Want to submit an article to the Journal?

Find out what kind of pieces we’re looking for and requirements for submission.

unnamedThe Natural Areas Journal — the flagship publication of the Natural Areas Association — is the leading voice in natural areas management and preservation.

The Journal features peer-reviewed original research articles on topics such as:

  • Applied conservation biology
  • Ecological restoration
  • Natural areas management
  • Ecological assessment and monitoring
  • Invasive and exotic species management
  • Habitat protection
  • Fire ecology

It also includes writing on conservation issues, forums, topic reviews, editorials, state and federal natural area activities and book reviews. In addition, we publish special issues on various topics. Our most recent special issue is Managing for Pollinators on Natural Areas.

Natural Areas Association members receive a subscription to the Journal as part of the benefits of membership. Members can access their online issues here.

Join or renew today to start receiving issues, or access a sample article.

We’ve got a special deal for you – our two most recent special issues, Managing for Pollinators on Natural Areas and Using Native Plant Materials in Restoration, are available together at a special price. Learn more.

Interested in back issues? Contact us to order.

eric mengesEditor: Eric Menges

Eric Menges received a PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin in 1983. Since 1988, he has worked at Archbold Biological Station in Florida, focusing on fire ecology, rare plant biology, population viability, reintroductions, restoration and effects of land management. He has published over 150 scientific papers and advised more than 130 interns and students.

scott-gillihan-szdManaging Editor: Scott Gillihan

Scott Gillihan has a BS in Wildlife Biology and an MA in Zoology. His many years of work as a biologist took him from grasslands to alpine tundra, with particular emphasis on forested ecosystems. His parallel interest in communications led to his current work as a copyeditor, managing editor and editor-in-chief of scientific and popular publications.

Pam OverholtzerDesign and Production Manager: Pamela S. Overholtzer

Pam Overholtzer’s roots are in sustainable design and green architecture. She has a BS and MS in Architecture, as well as an MArch, from the University of Idaho. For the last 10 years, she has handled all aspects of design and production for the Journal. She also teaches art, architecture and interior design at the University of Idaho.

Plant Ecology
Jere Boudell – Clayton State University, Morrow, GA
Young D. Choi – Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN
Joshua G. Cohen – Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI
Amanda Little – University of Wisconsin – Menomonie, WI
Ron Reuter – Oregon State University – Cascades Campus, Bend, OR

Animal Ecology
Adam Ahlers – Kansas State University, Manhattan
Raoul Boughton – University of Florida, IFAS, Ona
John G. Bruggink – Northern Michigan University, Marquette
Gary S. Casper, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Field Station, Saukville

Endangered and Rare Plants/Restoration
Brenda Molano-Flores – Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign
Noel Pavlovic – Great Lakes Science Center, Porter, IN
Zeb Weese – Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, Frankfort

Conservation Planning and Policy
David J. Brunckhorst – University of New England, Armidale, Australia
Dominick DellaSala – Geos Institute, Ashland, OR
James Farmer – Indiana University, Bloomington
Bryan Rupar – Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Little Rock
John Vickery – Department of Parks & Recreation, Denver, CO

Interested in submitting a manuscript for publication in the Journal?


We welcome several types of articles:

  • Research Articles (2,000 to 7,500 words*) Peer-reviewed articles which detail original research in which new data, concepts or applications are presented.
  • Research Notes (3,000 words or fewer) Peer-reviewed articles which report results of completed original research projects of smaller scope.
  • Conservation Issues articles (2,000 to 7,500 words*) Reviewed by at least one Associate Editor, these may summarize observational research that involves minimal quantitative data, review legislation pertinent to the natural areas profession, discuss trends and issues in biodiversity conservation and management, or be reviews or syntheses of topics related to natural areas and the preservation of biodiversity.
  • Stewardship in Action articles – Short communications (3,000 words or fewer), reviewed by the Editorial Board, that describe timely, on-the-ground techniques and equipment, research in progress and innovative management practices. NO TIME TO WRITE BUT SOMETHING TO SAY? We can assign a writer who will interview you and write your Stewardship in Action topic! Contact Kate Luce Angell in Communications.
  • Forum Submissions (Fewer than 1,000 words) Comment on material published in the Natural Areas Journal or address issues of general interest to natural areas professionals.
  • Book Reviews (1,000 to 2,000 words) Prospective book reviewers can click here for a list of available titles, and look here for some advice on the review process. Or you can contact the Book Review Editor for guidance. Publishers, get in touch with the Review Editor to inquire if your book/publication is suitable for the NAJ and for mailing information. Do not send book previews and samples to the NAA office – we cannot receive them there. Instead, send overnight to this address:
    Scott Rush, PhD
    Rm 213a Thompson Hall
    775 Stone Blvd.
    Mississippi State, MS 39762

* Authors planning to submit manuscripts significantly longer than 7,500 words should first contact the Editor.

It is recommended, though not required, that those submitting articles to the Journal be Natural Areas Association members. Join now.

