Tara Crawford

Tara Crawford

Member since: December 1, 2011

A Little About Me

“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious." -Albert Einstein

I've loved playing outdoors and learning about nature my entire life, so I felt like I hit the jackpot when I was in college and realized I could pursue a career in science. I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2006 with a BS in Ecology. Afterwards, I joined the United States Peace Corps and served as the Programs Coordinator for a parish-based environmental NGO in St. Thomas, Jamaica. In Jamaica I became interested in holistic approaches to natural resource management that take into consideration the social context in which management is carried out. This interest led me to Brown University where I earned a MA degree in Environmental Studies. My Master’s thesis investigated how social, ecological, and institutional contexts influence what "ecosystem-based management" is in practice.

I am now finishing my second year at Arizona State University working towards a PhD in Biology with a focus on applied wildlife ecology – meaning that I study animals, how they interact among themselves, with their environment and people, and how we can use this knowledge to better manage them. I hope, through my dissertation research, I can help managers understand when wildlife populations are comprised of unique individuals or groups of individuals that have an important influence on population dynamics. This way we can target management actions on those individuals or groups that matter most.

From my two amazing parents, a mattress store owner and an accountant, I learned to respect the importance of "the bottom line". I hope to integrate my life-long interest in wildlife, the professional skill set I am acquiring through my academic training and real-world experiences, and my respect for people's right to earn a living to balance the need for conservation and use of our natural resources.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, eating, hiking, playing with my handsome hound dog (Woodrow), and reading.