Patrick McCarthy

Conservation Director, Colorado River Program

From 2012-present, Patrick has served as Conservation Director for The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program, whose goal is to restore and protect the rivers and streams of the Colorado River Basin. See for more information. 

From 2009-2012 served as Director of The Nature Conservancy's Southwest Climate Change Initiative, a four-state program whose aim is to provide information and tools to conservation practitioners for climate adaptation in vulnerable landscapes in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. To meet our goal of informing and accelerating climate adaptation in the region, the SWCCI plans to: 

  • Assess past and projected climate change and its effects on species, habitats and ecosystems.This analysis, to be completed in late 2010, will assess past and projected changes in temperature and precipitation, and their effects on the region’s natural diversity. Our final report will also make recommendations for climate-smart conservation in the region.
  • Establish demonstration projects at four vulnerable landscapes: the Bear River Basin in Utah, the Four Forests Restoration Initiative area in Arizona, the Gunnison Basin in Colorado, and the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico. At each landscape, we are developing science-based vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies; creating local partnerships that promote, facilitate, and help raise funds for adaptation action; and developing and promoting on-the-ground adaptation projects that will build resilience to rapid environmental change.
  • Document and share knowledge, tools, methods and lessons learnedwithin the region and with a global network of adaptation practitioners through Web and print publications and tools.

For more information, see and follow the climate change links.


The Nature Conservancy's New Mexico Conservation Science Program works with public and private agencies and institutions on ecological management, conservation planning, and scientific assessments to further its mission to “preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.”