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Director of Outreach and Education
Matthew Shepherd - Xerces Society

Matthew has worked for the Xerces Society for more than two decades, initially at the vanguard of a new movement to protect pollinators, but then on endangered species and a range of other issues, as well as several years leading Xerces' communications work. Throughout this time, he maintained a direct involvement in pollinator conservation in towns and cities, and in his current role has returned to outreach and community engagement. Much of this focuses on supporting neighborhood-level efforts such as pollinator gardens and small habitat projects in parks, as well as leading the Bring Back the Pollinators campaign and promoting the No Mow May and Leave the Leaves initiatives.

Matthew is author of numerous articles and other publications, including Attracting Native Pollinators (Storey Publishing, 2011) and Gardening for Butterflies (Timber Press, 2016). He also is the long-time editor of Wings, the Xerces Society’s magazine.

Matthew’s 35-year conservation career began in England and took him to Kenya before his arrival in the United States. After completing a master's of science in land resource management, Matthew managed National Trust lands in Oxfordshire, established a successful community-based conservation program in Essex, and helped to create Samphire Hoe, an award-winning nature park at the foot of the White Cliffs of Dover. During a VSO placement in Kenya, he worked with local communities and government agencies to improve the management of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, on the coast north of Mombasa.

It was in Kenya that he met a Peace Corps volunteer⁠—who is the reason he moved to Oregon. They live on the west side of the Portland metro region. Their two children are now at college, but they still get together—although sometimes they roll their eyes when Matthew points out yet another super-cool insect that he found.