Jennifer Rae Pierce

PhD Student, School of community and regional planning, UBC

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.