Latest On The Conservation Gateway

A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!

LANDFIRE Team Picture, Randy Swaty, Kori Blankenship, Kim Hall, Megan Dettenmaier, Sarah Hagen, Jim Smith

LANDFIRE is a national program with partners, colleagues and resources spread across the United States. The Conservation Gateway is the central site for The Nature Conservancy's LANDFIRE Team. We are located coast to coast -- Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, and offer stellar user support.

Jim Smith, LANDFIRE Program Lead, Salem, Virginia Jim Smith

Jim Smith is currently The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Project Lead for LANDFIRE where he acts as the liaison between natural resource professionals, program developers, ecologists and everyday LANDFIRE users. Jim leads targeted, coordinated outreach and analysis to improve conservation outcomes. Jim works at a variety of scales to help LANDFIRE users ask the right questions, get the best information and arrive at thoughtful solutions. Jim publishes in peer-reviewed journals, participates in professional presentations and workshops and provides technical support to the productive team he leads at TNC. Jim has received awards from the International Spatial Accuracy Research Association, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, ESRI and the U.S. Geological Survey. Jim resides in Salem, Virginia. Jim can be reached at | Google Scholar citations

Kori Blankenship, Fire Ecologist, Bend, Oregon Kori Blankenship

Kori Blankenship is a Certified Fire Ecologist with The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) LANDFIRE team. Kori combines on the ground experience in forestry and fire with technical expertise in ecological modeling and data science to support conservation and land management efforts across the U.S. Her current projects focus on understanding historical fire regimes, measuring contemporary changes in fire frequency and severity, and quantifying ecosystem conditions. Previously Kori worked at the Missoula Fire Science Laboratory, the Wenatchee National Forest, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Kori earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Geography from Western Washington University. Kori can be reached at | Google Scholar citations

Megan Dettenmaier, Communications Lead, Reno, Nevada megan dettenmaier

Megan Dettenmaier is a Communications Lead for The Nature Conservancy’s LANDFIRE Team. She leads communications between everyday LANDFIRE users and behind the scenes LANDFIRE staff. Megan uses her knowledge and appreciation of ecology to implement innovative communication strategies that benefit both seasoned LANDFIRE users and LANDFIRE beginners. With the help of the TNC LANDFIRE Team, Megan takes a practical approach when communicating complex LANDFIRE concepts with existing (and potential) LANDFIRE users. Connecting and helping the LANDFIRE community is her top priority and can be observed through her leadership with outreach strategies including “LANDFIRE Office Hours”, the LANDFIRE “Brief” and LANDFIRE’s growing social media presence on Twitter (@nature_landfire) and YouTube (@landfirevideo). Megan can be reached at

Sarah Hagen, Spatial Ecologist, Minneapolis, Minnesota Sarah Hagen

Sarah Hagen is a Spatial Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) LANDFIRE Team and the Illinois Business unit. She uses her background in ecology and GIS to support conservation planning, land protection, and land management at multiple scales. Sarah’s LANDFIRE contributions include combining datasets to best understand the past and current conditions of a landscape, building fire needs assessments, and using LANDFIRE data to identify the most important places to protect. Sarah has a background in grassland conservation and serves as the grasslands expert on the LANDFIRE team. She also has a passion for cartography and accessibility and would happily spend all her time helping everyone create beautiful maps that are accessible to all users. Sarah serves as co-lead of the WebGIS committee on TNC’s organizational Geospatial Council and advises anyone who will listen on the basic principles of Universal Design. Sarah has a B.S. in wildlife ecology, a M.S. in environmental conservation, and a graduate-level certificate in GIS from the University of Wisconsin. She also earned a certificate in climate change and public health from Yale University. Sarah can be reached at

Kim Hall, Climate Ecologist, Haslett Michigan Kim Hall

Kim is a Climate Ecologist with the North America program. Her work focuses on addressing climate change vulnerabilities within site and landscape-scale conservation. She was part of the science and outreach team for the "Conserving Nature's Stage" project for the Great Lakes & Tallgrass prairie region, the Great Plains, and the Western US. She led a project designed by Brad McRae & funded by NASA to update the Circuitscape and Omniscape software, including climate connectivity applications. Kim enjoys supporting new applications of these tools, and contributing to updates and continued development of Brad's software. She is building from a past SNAPP (Science for Nature and People Partnership) working group focused on strategies for reducing risks to people and nature from climate-related increases in drought risks. The work involves demonstration projects in MT and OR where they are applying their SNAPP ecological drought framework, and visualization tool. Kim is broadly interested in improving TNC's use of science through better data visualization and communication and she is actively engaged in climate adaptation guidance development and networking including helping to organize the National Adaptation Forum. Kim can be reached at | Google Scholar citations

Randy Swaty, Ecologist, Marquette, Michigan Randy Swaty

Randy Swaty is an Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) LANDFIRE team and co-lead of the Conservation Data Lab. He uses his ecological knowledge and programming expertise to assist natural resource professionals seeking the best data to support their work. Randy leads problem-solving and data exploration sessions and demonstrates the power of leadership and coordination through his wide professional network. His work has ranged from supporting mycorrhizal fungi experts to map potential fungal communities (see Swaty et al., 2016) to developing a template for forest professionals to follow when preparing for  forest certification audits. Randy's accomplishments include the publication of multiple peer-reviewed publications and participation in numerous professional presentations but most of all, Randy enjoys connecting with natural resource professionals and helping them find ways to best leverage the power of LANDFIRE data to advance and amplify their work. Randy can be reached at | Google Scholar citations

TNC Team Generic Mailbox

TNC and Landfire logos

The Connection Between The Nature Conservancy and LANDFIRE

In this interview, Jim Smith, TNC LANDFIRE Program Lead, describes how LANDFIRE helps the Conservancy advance conservation in North America. Jim summarizes the Program's history, its context within TNC, LF product advancements, and plans for the future.

New CODA Fellow

Kim Hall

Climate Change Ecologist Kim Hall has been awarded a CODA fellowship by The Nature Conservancy's LANDFIRE team as a member of the CbD 2.x Module Development - Situation Analysis Team. During her time on the project, Kim will create a single module on Situation Analysis (including guidance and tools) that will help teams better understand the context in which they work, identify factors that influence our priorities, and identify opportunities to act in support of the 2030 Goals.

The LANDFIRE Program is led by the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy. LANDFIRE is part of TNC's North America Region


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