The Heart of the Journey

Conservation Biology

If there is one theme that runs through most of my professional and personal life it is the protection of plants and animals and the habitats that support them. We increasingly use the term Conservation Biology to describe such work.  Conservation Biology is one of those integrative terms that can describe what is often an interdisciplinary effort to protect biological diversity. There is no question that humanity is primarily responsible for placing life on Earth on the raw edge of what may be the greatest extinction of species ever to happen.  

Although I'm not an organization man, I did most of my biodiversity protection and enhancement work while employed or engaged by two federal agencies, one state agency, and a university. Prior to the 1980's I published extensively of natural history subjects for the popular press. Although that work continues to a lesser extent today, in the early 1980's I began to publish in the scientific literature (search for baugh daily yearly).

In my work, I have helped protect and nurture small fish found in the western deserts of the US, manatees in the lagoons of Florida, and plants in the wetlands of western North Carolina. To gain some small idea of the nature of these efforts search the WEB using the keyword baugh followed by pupfish or spartina or restoration.


Over the decades, I have served on committees and working groups with several governmental organizations. During the Clinton Presidency I was Co-Chair of the Chattahoochee River Working Group of the American Heritage Rivers Initiative and represented my employing agency to the Urban Resources Partnership in the Atlanta area where our focus was the 'greening' of the built environment. 

I am currently involved with nongovernmental organizations including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) where I spent a term as Vice Chair for IUCN's Commission on  Ecosystem Management for North America and the Caribbean. I have recently been appointed to IUCN's Commission on Environment, Economics, and Social Policy. I am the founding member and now President Emeritus of the Religion and Conservation Biology Working Group of the Society for Conservation Biology.

Over the decades my work in Conservation Biology has evolved from restrictive, task-oriented efforts on a very local level to increasingly inclusive, interdisciplinary attempts with region-wide implications...each project a step along the way toward a transdisciplinary perspective.

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