senior scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
A tropical forest ecologist, Nepstad has studied tropical forests and strategies for their conservation for the last 24 years. His research includes the Amazon forest tipping point, the analysis of public policies to conserve the Amazons natural resources, the prediction of future trends of Amazon forests and people, the taming of agroindustry, and the development of carbon markets to reduce deforestation within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, he leads the Centers Amazon program and coordinates the program on REDD (Reductions in Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). In 1995, he co-founded the Amazon Institute of Environmental Studies (Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amaznia), which is now the largest independent research institution in the Amazon region. He also helped to found Aliana da Terra, a non-governmental organization comprised of cattle ranchers and soy farmers devoted to sound land stewardship, and was a founding board member of the Roundtable for Responsible Soy. He has published more than 100 scientific articles and books on the Amazon and tropical forests generally.