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Marie Long
Associate Director of Conservation Education & Science
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Marie Long joined the staff at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in July, 2004 in the Conservation Education & Science Department (formally the Center for Sonoran Desert Studies). The "CESD" conducts the educational and scientific functions of the Museum and is a hub for research, education and conservation of the Sonoran Desert Region. As Associate Director, Marie oversees the Museum's interpretive programs, public programs, non-living collections, adult classes, museum library and archives, cultural exchanges and community engagement projects.

Marie has over 15 years experience in the field of desert ecology and environmental education and received her B.A. from the University of South Carolina and completed an Applied Science Degree from North Carolina State. Marie spent her formative years living in Saudi Arabia exploring the Arabian Desert where she gained an appreciation for desert ecosystems and the people who inhabit this arid region. Marie continues to study desert ecosystems and has consulted in the Middle East on a wide array of projects. She has provided educational, interpretative and botanical technical support to wildlife agencies in both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Marie assisted with creating a vision for the development of the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve Renovation project in Jordan and advised on international best practices regarding visitor services and interpretation for the United Arab Emirates Desert National Park, Wadi Wurayah. She provided next step recommendations for Wadi Wurayah's management plan and presented on international best practices for arid park design and management.

Marie has also led natural history expeditions throughout the Sonoran Desert Region, the Galapagos and southern Africa. Marie has facilitated and coordinated cultural exchanges with the Tucson Museum of Art, Owl & Panther Project and Tohono O'odham Cultural Center and continues to cultivate community partnerships. Marie has also developed curriculum in desert natural history for both youth and adults, worked on numerous exhibition teams and served as the Interim Director of the Art Institute for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Marie supports the approach that Museum's play an important role as a strong community anchor that enhances civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and culturally based dialogue. She is currently working on a full-scale Development Project designed to build institutional capacity in leadership and practice among science museums in order to increase public understanding of environmental change and the relationship to nature from indigenous perspectives, while also providing access to science as practiced in the established scientific community.

Prior to her current position at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Marie gained experience in museum education and administration at The Living Desert in Palm Desert California, and at the Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs California, as their Education Program Manager. At The Living Desert she managed interpretive programs and worked in the botanical collections where she developed curriculum and programs that focused on deserts of the world. At the Palm Springs Desert Museum Marie worked on a wide variety of exhibit development projects and lead a comprehensive Desert Biology and Desert Studies program.

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