endangered species conservation in the U.S., especially under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

  • CCI uses data, technology and interdisciplinary approaches to pioneer innovative, pragmatic conservation solutions.

  • With the application of data and science, CCI helps determine key habitat for wildlife and advocates for the protection of this habitat during the planning processes for forest and renewable projects.

  • Using satellite imagery, machine learning and cloud computing, scientists at CCI can track wildlife habitat destruction and degradation. In 2017, the CCI issued an analysis of sand-mining operations in Texas that are damaging habitat for the Dunes sagebrush lizard, one of the most imperiled lizards in the U.S.

  • We think about the next generation of wildlife policies and practices because yesterday’s approaches are inadequate to solve tomorrow’s challenges. And we strive for real-world benefits for the full spectrum of endangered plants and animals across our nation.

Recent CCI Papers and Applications authored by or developed by Dr. Malcom

  • Dr. Malcom co-authored a paper for the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science on the first complete analysis of Endangered Species Act consultations. The research showed that the “conventional wisdom” about how this important part of the ESA works was wrong: in reality, no project had been stopped as a result of a Fish and Wildlife Service finding that it would jeopardize species’ existence, and the majority of project evaluations are completed well below required deadlines.

  • Dr. Malcom developed a web app that allows users to perform full-text search of over 15,000 ESA-related documents; it is a “Google search” just for the ESA. This resource is used by people across the country every day, including staff in federal agencies and people in the private sector, to better understand and plan for species conservation.

  • Since 2016, Dr. Malcom has been working with partners inside and outside of Defenders to develop prototype web-based ESA recovery plans. This work is essential to illustrating how modern web tools can improve recovery planning and implementation through collaboration and by integrating real-time data that improves decision-making.

Photo of Dr. Jacob Malcom available here for download.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.