Emily Owen

Emily Owen's picture
Basic Info
Wild Gift Class Year: 
Better World Expertise: 
Conservation & Stewardship
Current Occupation: 
Conservation Manager at Pew Environment Group
Wild Gift has had a lasting impact on my passion for conservation, affirming my belief that we must all be wildlands stewards. The organization provided me with the resources and guidance to help launch my career, positioning me as a respected conservation planner in civil society, academia, and the private sector.
Impacts of My Work: 
Twenty small and medium-sized landowners organized in a grassroots conservation network.
US$ 30,000 raised in additional grant money for grassroots organizations.
Rapid biodiversity assessments conducted and conservation management plans created for 1,300 acres.
Conservation land-use plans created for 500,000 acres of alerce, olivillo, and araucaria forests.
Ten Mapuche indigenous communities empowered through local sustainable development and conservation planning.
High Conservation Value Forests methodology adapted for land-use planning and marine and coastal areas.

In 2006-2007, Wild Gift supported my project, “Conserving Nahuelbuta’s Biodiversity: Sustainable Management and the Creation of Private Protected Areas in Contulmo,” in Southern Chile. The project seeks to support small and medium landowners interested in creating private protected areas and empower their community-based, grassroots organization “Network for Conserving Contulmo’sNatural Heritage” (RECPAN-Contulmo). This project was a great success, helping to formalize the organization, build capacities, recruit new members, and gain financing from the Chilean government.

Following my Wild Gift fellowship, I joined World Wildlife Fund Chile as Head of Geographic Information Systems, responsible for performing multi-scale conservation planning in Southern Chile. My work focused on creating conservation land-use plans by working closely with indigenous communities; identifying and mapping of terrestrial and marine high conservation value areas; and strategic ecoregion planning.

After nearly four years at WWF, I left the beautiful coastal town of Valdivia and moved to Chile's capital city, Santiago. Shortly after leaving WWF, I had the opportunity to support Pacific Biodiversity Institute's wildland's mapping project by working on their field team in northwest Argentina. Following this fieldwork, I accepted the position of Conservation Director at a private land investment firm, where I sought innovative business solutions to promote private conservation initiatives in Southern Chile.

Recently, I have moved from a terrestrial to marine focus, joining the team at Pew Environment Group's Global Ocean Legacy initiative as Chile's Conservation Manager. Our project aims to support the creation of a large, world-class marine protected area in Easter Island, working in conjunction with the local Rapa Nui community.

I live in Santiago with my fiancé, where we take every opportunity to leave the big city and go hiking, cycling, and traveling.