Our History

Earth Innovation Institute’s history began in the Brazilian Amazon, where EII leaders Daniel Nepstad and Toby McGrath have lived and worked for three decades studying the region’s transition from a post-colonial backwater to a hotbed of natural resource exploitation. In 1995, they teamed up with Brazilian partners to found IPAM, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, devoted to expanding this research and shaping policy to move the region towards a more sustainable development model.

IPAM’s International Program was created in 2010 as a 501(c)3 non-profit in California, in response to the growing number of invitations for collaboration outside of Brazil. In 2013, the International Program became the independent, San Francisco-based Earth Innovation Institute.