Bridges appointed Chapter Lead on the first U.S. National Nature Assessment

Todd Bridges

Todd Bridges

Todd Bridges, professor of practice, resilient and sustainable systems at the University of Georgia College of Engineering, has been selected to serve as one of eleven Chapter Leads for the first-ever U.S. National Nature Assessment.

The first National Nature Assessment (NNA1) will take a holistic approach to better understand the role of nature in the lives of people across the country, integrating science with traditional ways of knowing and the needs of communities. The Assessment will take stock of what nature provides people through its inherent value, and its contribution to human well-being, the economy, cultural heritage, national security and more—and looks ahead to understand how these benefits might change under future conditions. The NNA1 is expected to be released in 2026. 

In his role as Chapter Lead of the Nature and the Safety & Security of the U.S. chapter, Bridges will direct the scoping of the chapter, including selecting and inviting all chapter authors and technical contributors. Chapter Leads are responsible for leading the development and writing of their chapter, and leading it through the public and peer review process. Chapter Leads will also lead the outreach and communication activities for their chapter after the Assessment’s release.

“It’s an honor to serve the country in this role, and it’s also daunting,” said Bridges. “The services and benefits that Nature provides to people and our communities are foundational to our society. Communicating the importance of our relationship to nature in the NNA is an awesome undertaking.”   

“The depth and breadth of our chapter leadership team is remarkable. We are incredibly fortunate to have the expertise, experience, and leadership of these recognized thought leaders for America’s first-ever National Nature Assessment,” said NNA1 Director Phil Levin.

The National Nature Assessment will be released for public comment, Tribal Consultation, and other Indigenous engagements: an outline will be ready in August 2024, and the first draft will be released in the fall of 2025.

Prior to joining UGA in 2023, Bridges served for 17 years as the U.S. Army’s Senior Research Scientist (ST) for Environmental Science, one of 40 Senior Research Scientists in the Department of the Army. Over his 30-year career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bridges led over $250 million in research projects and programs in environmental science and engineering and sustainable infrastructure. Bridges founded the Corps’ Engineering with Nature® program in 2010, which includes a broad range of research, field-scale applications, multi-sector collaborations, and communication efforts to advance the development and application of Nature-based Solutions. Among his 100 publications, Bridges led a five-year collaboration across the public and private sectors to develop and publish International Guidelines on Natural and Nature-Based Features for Flood Risk Management. Bridges received a Distinguished Presidential Rank Award from President Biden in 2021 for exceptional leadership, accomplishments, and service.

Read more about the National Nature Assessment here.

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