Dr. Meredith Cornett

Image of Meredith Cornett, woman in coat by a lake
Program Development Specialist


Meredith Cornett’s experience in climate change, conservation and ecology spans more than two decades. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, she moved with her spouse to Minnesota for graduate school. Cornett fell in love with the state’s woods and waters and decided to stay a while. More than a quarter century later, she now considers her adopted state to be home. Prior to joining UMN CAP’s staff, Meredith completed a rewarding career with The Nature Conservancy, most recently as the Climate Change Director in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She serves as an adjunct faculty member Conservation Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota. She lives with her family in the Northwoods, where they tend beehives, harvest sunlight and coexist with neighbors both tame and wild.

Research Interests

Climate adaptation

Climate adaptation planning

Climate justice

Natural Climate Solutions (climate mitigation)

Selected Publications and Presentations

Anderson, M., M. Clark, A. Olivero, A. Barnett, K. Hall, M. Cornett, M. Ahlering, M. Schindel, B. Unnasch, C. Schloss, D. Cameron. 2023. A resilient and connected network of sites to sustain biodiversity under a changing climate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120(7) e2204434119.

Kaarakka, L., M. Cornett, G. Domke, T. Ontl, L.E. Dee. Improved forest management as a natural climate solution: a review. 2021. Ecological Solutions and Evidence 2(3), e12090.

Sullivan-Wiley, K., M. Cornett, J. Musengezi, P. Shyamsundar. 2021. Climate-resilient forest restoration on public lands in Minnesota’s Northwoods region: a behavior change case study. Case Studies in the Environment 5(1): 1265704.

Aherling, M. A., M. Cornett, K. Blann, M. White, C. Lenhart, C. Dixon, M. R. Dudash, L. Johnson, B. Keeler, B. Palik, J. Pastor, R.W. Sterner, D. Shaw, R. Biske, N. Feeken, J. Manolis, H. Possingham. 2020. A conservation science agenda for a changing Upper Midwest and Great Plains, United States. Conservation Science and Practice. 2(8), 236.

Etterson, J.R, M.W. Cornett, M.A. White and L.C. Kavajecz. 2020. Assisted migration across fixed seed zones detects adaptation lags in two major North American tree species. Ecological Applications 30:e02092.

White, M.A., M.W. Cornett, K. Frerker and J.R. Etterson. 2020. Partnerships to take on climate change: adaptation forestry and conifer strongholds in the Northwoods, Minnesota, USA. Journal of Forestry 118:219-232.

Ontl, T.A., M.K. Janowiak, C.W. Swanston, J. Daley, S. Handler, M. Cornett, S. Hagenbuch, C. Handrick, L. McCarthy, N. Patch. 2020. Forest management for carbon sequestration and climate adaptation. Journal of Forestry. 118: 86-101.

Etterson, J.R., M.A. White, L.C. Kavajecz, and M.W. Cornett. 2018. Embedding research into restoration. A case study illustrating the value of applied-academic partnerships. Tree Planters Notes 61:89-101. 

Meissen, J.C., S.M. Galatowitsch, and M.W. Cornett. 2017. Meeting seed demand for landscape-scale restoration sustainably: the influence of seed harvest intensity and site management. Écoscience 24: 145-155. 

Meissen, J.C., S.M. Galatowitsch, and M.W. Cornett. 2017. Assessing long-term risks of prairie seed harvest: what is the role of life history? Botany 95:1081-1092. 

White, M.A., M.W. Cornett, and P.T. Wolter. 2017. Two scales are better than one: monitoring multiple-use northern temperate forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 384:44-53. 

Meissen, J.C., S.M. Galatowitsch, and M.W. Cornett. 2015. Risks of overharvesting seed from native tallgrass prairies. Restoration Ecology 23:882-891.

Cornett, M. and M. White. 2013. Forest restoration in a changing world: complexity and adaptation examples from the Great Lakes region of North America. In: Messier, C, K. Puettmann, and K. D. Coates (Eds.) Managing forests as complex adaptive systems. Routledge, 368 pp.