3 Questions with Adrianna Muir, ’02, Director of Conservation Collaboration at The Nature Conservancy

Welcome to “3 Questions with …”, a recurring feature on the Career Center blog. We’re asking alumni of all graduation years and career interests to share a bit of their experiences and advice. 

Adrianna Muir, ’02, Director of Conservation Collaboration at The Nature Conservancy

1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your current job/graduate program/vocational endeavor.

I’m a conservationist at The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental nonprofit with a mission to create a world where people and nature thrive. I work across the North America region to push for important conservation strategies like climate change mitigation and healthy ecosystems that are needed to meet the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss . One thing I love about my job is that I help conservation practitioners to do their jobs through diverse, equitable and inclusive partnerships.

2. How did your time at Tufts influence your career journey?

During my first semester at Tufts, Prof. Michael Reed’s conservation biology class fed a passion that I didn’t even know I had. Through faculty like Profs. Chew, Lewis and Ellmore, my eyes were opened to new fields of study and I felt encouraged to take risks and to keep pushing the boundary of my knowledge. Prof. Colin Orians was – and still is – an inspirational mentor; he introduced me to community ecology and hands-on field research. His inaugural tropical field ecology trip to Costa Rica was a Tufts highlight and led to unforgettable memories and lifelong friendships. Thanks to Tufts, especially the Biology Department, I learned that I wanted to keep learning and went on to pursue a doctorate in ecology.

3. What advice would you offer to a student who wants to pursue a career path like yours?

Environmental conservation is a fascinating intersection of science, history, policy, and society, so allow your education to be an equally rich set of classes. Look to professors and local organizations for experiences outside of the classroom that can make your time at Tufts even more well-rounded. When possible, say yes to interesting opportunities and, when needed, take risks to get the exposure and skills you need to develop. The unpaid fellowship, the short-term internship, the random side job, the informational interview – they all add up and help build a network and a world of possible career pathways.

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By Sheryl Rosenberg
Sheryl Rosenberg Associate Director