Welcome to Eliza Cava – Audubon Naturalist Society’s New Director of Conservation and Advocacy
Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) has hired Eliza Cava as the new Director of Conservation and Advocacy. In this capacity she will oversee the strategic leadership of Communities for Clean streams along with her other responsibilities. Recently we caught up with Eliza to find out a little more about her background and her plans for growing the Communities for Clean Streams campaign. Previously, Eliza worked as a Policy Analyst, Renewable Energy and Wildlife, for Defenders of Wildlife. She was a Chesapeake Regional Network Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program. Her strengths are in energy and wildlife policy, water resources management and environmental education. Eliza earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Education from Swarthmore College and a Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is also a consummate nature enthusiast. Eliza has hiked 400 miles of the Appalachian Trail, is a keen kayaker and also a former Rugby coach – experience that should help her face down rogue developers! ANS: When did you realize that environmental science was your passion? EC: I grew up canoeing and camping in the Florida Everglades with my family, and loved being in nature and being on the water. In high school, I had the opportunity to participate in an immersive environmental education program and I realized that I could do what I loved—being outside in nature, working with kids—as a career. Then later I realized I wanted not only to teach about nature, but also to work to protect it, so I went to graduate school and moved into environmental policy. I’m proof that ANS’s catch phrase – Enjoy. Learn. Protect. – works! ANS: What are the main conservation issues that you will be tackling at ANS? EC: We are working on the Communities for Clean Streams campaign. And building on the tools that we have developed already—Creek Critters, Stream Snapshots, our water quality monitoring, and trainings that we’ve had great success with. We are going to keep doing that, build on those strengths, and grow to expand our presence across the metro region. Also, it’s an honor to step into the big shoes of Diane Cameron, our previous director of conservation, and I look forward to working with her on the new Woodend rain garden right away. ANS: How is ANS working with local partners in conservation? EC: I have met many partners that attest to the credibility and leadership of ANS in the community. I am really looking forward to meeting all the partners and working with them. We are part of a big community. ANS: What do you enjoy most about your new job? EC: Getting muddy in the creek! And also being there with volunteers and the community. written by Cathy Grubman and Leslie McDermott
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