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Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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Eleanor Sterling, PI

Director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

Eleanor Sterling, PI

Eleanor Sterling is Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. She leads the development and coordination of the Center's national and international field projects and the development of curricula for undergraduate and graduate level educators. Eleanor has worked for several international conservation organizations, and has over 25 years of field research experience in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where she has conducted behavioral, ecological, and genetic studies of primates, whales, and other mammals, as well as of sea turtles and giant Gal├ípagos tortoises. Eleanor also studies the inter-relationships between cultural, linguistic, and biological diversity. She translates this and other scientific information into recommendations for conservation managers, decision-makers, and educators. She has extensive expertise in developing environmental education programs and professional development workshops for teachers, students, and U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in the field of biodiversity conservation. 


From 2005-2010, Eleanor served as the Chair of the Society for Conservation Biology's Education Committee and is currently serving as Deputy Chair. She received her BA from Yale College in 1983 and her MPhil and PhD in Anthropology and Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University in 1993. Eleanor joined the CBC in 1996 as Program Director and was named the Director of the Center in 2000.