Biodiversity Research Institute
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Program Director
Tim Tear, Ph.D., Tropical Program Director

Tim Tear, Ph.D., Tropical Program Director

BRI International Senior Scientist
Tropical Program Director

207-839-7600 x209

Tim began working at BRI in July 2020 as our International Senior Scientist, overseeing  international research and policy priorities with a focus on BRIs Tropical Program, and a particular emphasis on expanding projects in Africa. 

Tim comes to BRI with over thirty-five years of experience directing and managing conservation programs with organizations such as Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, and the Frankfurt Zoological Society, and boasts extensive experience in Africa and the United States on varied landscape conservation and development issues. 

At BRI, Tim will continue to focus on work in Africa and the tropics, focusing on mercury-related projects as they relate to ASGM activities, biomonitoring, and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.


  • Ph.D., Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, University of Idaho (1994)
  • M.S., Wildlife Resources, University of Idaho (1992)
  • B.S., Environmental Conservation, University of New Hampshire (1983)

Certifications/Nominated Member

  • Frankfurt Zoological Society, US – 2011 to 2013
  • Hudson River Environmental Society – 2002 to 2005

Research Interests

  • Integration of Natural Climate Solutions & Ecosystem Services
  • Return-on-Investment & Soil Carbon
  • Endangered Species, Habitat Restoration & Rewilding   
  • Community-based Conservation

Books and Book Chapters

  • Tear, T., and S. Nampindo. 2020. Conservation Reliance in Africa: Uganda and the Ishasha Lions as a window to the future.  In “Shepherding Nature: The Challenge of Conservation Resilience.” J.M. Scott, J.A. Wiens, B. Van Horne, and D.D. Goble (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 350 pp.
  • Padgett. W., Schrader, B., Manning, M., and T. Tear. 2013. Development and application of historical ecology concepts and assessments in land management and conservation. Pages 19-28 in “Historical environmental variation in conservation and natural resource management: Past, present, and future.” J. Wiens, C. Regan, G. Hayward, and H. Safford (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell, Washington DC.
  • Scott, J.M, and T.H. Tear. 2008.  What are we conserving?  Establishing multi-scale conservation goals and objectives in the face of global threats. Pages 494-510 in “New Approaches to Landscape Ecology” Lindenmayer (editor). Australia.    
  • Tear, T.H. 2007.  Atmospheric Deposition and Conservation:  What is the role for conservation organizations? Pages 291-307 in "Acid in the Environment: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects" eds. G.R. Visgilio and D.M. Whitelaw. Springer Science+Business Media, Boston MA.  
  • Tear, T.H.  2006.  Nitrogen deposition and forest degradation.  McGraw Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology – 2006. Pages 208-210. McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Gordon, D.R., J.D. Parrish, D.W. Salzer, T.H. Tear, B. Pace-Aldana. 2006. The Nature Conservancy’s Approach to Measuring Biodiversity Status and the Effectiveness of Conservation Strategies. Pages 688-694 In Principles of Conservation Biology, Third Edition.  Eds. Groom, M.J., G.K. Meffe, and C.R. Carroll. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland MA.
  • Kareiva P., T.H. Tear, S. Solie, M. Brown, L. Sotomayor. 2005.  Nongovernmental Organizations. Pages 176-191.  In D.D. Goble, J.M. Scott, and F.W. Davis, eds.  The Endangered Species Act at 30.  Island Press, Washington, DC.
  • Daly, R.H., M.D. Gallagher, P.N. Munton, and T.H. Tear.  1997.  Status and distribution of Caprinae by region: Oman.   Pages 65-70 in D.M. Shackleton, editor and compiler.  Wild sheep and goats and their relatives: Status survey and conservation action plan for Caprinae.  IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Scott, J.M., T.H. Tear, and F. Davis (editors).  1996.  Gap Analysis: A landscape approach to biodiversity planning.  The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Bethesda, MD.  320 pages.
  • Forester, D.J., and T.H. Tear. 1995. Using GIS to model Arabian oryx habitat quality and use: a preliminary analysis. Pages 662-666 in J.A. Bissonette and P.R. Krausman, editors.  Integrating people and wildlife for a sustainable future.  Proceedings of the First International Wildlife Management Congress.  The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, MD.

