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Lydia Olander

Adjunct Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division
Environmental Sciences and Policy
Box 90335, Durham, NC 27708-0328
2117 Campus Drive, Rm 212, Durham, NC 27708


Lydia Olander is a program director at the Nicholas Institute for Energy Environment & Sustainability at Duke University and adjunct professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment. She works on improving evidence-based policy and accelerating implementation of climate resilience, nature-based solutions, natural capital accounting, and environmental markets. She leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership and sits on Duke’s Climate Commitment action team. She recently spent two years with the Biden administration at the Council on Environmental Quality as Director of Nature based Resilience and before that spent five years on the Environmental Advisory Board for the US Army Corps of Engineers. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and widely published researcher. Prior to joining the Nicholas Institute, she spent a year as an AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellow working with Senator Joseph Lieberman on environmental and energy issues. She was a college scholar at Cornell University and earned her Master of Forest Science from Yale University and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Adjunct Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division · 2020 - Present Environmental Sciences and Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment
Area Director of the Ecosystem Services Program, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions · 2013 - Present Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, University Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

Stanford University · 2002 Ph.D.