Our People

Joanna Smith

Ocean Planning and Mapping Director

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Joanna Smith Ocean Planning and Mapping Director © Nature United

Areas of Focus

Working with governments, partners and stakeholders to develop marine spatial plans.

Media Contact

Jacqueline Nunes
ph. +1 416 526-7353


Joanna is the Director Ocean Planning and Mapping and the global MSP Lead for The Nature Conservancy (Nature United, Canada). She has been at TNC/Nature United for more than 10 years and leads a global team for ocean planning, marine protection, ecosystem services and ocean science. Currently, she leads MSP and conservation for Blue Bonds for Conservation, a global project for sustainable financing and long-term ocean conservation outcomes.

She is also the MSP Process and Science Lead for the Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan Initiative, a comprehensive plan effort for Seychelles including 30% in marine protections. Joanna is a member of the Ocean Action 2030 for the High Level Panel that supports member states to develop sustainable ocean plans by 2030. She is one of seven international members on the MSPglobal expert group that developed a new global guide for MSP in 2021.

Prior to TNC, she was the Science Coordinator to the  in British Columbia, co-led by the Province of BC and 17 First Nations. She was also a private consultant with Birdsmith Ecological Research, a company she founded for research, conservation, and education. Joanna has a PhD from University of Washington in Seattle, WA and is an Adjunct Research Scientist at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

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