Faces of Adaptation: Meet John Tull

Dr. John Tull is the Nevada Science Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Science Applications program and serves on the NW CASC Stakeholder Advisory Committee. He has been working in the Great Basin and other desert ecosystems for more than two decades.

After earning his bachelor’s degree  in Forest Wildlife Management from Stephen F. Austin University in Texas, John worked in the Sonoran Desert studying desert mule deer for his master’s before moving to Nevada and completing his doctorate at the University of Nevada, Reno. He subsequently worked on sage-grouse and sagebrush conservation at various NGOs for several years and then joined the Nevada Department of Wildlife for several more years.

John brings a science-based perspective for achieving positive, conservation-oriented outcomes for wildlife and their habitats. He is particularly interested in the interface of science, policy and management.

What led you to work in the field of climate adaptation?

I have been working on wildlife conservation in the Great Basin and other desert ecosystems for most of my career. I recognized the importance of understanding and incorporating climate science and climate adaptation into landscape-scale conservation while working on my dissertation. The value of climate science to inform strategic and durable conservation and restoration investments on the ground is all too obvious and important if we wish to be successful in protecting our native biodiversity.

What does your day-to-day work look like?

Like many people over the last 12 months, my day-to-day work has included too many virtual meetings. In all seriousness, my activities involve a lot of coordination and capacity sharing with the many partners that I collaborate with to meet my agency mission. These activities include many facets like scoping our most critical science needs, reviewing research proposals for funding partners, sharing knowledge and expertise in collaborative conservation venues and partnering with scientists to promote actionable outcomes from research activities.

How does your organization support climate resilience in the Northwest?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is engaged in climate resiliency in the Northwest well beyond my scope of expertise. My specific role in the Northwest is to bring knowledge of sagebrush and high-desert ecosystems to help expand the capacity of partner agencies and organizations for meeting our shared goals to promote climate resilience across all Northwest landscapes.

What is your favorite thing about your work?

My favorite thing about my work is working collaboratively with so many dedicated and brilliant colleagues, across all walks of life, towards common objectives of conserving our incredible natural heritage. The passion that I can share with others keeps me inspired and energized.