Ted Toombs

Conservation Scientist, Ecosystems


Areas of expertise:
Social-ecological systems, environmental psychology, conservation program design and governance, grassland and shrub-land ecology, livestock grazing and wildlife habitat relationships, endangered species, conservation banking and biodiversity metrics

A member of the Ecosystems Programs’ habitat team, Ted Toombs primarily provides scientific guidance on the social and ecological aspects of EDF’s habitat markets work. He also facilitates connections between EDF staff and external scientists to build science capacity, and he works across the Ecosystems Program to provide scientific and technical guidance on issues related to social science, wildlife ecology and livestock grazing.


Prior to joining EDF, Ted worked with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (now Bird Conservancy of the Rockies) where he managed a program called “Prairie Partners” that provided technical support for habitat projects, outreach and education to ranchers and farmers in the Great Plains. While at the Bird Observatory, he also served as the U.S. representative for a team of scientists who developed a Tri-National North American Grasslands Conservation Strategy for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (see publications).


  • Ph.D. Candidate, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, 2017, Colorado State University
  • M.S., Rangeland Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Illinois


  • Huber-Stearns, H., Goldstein, J., Toombs, T. and T. Cheng. 2015. Institutional analysis of payments for watershed services in the western United States. Ecosystems Services: 83-93.
  • Toombs, T, J. H. Goldstein, C. Hanson, N. Robinson-Manness, and T. Fankhauser. 2011. Rangeland ecosystem services, risk management, and the ranch bottom line. Rangelands 33(5):13-19.
  • Goldstein, J. H., C. K. Presnall, L. Lopez-Hoffman, G. P. Nabhan, R. L. Knight, G. B. Ruyle, and T. P. Toombs. 2011. Beef and beyond: Paying for ecosystem services on western US rangelands. Rangelands 33(5): 4-12.
  • Knight, K. B., T. P. Toombs, and J. D. Derner. 2011. Cross-fencing on U.S. rangelands: Financial costs and producer risks. Rangelands April: 41-44.
  • Toombs, T. P., J. D. Derner, D. J. Augustine, B. Krueger, and S. Gallagher. 2010. Managing for biodiversity and livestock: A scale-dependent approach for promoting vegetation heterogeneity in western Great Plains grasslands. Rangelands July: 10-15.
  • Toombs, T. P. and M. G. Roberts. 2009. Forum: Are NRCS range management practices working at cross-purposes with wildlife habitat goals on western U. S. rangelands? Rangeland Ecology and Management, 62(4): 351-355.
  • Ripper, D., M. McClachlan, T. Toombs, and T. VerCauteren. 2008. Assessment of CRP fields within current lesser-prairie chicken range. Great Plains Research, 18:205-18.
  • Augustine, D. J., M. R. Matchett, T. P. Toombs, J. F. Cully Jr., T. L. Johnson, and J. G. Sidle. 2008. Spatiotemporal dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by plague. Landscape Ecology, 23:255-267.
  • Toombs, T. P. 2006. Habitat restoration for the Utah prairie dog on a private ranch (Utah). Ecological Restoration, 24(3): 207-208.
  • Toombs, T. P. and M. G. Roberts. 2008. Are Wyoming range practices working at cross-purposes with wildlife habitat goals? An analysis of NRCS program and practices expenditures related to grassland priority bird species, 2004-2007. Environmental Defense Fund. 21pp.
  • Toombs, T. P. 2007. Utah prairie dog habitat evaluation guide. Environmental Defense Fund. 14pp.
  • Roberts, M. G., T. D. Male, and T. P. Toombs. 2007. Potential impacts of biofuels expansion on natural resources: a case study of the Ogallala aquifer region. Environmental Defense Fund. 10pp.
  • Gauthier, D., A. Lafon, T. P. Toombs, J. Hoth, and E. Wiken. 2003. Grasslands: Toward a North American Conservation Strategy. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, and Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.