University of Washington professor Dr. Phillip Levin appointed director to lead first-ever US National Nature Assessment; NNA will take interdisciplinary approach to better understand role of nature in lives of people in US, set to be released in 2026

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April 5, 2023 (press release) –

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced the appointment of Dr. Phillip Levin as Director for the first-ever U.S. National Nature Assesment

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced the appointment of Dr. Phillip Levin, University of Washington professor of practice and lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Washington as Director for the first-ever United States National Nature Assessment (NNA).

The NNA will take an interdisciplinary approach to better understand the role of nature in the lives of people in the U.S., integrating science with traditional ways of knowing, and the needs of communities. It is intended to take stock of what nature provides people through its inherent value, human well-being, economic value and more, and look ahead to understand how its benefits might change under future climate conditions. The assessment is expected to be released in 2026.

“Successful conservation, especially in the face of an uncertain climate, is built on the knowledge and collaboration of Tribes, stakeholders, scientists, natural resource managers and local leaders. We all have a stake in—and can contribute to—a sustainable future. This collaboration will be key to the success of the National Nature Assessment, enabling us to develop a holistic understanding of nature in the United States,” said Dr. Levin.

With decades of experience bridging scientific knowledge and on-the-ground action through an interdisciplinary lens, Dr. Levin will guide the initiative as it creates a holistic picture of America’s lands, waters, wildlife and ecosystems—and the benefits they provide to both people and nature.

During this appointment, Dr. Levin will continue to advise UW graduate students and postdoctoral researchers and step away from his position at TNC, returning to the University when his appointment is finished. Mike Stevens, state director for TNC Washington, recognized the contributions Dr. Levin has made over the past six years through his dual appointment at TNC and UW:

“Through his commitment to collaborative research and support of students, Phil has transformed how TNC conducts science. He’s helped shape the next generation of scientists, brought together experts across disciplines, and worked to better integrate equity and social sciences into our conservation efforts. We’re proud to see him recognized at the national level and are confident that his enthusiasm for conservation benefitting people and nature will be echoed in the NNA, as it has through his work here in Washington.”

The University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy in Washington are thrilled to see Dr. Levin appointed to this role with the NNA and look forward to supporting our shared work of connecting people and nature through scientific understanding.



The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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