Science is the foundation of NRDC’s work to protect people and the environment. NRDC scientists work to understand and solve complicated environmental problems and, with our policy and legal experts, to develop and advocate for evidence-based public policies that improve peoples’ lives and protect the natural systems on which we all depend. Our expertise in biology, physics, chemistry, medicine, toxicology, public health, and engineering is a connecting thread through all our issue areas and programs, from climate change and clean energy to sustainable agriculture and health.

NRDC’s Science Center supports and strengthens our use of science—and how we communicate our results clearly and accurately. Staffed by experts in environmental science, public health, data analysis and science communication, the Center provides guidance and resources for research, collaboration with other scientists and partners and, with the Science Fellows program, training for the next generation of environmental scientists. Science Center experts oversee NRDC’s independent peer-review of our own scientific and policy publications, as well as support and develop science communication for other media, from scientific journals to animated videos.


  • Support scientific research and analysis to identify environmental problems, craft evidence-based policy solutions, and support our advocacy to advance these policies in government, the courts, communities and with the public. 
  • Enable NRDC to research emerging issues by bringing top-notch postdoctoral Science Fellows to work with NRDC scientists, policy experts, and advocates.
  • Facilitate engagement and collaboration with scientists from universities, research labs, and other institutions to expand the scope of our scientific work.
  • Ensure that all aspects of NRDC’s work are backed by the strongest and most relevant science available.


Blog Post

There's plenty of data on the Bay-Delta's fish and ecosystems. What we need is scientific research on how to meet human water demands without diverting supplies from our over-tapped rivers and delta.


Ocean acidification, in which atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater and creates an acid, poses a serious threat to the web of life underwater.

Blog Post

We're devouring up our groundwater faster than nature can replenish.

Blog Post

There are three simple steps you can take to translate science into a plan of action.

Issue Brief

Even if you don't live in a wildfire zone, your health may be threatened by smoke from fires raging in other parts of the country.


Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent due to climate change. Here's what you need to know.