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A New Venture for the Monarch Joint Venture

Aug 30, 2018


  • MJV Partnership News

As monarchs continue to be a catalyst for the conservation of many species, the Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) continues to evolve to meet the needs of our thriving partnership. With this growth, we’re excited to announce that we are in the process of becoming a standalone nonprofit organization!

The MJV has been housed at the University of Minnesota (the University) Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology since its inception in 2009, under the leadership of the University’s Dr. Karen Oberhauser and a steering committee made up of representatives from partner organizations. Within the University, the MJV grew from an initial partnership of 10 organizations to include over 80 partners across the US. Together, we have made great strides toward conservation of the iconic monarch butterfly. The MJV is now a leading national authority for monarch conservation.

“The U.S. Forest Service International Programs has been a proud supporter of monarch conservation and education work at the University of Minnesota under the leadership of Dr. Karen Oberhauser. The University’s support for Karen’s research and teaching provided the perfect environment for the young Monarch Joint Venture partnership to mature. As the primary supporter of the MJV in its infancy, we’re excited to continue working on this important issue with MJV as it fledges to become a standalone organization.”  - Greg Butcher, US Forest Service International Programs

Karen Oberhauser, University of Wisconsin, and Scott Black, Xerces Society, have been long-term co-chairs of the MJV steering committee. In reflecting on the growth of MJV and its next phase, Black shares, “I’m excited to see MJV taking this next step in growing as an organization. As the director of a nonprofit myself, I see incredible opportunities for MJV to expand its impact as a nonprofit organization.” Oberhauser, with 30+ years of monarch research and education experience, says “I was honored to take the MJV under my wing in its early days, especially with the support of partner organizations and the University of Minnesota. The MJV has a passionate staff team and partnership base, and I look forward to continuing to work with MJV to champion monarch conservation across the nation.”

The makings of a successful nonprofit already exist within the MJV’s current structure: a staff team supporting multiple program areas, a steering committee providing guidance and direction, and a partnership body of entities external to the University. A critical attribute of our work as a conservation partnership is our ability to be nimble and leverage new opportunities.  A nonprofit structure offers flexibility and opens doors for growth, as we continue to guide and promote collaborative monarch conservation.

“The University of Minnesota has been a proud supporter and host to the Monarch Joint Venture from the very beginning, said Gregory Cuomo, associate dean for research and graduate programs for the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.  “The MJV does important work, and that is reflected in its tremendous growth.  We are working closely with the MJV over the coming months to help with their transition, and look forward to supporting their mission in the years ahead.”

To ensure a smooth transition and continuation of our important work, we will continue to operate at the University through spring 2019, and will continue to collaborate with research, education and pollinator conservation programs at the University.

As an MJV partner or supporter, your continued investment in monarch conservation and engagement is critical to our success. Your financial support, expertise, and on-the-ground monarch habitat, education, and research efforts are essential components of this passionate network of monarch conservation friends and partners!

For more information:

Wendy Caldwell, MJV Executive Director,