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Global Freshwater Lead Scientist, WWF

Jeff Opperman is global freshwater lead scientist at the WWF. He was previously lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Great Rivers Partnership and the director of the Conservancy’s global strategy on sustainable hydropower.

He has been working to protect rivers and lakes for nearly 15 years, providing strategic and scientific guidance to freshwater conservation projects across the United States as well as in China, Africa and Latin America.  

Jeff Opperman earned his BSc in biology from Duke University and a PhD in ecosystem science from the University of California, Berkeley. He then studied floodplain ecology during a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis.

His scientific and policy research has been published in journals such as Science, BioScience and Ecological Applications. Jeff strives to communicate the challenges and opportunities of protecting fresh water through op-eds, articles and blog posts in such places as The New York Times, Outside, Grist, and The Guardian. 

Associated sessions

10 May
11:00 - 12:30

Strategic basin planning

Type: Focus session
Co-convenors: The Nature Conservancy

There is growing recognition that site selection is critical for successful hydropower development. There have been attempts to plan at the basin level, with the aim of optimising not only energy systems, but also broader environmental, social,... (Read more)