Bio and CV
Jennifer Rae Pierce is a political ecologist and urban biodiversity planner. She excels in cross-cultural facilitation and comparative research. Her dissertation is entitled "Engaging Plurality in Biodiversity Planning: How cities nurture support for conservation across difference." Her dissertation research is a mixed methods review of how local governments worldwide are communicating to the public through activities and planning documents. It combines a lexical analysis of biodiversity plans by 65 cities around the world with interviews and onsite observations in Japan and Singapore.
She has an architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology and she worked as an architect and project manager specialized in sustainability standards for the City of Chicago and local Chicago Architecture firms for seven years. She earned a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University with a thesis on how cities define biodiversity called "Planning for Urban Biodiversity in a Divided World." She earned a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from Central European University with a thesis entitled "The Bioshed of Jerusalem: A model for urban biodiversity planning, visioning, and communicating." She has worked with several conservation groups to produce white papers on urban biodiversity. She produced a toolkit on mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services across local governments for ICLEI called the Nature of Mainstreaming. Her research includes international comparative work on urban biodiversity plans as well as onsite research on biodiversity practices in Japan, Singapore, Curitiba (Brazil), and Jerusalem (Israel). She taught environmental philosophy and planning as a Fellow at CEPT University in Ahmedabad (India). Since her arrival in Vancouver in 2015, she has worked with the City as a Greenest City Scholar to develop assessments and recommendations on urban beavers and Canada geese, and also partnered with BCIT to measure the ecological footprint of the City. In 2016, she became co-founder of the Urban Biodiversity Hub, a global database for urban biodiversity plans, reports, and other activities.
Edited Volumes, Books, and Book Chapters
2021 Sectional editor with Dr. Schell for section entitled “Cities and Biodiversity” in the Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Cities and Landscapes in the Pacific Rim. Forthcoming. Single blind peer-reviewed.
2021 First author on chapter entitled “A Guide to Governance and Management for Urban Biodiversity” in the Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Cities and Landscapes in the Pacific Rim. with ten co-authors. Forthcoming. Single blind peer-reviewed.
2012-2013 Assistant writer and researcher for Saving Our Cities: A Progressive Plan to Transform Urban America book on planning for justice and equity, by William Goldsmith, published 2016.
Refereed Journal Articles
2021 “Scaling biodiversity conservation efforts: An examination of the relationship between global biodiversity targets and local plans.” Frontiers in Conservation Science. Special Issue. First author with six co-authors. Forthcoming (abstract accepted).
2020 “Actions, indicators, and outputs in urban biodiversity plans: A multinational analysis of city practice.” First author with six co-authors. PLOS One. July 8. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0235773
pending Co-author with Sarah Reed et al. white paper Conservation Design and Stewardship Guidelines for Local Land-Use Regulations published by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Conservation Working Development Group.
2018 Co-author with Robert McDonald et al. report Nature in the Urban Century: A global assessment of where and how to conserve nature for biodiversity and human wellbeing. white paper produced in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Nov 14. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.11429.14563
2016 Understanding and Managing Resident Canada Geese in Vancouver. August. Report published by the Vancouver Parks Board and City of Vancouver. 40 pages. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.33397.22241
2016 Understanding and Managing Beavers in Vancouver. August. Report published by the Vancouver Parks Board and City of Vancouver. 26 pages. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.26686.33606
2014 The Nature of Mainstreaming: a local integrated planning toolkit for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Report published by the ICLEI Africa Secretariat: March. 94 pages. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.24707.50722
2018 Brahm Weisman Memorial Scholarship in Community and Regional Planning
2018 Yokohama Urban Solutions Study Research Scholarship Program at Yokohama City University
2016 Four Year Fellowship from the University of British Columbia
2014 Outstanding Academic Achievement Award from Central European University
2013 American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award from Cornell University
2013 Miller-Sidgwick International Exchange Scholarship from the Telluride Association
2012 Tinker Grant from Cornell University
2012 Graduate Research Travel Grant from Cornell University
2011 Eve Fertig Student Scholarship by New York State Association of Conservation Commissions
2000-2005 Heald Scholarship, Drosde Travel Scholarship, John Auger Holabird Study Fellowship at IIT
2014-2015 Fellow, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) in Ahmedabad, India
One-year visiting position at CEPT University’s planning department for teaching and research, particularly in sustainable philosophy and environmental planning for undergraduate and graduate students. Researched and authored a report on undergraduate planning curricula worldwide to inform development of planned new program. Student feedback results from the teaching quality survey on all courses developed exceeded the department average.
RESEARCH APPOINTMENTS AND FELLOWSHIPS
2019 Research Fellow in Singapore, hosted by the National Parks Board of Singapore
• Mixed methods research of public engagement events and materials related to nature and biodiversity.
