SLC Welcomes Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward

SLC Welcomes Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward

Dr. Brian Woodward. Photo by Alix Soliman. 

November 10, 2021

By Jamison Watts, Executive Director

The Santa Lucia Conservancy is excited to welcome Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward to our team. Dr. Woodward is a dedicated research ecologist and experienced project manager with a deep knowledge of California’s natural history and passion for education and public outreach. 

In his role as the Conservation Ecologist at Santa Lucia Conservancy, Dr. Woodward works under the direction of Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona, Director of Ecological Management, to advance the Conservancy’s mission of protecting and stewarding the unique natural and aesthetic resources of the Santa Lucia Preserve in partnership with The Preserve community. Dr. Woodward is responsible for developing and leading biological monitoring and environmental research, managing and developing institutional partnerships, engaging in outreach, and helping to ensure that land management decisions are based on the best available science.

Dr. Woodward received his B.A. in Environmental Studies from Sonoma State University and studied landscape ecology and remote sensing for his M.S in Forest Sciences at Colorado State University. For his PhD., Dr. Woodward was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship in Ecology at Colorado State University, where he studied the response of coastal redwood communities to the effects of wildfire and rapid environmental change. This research spanned disciplines, including forest, fire, and community ecology, habitat suitability modeling, and climate adaptation planning. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Woodward has conducted ecological monitoring and research across the western United States. Some of his major accomplishments include creating one of the first geospatial inventories of riparian vegetation across the seven-state Colorado River Basin, comprehensively evaluating the effectiveness of forest treatments on promoting management goals, and completing several studies related to fire, climate change, and plant/animal interactions. Having focused on spatial ecology research prior to his PhD, Dr. Woodward is also an expert in geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and habitat suitability modeling.

Since his first job in natural resource management over 15 years ago, Dr. Woodward has conducted fieldwork and supported research on projects ranging from fish censuses to forest inventories to invasive species eradication. A passionate teacher, Dr. Woodward previously served as a Center Lead and Scientific Advisor for the NASA DEVELOP Program, where he mentored dozens of students and young scientists in ecology and landscape-scale monitoring. Dr. Woodward has had multiple peer-reviewed scientific articles published related to ecology, wildfire, and remote sensing, and he is in the process of publishing a number of articles from his PhD and through collaborations with other researchers. 

Please welcome Dr. Woodward at [email protected] or (831) 402-2001.