Skip to main content

Bird Conservation around the World and in Our Own Backyards: From Awe to Action

Lynn Scarlett

Oct 18 2023 | 7:30pm PT Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Fleischmann Auditorium

Headshot of Lynn Scarlett
Lynn Scarlett

Lynn Scarlett

Bird Conservation around the World and in Our Own Backyards: From Awe to Action

Wednesday, October 18, 7:30 PM
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Fleischmann Auditorium

Presented by the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.

A landmark 2019 report in Science describes a loss of 3 billion birds in North America since 1970. Seventy bird species have lost two-thirds of their population over this period. The causes are numerous, many threats continue, and climate change brings more challenges and uncertainties. Despite over a century of bird conservation, losses continue. Yet conservation opportunities, informed by science, bring pathways to reversing and avoiding declines. These include advances in regenerative agriculture, smart siting of land-transforming renewable energy, investments in green infrastructure and nature’s contributions to climate resilience, and large landscape collaborative conservation. 

This presentation will draw upon years of experience at the Department of the Interior, The Nature Conservancy, and with collaborative conservation partnerships across the nation to explore conservation opportunities, their complexities and challenges, and their relevance to California and Santa Barbara.


Lynn Scarlett retired in December 2021 from The Nature Conservancy, the largest conservation organization in the world, where she served as Global Chief External Affairs Officer. In this role, she served on the global executive team, oversaw and influenced climate and conservation policy in the United States and the 79 countries and territories in which TNC operates, and oversaw the Corporate Engagement and social impact investing teams, which advance private-sector partnerships to support corporate sustainability and enhance ambitious actions to address climate change. 

Prior to her role at the Conservancy, Scarlett served at the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2001-2009 in the GW Bush Administration, where she was the Deputy Secretary/Chief Operating Officer of the department, which manages 500 million acres of US public lands and offshore waters; she served as Acting Secretary of the Interior in 2006. During her tenure at the Interior Department, she chaired the First Lady’s Preserve America historic preservation initiative, the federal Wildland Fire Leadership Council, and the Cooperative Conservation Task Force, and she served on the executive team of the President’s Management Council. 

Scarlett also chaired the Science Advisory Board of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2014-2019. She serves on the advisory board of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Dean’s Advisory Council of the UC Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. She serves on the boards of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Sand County Foundation, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the Santa Barbara Foundation. She serves as a judge of the nature stewardship prize of the Paulson Institute (founded and led by former Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson), which advances US-China environmental partnerships and innovation. 

Scarlett received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and political economy from UC Santa Barbara, where she also completed her Ph.D. coursework and exams. She is an avid birder and hiker.

arrow up icon