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Jessica Lawrence

Staff Scientist

Jessica Lawrence is a staff scientist with the International program.

Jessica received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Vassar College and a Master of Ecosystem Studies from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and daughter.

Personal Story

I grew up in Ontario and Vermont exploring rural landscapes. I was trained as an ecologist and have worked extensively in conservation of forests in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Prior to working at Earthjustice, I was the executive director of The Borneo Project, a non-profit supporting community-based conservation in Malaysian Borneo. I worked with an Iban Dayak community to make a documentary video of their struggle, Rumah Nor: A Land Rights Test for Malaysia. As a forest campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, I documented how U.S. retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s import illegally logged plywood from Borneo’s rainforests. I have also worked with Smartwood/Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council on forestry certification assessments, standard-setting, and chain of custody monitoring in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cameroon, Canada, the U.S., and Europe.

Conservation is a never-ending process—but without strong legal systems for participation, transparency and accountability, it becomes nearly impossible. That’s why I joined Earthjustice in 2008. I enjoy supporting the International program in building stronger legal systems for biodiversity protection in countries where local attorneys and communities are requesting assistance. I have particularly enjoyed working with the international campaign to protect the headwaters of the transboundary Flathead River from coal mining and gas drilling.