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Rachel Neugarten

Rachel Neugarten

Director, Conservation Priority Setting, Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science, Conservation International


  • Director, Conservation Priority Setting, Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science, Conservation International


Rachel Neugarten works to incorporate ecosystem services and human well-being into Conservation International's geographic priority setting framework. Rachel works with other experts from CI’s Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science to develop and test methods for mapping important areas for biodiversity and ecosystem services.

By bringing together data from remote sensing, ecosystem service modeling, and spatial analyses, Rachel and her team map ‘natural capital,’ ecosystems and biodiversity that provide benefits such as climate mitigation and adaptation, and freshwater and food security. Maps of natural capital help to guide spatial planning and priority-setting, and help target scarce resources to the places where they can be most effective.

Prior to joining CI, Rachel worked for The Nature Conservancy, conducting ecological assessments of freshwater systems and supporting project teams in conservation planning and evaluation. She helped develop adaptive management software, Miradi, which is a tool that helps conservation practitioners learn and apply the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. Rachel has a BA from Columbia University and an MS from the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, where she studied the socioeconomic and ecological implications of large-scale “working forest” conservation agreements. Rachel is originally from rural New York, but has studied, lived and worked as a field ecologist and conservation scientist in Arizona, Oregon, New Hampshire, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Trinidad.


  • MS, Natural Resources, Cornell University
  • BA, Columbia University

Journal Articles


Neugarten, R. A., M. Honzak, P. Carret, K. Koenig, L. Andriamaro, C. A. Cano, H. S. Grantham, D. Hole, D. Juhn, M. McKinnon, A. Rasolohery, M. Steininger, T. M. Wright and W. R. Turner. 2016. Rapid assessment of ecosystem service co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in Madagascar. PLoS One 11(12):e0168575. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168575. (link )