Areas of Expertise: imperiled species habitat conservation planning, freshwater aquatic species, Endangered Species Act policy, Farm Bill policy, State wildlife regulatory policy, incentive-based conservation, natural resource conflict resolution, facilitation.
Kat Diersen is responsible for advancing Defenders' conservation objectives throughout the Southeast, with an emphasis on the Southern Appalachian region. She promotes imperiled species conservation by engaging state and federal agency officials, public and private landowners and managers, and citizen stakeholders in integrated wildlife and landscape-scale conservation efforts. Kat works with stakeholders to protect, improve and expand habitats for vulnerable native wildlife through public policy development that leads to better land and water management.
Kat joined Defenders after completing her Masters degree, while also working with the Society for Conservation Biology's North America Policy Program researching and supporting program development to advance conservationists and their policy priorities. Before that, Kat devoted eight years to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission where she guided the development of state and federally supported incentive-based habitat conservation efforts and pioneered innovative initiatives to develop non-regulatory wildlife conservation approaches. She also has extensive facilitation and natural conflict resolution experience and has developed processes to guide contentious environmental conflicts into positive, community supported outcomes.
Kat holds an M.A. in Global Environmental Policy from American University in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. from Florida State University in Tallahassee.