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Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Anne Toomey, project assistant

Project Assistant, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

Anne Toomey, project assistant

Anne Toomey is a native New Yorker, but has spent much of the last decade in Latin America, working closely with issues of community development and environmental sustainability. She holds a dual-M.A. in Sustainable Development and Natural Resources from American University in Washington, D.C and the University for Peace in Costa Rica. In 2006, she received an EPA STAR fellowship to carry out a participatory research project in an ecological buffer zone in Nicaragua, which involved working closely with women’s, youth, and farmers’ groups in order to identify pathways to sustainability from within the community. Prior to her research in Central America, she coordinated the international department for a Mexican network of farmers’ and artisans’ cooperatives committed to the principles of fair trade and organic agriculture.

Since returning to New York, Anne has worked with several different environmental organizations in the city to find locally based solutions to the environmental challenges presented by urbanization. In 2009 and 2010 she coordinated and facilitated environmental science research expeditions to conduct baseline studies of wildlife in the metropolitan region funded by the Earthwatch Institute, and currently she is a co-PI on a research project to study the arrival of New York’s newest top predator – the eastern coyote. In her spare time she coordinates citizen science activities with Wildmetro, a grassroots organization dedicated to connecting citizens with nature and wildlife in the city.

Next fall, Anne expects to begin an interdisciplinary doctoral research program that will focus on measuring the conservation outcomes of community participation in biodiversity science. Her dissertation research aims to enable spaces for the sharing of knowledge and ideas between scientists and indigenous communities in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet – Madidi National Park, Bolivia – with the ultimate goal of working together to find solutions for environmental and cultural conservation.