Mary Ruckelshaus

Managing Director, Natural Capital Project; Consulting Professor, Stanford University

Mary Ruckelshaus oversees all work of the Natural Capital Project partnership including strategy, coordination, fundraising, communications, and hiring. She is based in Seattle, WA, where she previously led the Ecosystem Science Program at NOAA’s NW Fisheries Science Center. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Professor of biological sciences at The Florida State University (1994-1997). The main focus of her recent work is on developing ecological models including estimates of the flow of environmental services under different management regimes in marine systems worldwide. Ruckelshaus serves on the Science Council of The Nature Conservancy and is a Trustee on its Washington Board, is a member of the US Ocean Research Advisory Panel–charged with providing independent science advice to the National Ocean Council, and is a past chair of the Science Advisory Board of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). She was Chief Scientist for the Puget Sound Partnership, a public-private institution charged with achieving recovery of the Puget Sound terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Ruckelshaus has a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University, a master’s degree in fisheries from the University of Washington, and a doctoral degree in botany, also from Washington.

Authored Content

  • Aug 01 2016
    Blog Post Mainstreaming Natural Capital Accounting: Building On a Decade of Experience China’s leaders first became interested in natural capital after devastating landslides and flooding in 1998 killed thousands and displaced millions of people, at a cost of more than US$30 billion in damages. In response, the Chinese government invested over $150 billion in natural capital—extensive deforestation was partly to blame. China recently published its first National […] Gretchen Daily, Mary Ruckelshaus, Steve Polasky