Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Dr. Iara Lacher is an interdisciplinary landscape ecologist, bringing the knowledge and experience that come from degrees in Botany, Environmental Science and Management, and Ecology to work on complex issues of sustainability and resource use. She is established in conservation and planning circles throughout Northern Virginia through her research at the Smithsonian Institute, where she worked to connect her science to policy in order to help achieve sustainability goals. She is skilled in quantitative methods in landscape-scale modeling, focusing on land-use change and climate change impacts on ecological function and biodiversity.
Passionate about education and outreach, and with her knowledge of native plants, Dr. Lacher established Seven Bends Nursery, where she hopes to empower individuals to make positive environmental changes and inspire environmental conservation through native gardens by providing access to high-quality native plants, on-demand site analysis, and educational talks.
PROJECTS AND INTERESTS
Advising on how pollinator-friendly native plants and solar fields can co-exist. Currently working as a partner to help develop the AgriSolar Clearinghouse, a communications-hub for all things agrisolar.
PLANT ECOLOGY AND FIELD SURVEYING
Blending her background in environmental management and botany with modern tools such as GIS, Dr. Lacher provides detailed site analysis of landscapes, focusing on ecosystem services and function.
HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELING
Developing statistical models to understand the impact of climate and land use change on Native Flora, Rare Species, and Invasive Plants.
Using her knowledge of ecology and her expertise on North America's catalogue of native plants, Dr. Lacher advises landowners in developing healthy, functioning landscapes. Her focus on finding and propagating local ecotypes helps preserve local biodiversity and ensure landscape health.
Working with nonprofit organizations to develop long term plans and improve success.
Currently leading the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah in their latest strategic planning efforts as an active board member.
LAND CHANGE MODELING
Experience in developing multi-faceted land use change models to illustrate the potential impact of land use policy on regional ecosystem health and services into the future.
Envisioning future landscape-scale scenarios by working closely with local communities and experts.
Her latest effort was as program lead for the Changing Landscapes Initiative, in Northwestern Virginia.