Mary Coolidge

Mary grew up hiking, camping and backpacking all over the West, where she developed a deep love of the natural world. Her early interest in botany soon led to a study of ornithology; together the two deepened her engagement with the great outdoors and are at the foundation of a lifelong interest in ecological communities.

Mary has spent her work life as a biologist and a conservationist, working in California, Washington, Montana, and Oregon, studying the ecology of a wide array of bird species—including Marbled Murrelet, Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Spotted Owl, Flammulated Owl, Burrowing Owl, Long-billed Curlew, and Caspian Tern. Mary served as the Assistant Conservation Director at Audubon Society of Portland for 4 years and has worked with Center for Diversity and the Environment since early 2014. She also works part time at the Oregon Zoo’s California Condor breeding facility.

Mary is a student of nature deep in the wilderness as well as in the middle of the urban environment, and is interested in improving efforts to make urban environment more hospitable to wildlife and helping connect people to nature and place. She’s a volunteer naturalist in Metro’s school field trip program, and spends her time beekeeping, birdwatching, horseback riding, and occasionally escaping to a meandering river to fly fish.

Mary is currently participating in CDE’s E42 Environmental Educator cohort and considers it one of the most influential and eye-opening experiences of her life, both personally and professionally, an experience that has deepened her commitment to working to support the consideration and engagement of communities of color in all aspects of the environmental movement.



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