Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Landscape-scale Planning for Renewable Energy and Conservation:
Challenges and Opportunities in the California Desert"

Stephanie Dashiell
California Desert Associate
Defenders of Wildlife

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

Desert renewable energy development is a major piece of California's energy strategy, and all eyes are on the ongoing DRECP conservation planning effort to balance development with protection of desert species and ecosystems. Stephanie has been deeply involved in this process, and her knowledge and insights will be of great interest and value to the Bren community. — Frank Davis, faculty host

While facilitating the growth of renewable energy is an essential part of our response to climate change, such development poses potentially significant impacts to biodiversity while challenging the traditional conservation ethic of resisting large-scale conversion of public lands. Proactive landscape-level planning is a good alternative, offering greater certainty that land conversion to renewable energy will occur in places that minimize impacts to wildlife and natural resources. The landscape-scale approach to renewable energy development provides an opportunity to achieve the goals of carbon emission mitigation while still protecting wildlife, especially in the California desert. Defenders of Wildlife has been an active player in conservation of desert biodiversity for the past 20 years and has been involved in desert renewable energy issues since 2009. Most recently, Defenders has been an active participant as a formal stakeholder organization for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a joint federal and state planning process to identify lands appropriate for renewable energy development and lands set aside for conservation in the California desert region. As a part of this process, Defenders has engaged with other environmental organizations in promoting the use of comprehensive landscape-scale planning to achieve both conservation and carbon emission mitigation goals.

Stephanie Dashiell works on issues related to conservation of the California desert region and large-scale renewable energy development. Before starting with Defenders in November of 2011, Stephanie worked on these issues as a research assistant with the Biogeography Lab at UCSB and for her Master’s thesis project as a Bren student. Stephanie has also worked in the field of biodiversity conservation in Latin America, managing sea turtle conservation projects in Costa Rica, participating in Andean condor field studies in Argentina, and coordinating environmental education campaigns in Venezuela. She has also worked as an outdoor environmental educator in much of California, including Joshua Tree, where she currently resides. Stephanie received a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University in 2003 and a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree from the Bren School in 2011.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


To join the "bren-alerts" mailing list and receive announcements about Bren School news and events, or to manage your bren-alerts account, go to

To see a list of currently scheduled Bren events, visit

To have an event considered for distribution via bren-alerts, send e-mail to

For more information or for assistance in accommodating a disability, please contact BJ Danetra

To find out how to support the Bren School, please contact Andrew Krupa