Journal Articles

  • Grantham, H.S., et al. (incl.) T.H. Tear. In Review. Modification of forests by people means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity. Nature Communications.
  • Mwakalobo, A, A. Kaswamila, A. Kira, O. Chawala, and T. Tear. 2016. Tourism Regional Multiplier Effects in Tanzania: Analysis of Singita Grumeti Reserves Tourism in the Mara Region. Journal of Sustainable Development: 9(4): 44-60.
  • Howard, T. G., M. D. Schlesinger, C. Lee, G. Lampman, and T.H. Tear. 2016. Guiding conservation and alternative energy development using a paired return-on-investment approach. Biological Conservation: 201: 69-77
  • Tear, T.H., B.N. Stratton, E.T. Game, M.A. Brown, C.D. Apse, and R. Shirer. 2014. A return-on-investment framework to identify conservation priorities in Africa. Biological Conservation: 173:42-52
  • Bried, J., Tear, T., R. Shirer, C. Zimmerman, N. Gifford, S. Campbell and K. O’Brien. 2014. A Framework to Integrate Habitat Monitoring and Restoration with Endangered Insect Recovery Environmental Management: 54(6):1385-1398.
  • Jackson, A.K., D.C. Evers, E.M. Adams, D.A. Cristol, C. Eagles-Smith, S.T. Edmonds, C.E. Gray, B. Hoskins, O.P.. Lane, A. Sauer, and T. Tear. 2014. Songbirds as sentinels of mercury in terrestrial habitats of eastern North America. Journal of Ecotoxicology: online December 2014.  DOI 10.1007/s10646-014-1394-4.
  • Girvetz, E., E. Gray, T.H. Tear, and M.A. Brown. 2014. Bridging climate science to adaptation action in data sparse Tanzania. Environmental Conservation: 41(2): 229-238. 
  • Neugarten, R.A., S.A Wolf, R.C. Stedman, and T.H. Tear. 2011. Integrating Ecological and Socioeconomic Monitoring of Working Forests. BioScience 61(8):631-637.
  • Lemke, A.M., K.G. Kirkham, T.T. Lindenbaum, M.E. Herbert, T.H. Tear, W.L. Perry, and J. R. Herkert. 2011. Evaluating Agricultural Best Management Practices in Tile-Drained Subwatersheds of the Mackinaw River, Illinois. Journal of Environmental Quality 40:1215– 1228. doi:10.2134/jeq2010.
  • Lemke, A.M., T.T. Lindenbaum, W.L. Perry, M.E. Herbert, T.H. Tear, and J.R. Herkert. 2010. Effects of outreach on the awareness and adoption of conservation practices by farmers in two agricultural watersheds of the Mackinaw River, Illinois. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 65(5): 304-315.
  • Lawler, J., T. Tear, C. Pyke, M. R. Shaw, P. Gonzalez, P. Kareiva, L. Hansen, L. Hannah,K. Klausmayer,C. Bienz, S. Pearsall. 2010. Resource management in a changing and uncertain climate. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(1):35-43
  • Lovett, G.M., T.H. Tear, D.C. Evers, S.E.G. Findlay, B.J. Cosby, J.K. Dunscomb, C.T. Driscoll, and K.C. Weathers. 2009.  Effects of Air Pollution on Ecosystems and Biological Diversity in the Eastern United States.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: The Year In Ecology and Conservation Biology 2009: 1162: 99-135
  • Massolo, A., J.Spalton, T.Tear, M.Lawrence, L.S. al-Harsusi, and S.Lovari. 2008.  Dynamic social system in Nubian ibex: Can a second mating season result in response to arid climate? Journal of Zoology: 274:216-225.
  • Hoover, J.P, T.H. Tear, and M.E. Baltz.  2006.  Edge effects reduce the nesting success of Acadian flycatchers in a moderately fragmented forest.  Journal of Field Ornithology 77(4): 425-436.
  • Tear, T.H., P. Kareiva, P. Angermeier, P. Comer, B. Czech, R. Kautz, L. Landon, D. Mehlman, K. Murphy, M. Ruckleshaus, J. M. Scott, and G. Wilhere. 2005. How much is enough? The recurrent problem of setting measurable objectives in conservation. BioScience 55:835-849. 
  • Tear, T.H., and E. Ables.  1999.  Social system development and variability in a reintroduced Arabian oryx population.  Biological Conservation 89(1999):199-207.
  • Tear, T.H., J. Mosley, and E. Ables. 1998.  Landscape-scale foraging decisions by reintroduced Arabian oryx.  Journal of Wildlife Management 61(4):1142-1154
  • Scott, J.M., T.H. Tear, and L.S. Mills. 1995.  Socioeconomics and the recovery of endangered species: Biological assessment in a political world. Conservation Biology 9(1):218-220.
  • Tear, T.H., J.M. Scott, P. Hayward, and B. Griffith. 1995.  Recovery plans and the Endangered Species Act: Are criticisms supported by data?  Conservation Biology 9(1):182-195.
  • Tear, T.H., J.M. Scott, P. Hayward, and B. Griffith. 1993. Status and prospects for the Endangered Species Act: A look at recovery plans. Science 262:976-977.
  • Tear, T., and D. Forester. 1992. The role of social theory in reintroduction planning: A case study of the Arabian oryx in Oman. Society and Natural Resources 5(4):359-374.

BRI Scientific Communications

  • Evers, D.C., A.K. Jackson, T.H. Tear and C.E. Osborne. 2012. Hidden Risk: Mercury in Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Northeast. Biodiversity Research Institute. Gorham, Maine. BRI Report 2012-07. 33 pages. Hidden Risk

Grants, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 100 Leaders from the College of Natural Resources. University of Idaho – Celebrating 100 years of Natural Resources 1917-2018. 2018.
  • Leadership at an important time of transition in New York – The Nature Conservancy – 2012
  • Leadership of Conservation Action Teams in New York – The Nature Conservancy – 2010
  • Alumni Achievement Award – University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources – 2004
  • Graduate Student of the Year – University of Idaho, College of Forestry, Wildlife & Range Sciences – 1994
  • First Place – University of Idaho Graduate Student Research Competition, Natural & Agricultural Sciences – Plants & Animals Division – 1994
  • Alumni Award for Conservation – National Outdoor Leadership School (N.O.L.S.) – 1992
Biodiversity Research Institute