About Us

Martha's Vineyard Atlas of Life

Launched in February 2021, The Martha’s Vineyard Atlas of Life is a joint project of BiodiversityWorks and the Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation. A community-driven project to document the unique biodiversity of Martha’s Vineyard, the MVAL seeks to inspire and support nature enthusiasts of all sorts. Our goal is an active, informed, and enthusiastic community working to understand and protect the biodiversity that today’s Vineyarders are stewarding for future generations.

Matt Pelikan, MVAL Program Director

Matt Pelikan, director of the Martha’s Vineyard Atlas of Life, is a lifelong naturalist with a broad range of interests. An Oak Bluffs resident since 1997, Matt has devoted countless hours to the study of wildlife groups including birds, butterflies, tiger beetles, Odonates, Orthoptera, and bees on Martha’s Vineyard. Before joining BiodiversityWorks and the MVAL in February 2021, Matt had worked as an ecologist for The Trustees of Reservations and, before that, in various roles for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. Matt’s academic background is in English, and he works actively as a freelance writer and editor.


Founded in 2011 by wildlife biologist Luanne Johnson, now the organization’s Director, BiodiversityWorks fills the need for a conservation organization focused specifically on wildlife monitoring and research across the entire island of Martha’s Vineyard. BWorks also emphasizes mentoring young adults as they consider or begin careers in wildlife biology or conservation.

BWorks is informed by Luanne’s original vision of a collaborative organization that promotes biodiversity conservation through participation and works with conservation groups, private landowners, federal and state agencies, community members, students and scientists to ask questions and find answers together.

The Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation

The Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation seeks to move communities toward a more balanced, sustainable relationship with the environment. The foundation supports and invests in innovative organizations that promote the better use of natural resources, preserve biological diversity, and enhance the health of humanity. It supports and collaborates with those who serve as catalysts and conveners to leverage our impact and accomplish our goals. The foundation’s vision of long-term healthy communities involves the health of people, land, and society.