Page Charges and Reprints

Authors of Research Articles, Research Notes and Conservation Issues articles will be charged $60 per page (NAA members) or $100 per page (non-members) to help defray publication costs. Stewardship in Action pieces do not presently incur page charges. To be eligible for the members’ rate, you must be a current member or become one within 30 days of your paper being accepted.

Reprints are available to authors in hardcopy or electronic format. Instructions for ordering reprints and costs are sent out to authors once the page charges are received.

Copying and Permissions

Authorization to reproduce articles or material from the Natural Areas Journal beyond one copy for personal use, or that permitted by sections 107 and 108 of U.S. Copyright Law, may be granted for a fee. For more information, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at www.copyright.com or 978-750-8400.


One-year Library subscription: $175
Additional Postage: $30 Canada/Mexico
All other countries: $50

We encourage libraries to subscribe to the Natural Areas Journal as the publication of record for natural areas management and preservation.

Libraries can buy a one-year subscription at any time online.

An annual subscription includes four hardcopy issues, mailed out in January, April, July and October. Online access can also be obtained through BioOne.

Subscriptions and renewals are for a year based on the date payment is processed, unless you indicate a different schedule. If your preferred subscription schedule is Jan-Dec, please ensure that payment is received no later than December 31 for the following year. If payment is received after January 1, missed issues for the previous calendar year may be available depending upon inventory. International addresses will be required to pay postage and handling for any missed issues due to late payment.


  • Claims must be submitted within 12 months of the Journal issue date.
  • Please send claims via email only to info@naturalareas.org.
  • Claims must include the recipient library’s contact name and email address.

Contact info@naturalareas.org with questions. We thank you for your subscription!

The Natural Areas Journal regularly publishes special issues that focus on a particular topic of interest to our members.

Announcing a new special issue of the Natural Areas Journal!

Our Call for Papers is now open for submissions focusing on land stewardship from a water resource perspective. Check the “submissions” tab for further info on that process.

Restored cranberry bog NJ Pine Barrens, by Emile DeVito, New Jersey Conservation

We welcome submissions from all regions; however, topics of interest to land stewards in the West or the Southeast Coastal Plain are particularly welcome.

This special issue will be devoted to evaluating the state of scientific research on how practices used to restore and manage conservation lands (forests, parks, wildlife management areas, nature preserves, etc.) affect water quality, water quantity, and freshwater ecosystems.

The target audience includes land stewards, policymakers, scientific researchers, and funders of stewardship programs and stewardship-related research.

To qualify, a paper should review the most relevant research on the impacts of a category of

Planting riparian buffer by David J. Robertson, Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust.

land stewardship practices on streams, lakes, wetlands, or groundwater, offer guidelines for land managers based on sound science, and identify the highest-priority research targets to fill in scientific knowledge gaps.

Submissions must be received by September 30, 2017.

We’re excited to present this special issue, with funding from the William Penn Foundation and other sources.

Are you interested in our Special Issue Managing for Pollinators on Natural Areas?

Order your copy now.

You can also get a great deal when you purchase both the Pollinators special issue and the Using Native Plants in Restoration special issue.

In collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Pollinator Partnership, the Natural Areas Association is producing this special issue to:

  • Help raise awareness of the critical role pollinators play in ecosystems — and the dangers they face
  • Address data and knowledge gaps in the native plant and pollinator management realm
  • Provide tools to assess, monitor and manage plant-pollinator systems to improve the overall sustainability of natural areas and the ecosystem services they provide.
  • Offer crucial information to support underserved areas and practitioners

This issue will serve as a resource that summarizes plant-pollinator systems in natural areas. It will reach and serve a wide audience: educators, scientists, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses and others interested in this vital subject.

Join our mailing list to be notified about this upcoming special issue and other Pollinator initiatives.

Interested in supporting a special issue on a particular topic? We welcome collaboration! Contact us to discuss.

Why Pollinators?

Between 75–85 percent of flowering plants depend on pollinators for reproduction, meaning that the conservation and management of natural floral communities depends on the conservation and management of pollinators.

Pollinator populations and the ecological services they provide are under threat due to increasing losses of habitat, climate change, disease, parasites, pesticides, pollution and exotic species. For some species, such as the Monarch butterfly, numbers have decreased by 90 percent. Decline of pollinators will result in declines in food production and ecosystem stability.

Our knowledge of pollinators in natural landscapes is still underrepresented, underfunded and under appreciated. Pollinators are vital to sustaining the majority of ecological systems. There is little basic information on plant-pollinator interaction in wildland and natural systems, and the natural resource community lacks technical guidance and peer-reviewed management practices for natural areas. We need to further educate managers, volunteers and the interested public on the roles and diversity of native pollinators in natural landscapes.

Special Issue: Using Native Plant Materials in Restoration

Copies of our previous special issue, Using Native Plant Materials in Restoration, are still available for purchase. Articles cover the latest research, concepts, and best management practices for preservation and use of native plants in natural areas restoration.

This special Journal issue serves as an enduring go-to reference for land management professionals and others charged with natural areas restoration.