2018 Yokohama Urban Solutions Studies (YUSS) Program Fellow hosted by the Yokohama City University in Yokohama, Japan.
• Researched municipal biodiversity planning and engagement through surveys and document analysis in eight Japanese municipalities.
2017-2018 Sustainability Analyst for the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver, BC
• Calculated the ecological footprint and greenhouse gas emissions for the City of Vancouver using an eco-city footprint excel-based tool, based on consumption patterns
• Calculated metrics from GIS data for all municipalities on the project
• Generated data visualizations for presentations and handouts (graphics, icons, and layouts)
2017-2018 Assistant Coordinator for research project entitled “Pipelines and the Poetics of Place” hosted by the Interdisciplinary Department of UBC in Vancouver, BC
• SSHRC-funded research on alternative modes of Environmental Impact Assessment projects
• Directed all stages of production for the 37-minute film “Unsettling Environmental Review” on alternative modes of expressing the value of land and environment informed by artists, indigenous peoples, spirituality, and inhabitants of vulnerable neighborhoods.
2015-2018 Research Assistant hosted by the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at UBC in Vancouver, BC
• Interdepartmental PICS-funded research on international cases of community-level climate mitigation planning
2016 Greenest City Scholar for the City of Vancouver Parks Department in Vancouver, BC
• Prepared reports on wildlife management in the city, one each on beaver and Canada Geese populations
• Recorded field data and produced maps on status and behaviors of beavers and geese
2014 International Trade Analysis Intern at TRAFFIC International in Budapest, Hungary
• Researched and authored a report on international trade of medicinal plants
• Mapped and graphed trade data using GIS, excel, and Illustrator
2013 Resilience Planning Analyst for Enterprise Community Partners in New York, NY, USA
• Developed the first Resilience Comprehensive Needs Assessment (RCNA) for multifamily affordable housing to mitigate and adapt to climate change
• Facilitated input from affordable housing managers on resilience planning
2011-2013 Graduate Research Assistant at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA
• Research for Kudva on climate change adaptation planning
• Comparative analysis for Frantz on green street policies in the U.S.
2012 Graduate Researcher jointly hosted by the City of Curitiba Department of Environment and the Pontifical Catholic University (PUCPR) in Curitiba, Brazil
• Researched local sustainability programs including the Biocidade biodiversity program, the Bus Rapid Transit program, waste reduction program, and environmental education initiatives
2012 Research Partner hosted by the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center in Cape Town, South Africa
• Created a biodiversity policy toolkit for local governments, published by ICLEI
• Produced an analysis of ICLEI's Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) Pioneer program
• Led a planning workshop at the Urban Nature conference in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with 42 local government representatives, and interviewed practitioners to inform toolkit content
2019- Municipal Planner, Bowen Island Municipality on Bowen Island, BC
• Analyzed current bylaws and the OCP by synthesizing information from past engagement, census data, open GIS data, and bylaws from comparator communities, visualizing findings for Council that led to direction to develop proposals for new regulations including a kennels bylaw, site alteration bylaw, Community Heritage Register, and hazardous development permit area
• Reviewed and drafted DVPs, DPs, TUPs, right-of-way easement agreements, and rezoning applications, consulting with the Province, the Crown, and the ALC
• Created the Evacuation Plan document, and analyzed and mapped emergency planning data as liaison for the Emergency Program
2016- Co-founder of the Urban Biodiversity Hub (www.ubhub.org)
• Founded in 2016 an international volunteer organization that features the world’s most comprehensive database of urban biodiversity activities and resources, and a platform that tracks biodiversity indicators for local governments
• Lead research teams of seven people who create academic publications and grey literature
• Promoted the project to experts, governments, and NGOs, securing partnership relations
• Managed communication graphics and web production teams
• Coordinated interface between design and software development teams
2009-2011 Senior Associate for STR Partners (an architecture firm) in Chicago, IL
• Managed an $82M LEED construction project for the Chicago Public Building Commission
• Utilized a team approach for a systemic, integrated design, coming in $10M under budget
• Coordinated 6 in-house architects and 12 consultant companies through all project stages
• Design includes biodiversity focus, with native plantings, onsite stormwater wetland system and green roof designed as a bird habitat
2006-2009 Project Manager for DeStefano Partners (an architecture firm), installed as a representative of the City of Chicago
• Managed lead architects and engineers on sustainability projects and budgets for the City
• Developed standards for sustainable prototypes of public school buildings
• Co-editor of the Chicago Public Schools sustainable buildings guidebook (418 pages)
2005-2006 Project Architect, Muller & Muller in Chicago, IL
• Planned green spaces, bike paths, and public transit stations for the City of Chicago
2004 GreenTech Intern, for the City of Chicago Department of Environment
• Promoted sustainable planning and policies to developers, businesses, and nonprofits