Partnering with Arizona State University

Training the next generation of conservation leaders — while protecting the nature people need to thrive

© Arizona Board of Regents


Conservation International and Arizona State University are launching a landmark partnership to protect nature, promote sustainable development models and train the next generation of conservation leaders.

Logos of Arizona State University and Conservation International


M. Sanjayan, Conservation International's CEO, on why we're thrilled about this new partnership with the country's most innovative university.


Over the next five years, Conservation International and ASU will combine institutional strengths to focus on achieving the following goals:


Train the next generation of conservation leaders


Protect 1 million hectares of essential natural capital vital to human well-being


Transition 100 million food producers to sustainable production



Through this partnership, Conservation International provides ASU with opportunities to translate research into action to produce real-world conservation solutions. ASU provides Conservation International with a wealth of research capacity and the opportunity to interact with, train and influence young leaders in conservation.

All too often, a lack of collaboration between researchers and practitioners results in the valuable research from world-renowned academic institutions not informing work in the field. This “research-action” gap presents a missed opportunity to not only maximize the collective brainpower tackling critical conservation issues, but to enhance our understanding around the effectiveness of conservation practices. What is working, what isn’t and how we can realize the transformative conservation impacts we aim to achieve? Together, Conservation International and ASU are positioned to address these questions.​


Conservation International's professors of Practice

A cohort of conservation practitioners actively engaging with ASU faculty and students

© Arizona Board of Regents



ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

ASU logo

ASU and Conservation International will select six professors of practice who will bring applied conservation expertise from Conservation International into ASU's world-class university system, providing a platform for collaborative applied research and inquiry between the two institutions. Each professor of practice will conduct research focused on shared interest areas and teach and mentor the next generation of conservation leaders.

Professors of practice


  • Expertise
  • Language
  • Location

M. Sanjayan, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

M. Sanjayan is a global conservation scientist whose work spans from genetics to wildlife migration to nature’s impacts on human well-being. He has served as Conservation International’s chief executive officer since 2016.

Dave Hole, Ph.D.

Vice President, Global Solutions, Moore Center for Science

​Dr. Dave Hole’s interests focus on understanding the role that ecosystems, and the biodiversity that underpins them, play in supporting pathways to sustainable global development.

Jorge Ahumada, Ph.D.

Senior Wildlife Conservation Scientist, Moore Center for Science

​​​Dr. Jorge ​A. ​Ahumada​'s work with Conservation International ​features the use of camera traps ​and the ​Wildlife Picture Index​ ​​to monitor vertebrates.​ He is ​interest​ed​​ in applying mathematical models to solve applied conservation problems ​through projects that vary from studying the impacts of climate change on disease and biodiversity to incorporating the effects of temperature and rainfall on models of disease-transmitting carriers.

Rosimeiry Portela, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Ecological Economist, Moore Center for Science

Dr. Rosimeiry Portela leads research that relies on a variety of modeling techniques to estimate the benefits and values of ecosystem services in terrestrial and marine environments.

John N. (“Jack”) Kittinger, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Blue Production Program, Center for Oceans

As the senior director of the Blue Production Program in Conservation International's Center for Oceans, Dr. Kittinger works to ensure a healthy ocean provides benefits to coastal communities.

Percy Summers, Ph.D.

Director, USAID Sustainable Landscape Program, Conservation International-Peru

Percy Summers is the director of sustainable landscapes for Conservation International Peru.

Miroslav Honzák, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Assessing Nature's Value, Moore Center for Science

Dr. Miroslav Honzák’s research focuses on complex systems analysis of ecosystem services trade-offs and tipping points. Miroslav develops strategic partnerships with leading international conservation and development institutions, academia, government agencies and businesses, and facilitates dissemination of research findings.

Partnership directors

Partnership managers

Dr. Michael B. Mascia
© Nicholas Karlin

Dr. Michael B. Mascia

Senior Vice President, Moore Center for Science
Conservation International

Full bio

Portrait of Katie Russell
© Nicholas Karlin

Katie Russell

Development & Partnership Director
Conservation International

Dr. Leah Gerber
© Leah Gerber

Dr. Leah Gerber

Founding Director, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes

Senior Sustainability Scientist
Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

Full bio

Amy Scoville-Weaver
© Amy Scoville-Weaver

Amy Scoville-Weaver

Project Manager
Arizona State University

Full bio


Stories from our professors of practice

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