Peter Kareiva is the Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (or IoES) at UCLA. Prior to that, he was Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, Director of the Division of Conservation Biology at NOAA’s fisheries lab in Seattle, and a Professor at several universities, but most notably in terms of duration University of Washington, Brown University, and Santa Clara University.
Peter began his career as a mathematical biologist who also did fieldwork on plants and insects around the world. His early work focused on ecological theory and he gradually shifted to agriculture, biotechnology, risk assessment, and conservation. He now mixes policy and social science with natural science, and further believes that today’s environmental challenges require a strong dose of the humanities and private sector engagement.
Peter has written or edited nine books and nearly 200 articles, including a conservation biology textbook. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Science. And now that he is in Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in the world, and teaching at a huge (a population of 70,000) public university where 40% of the students are “first generation,” one-third of the students are international, and only 1 in 4 of the students are “white,” he is asking what is the future of conservation and environmentalism in this new America? and what does Hollywood have to do with it?