Elizabeth Naro, left, and Corey Creedon
Corey Creedon ’18 M.E.M., whose work aims to create conservation solutions that also achieve environmental justice, and Elizabeth Naro ’18 M.E.M., who studies the drivers of organized wildlife and wildlands crime, were recognized for their demonstrated leadership in the field of conservation biology and wildlife science.
The scholarships honor their work both at F&ES and in their prior work experiences.
Before coming to Yale, Creedon spent three years in the Peace Corps as an environmental conservation specialist in Paraguay, supporting environmental and social change through education and leadership initiatives at local elementary and high schools. He also helped design and implement the early phases of a riparian and water restoration project in partnership with other environmental experts. During a third year of service at the WWF office in Paraguay, he helped bring together diverse stakeholders on issues related to deforestation.
In 2016 he led marine conservation-based community service and experiential learning trips for high school students in the Dominican Republic.
At Yale he participated in a Rwanda Study Tour, offered by Yale’s Amy Vedder, which exposed him to a new context and to the successes and failures of conservation work in Rwanda — providing valuable perspective and inspiration. Last summer, he worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Peru, where he supported a project aimed at water resource management and community resilience in the Andes mountain region as well as a project aimed at the titling of indigenous community territories and counteracting deforestation in the Amazon.
“My own vision for conservation is one that ties in closely to my worldview around the flexible, dynamic, and integral connectivity of all things — and one that has been both reaffirmed and re-sculpted by way of coursework here at Yale,” Creedon said. A key part of this interconnectedness, he says, revolves around seeing humans as part of the environment. His focus, therefore, is trained onunderstanding and working with people; altering destructive systems; and crafting social justice feedbacks within the context of conservation work.
Naro’s first conservation experience came at the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre — an organization that rehabilitates endangered seabirds and African penguins — where she assisted with bird rescues, daily feeding and care, and releases.
Later, as a junior monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialist at Social Impact — a firm that assists global development organizations in being more effective — she served as an evaluation team member for the Department of State programs which combat illegal logging through implementation of the 2008 Lacey Act Amendment.
As a Yale student, working with Save the Rhino Trust Namibia, she has studied the social, economic, and cultural factors that drive individuals to join commercial wildlife poaching syndicates in Namibia. She is currently presenting on that research at the Pathways Africa Conference in Windhoek.
“I have always felt that conservation of national resources, whether water, land, or wildlife, requires national effort, and conservation of global resources requires global effort,” she said. “While this is a daunting prospect for an individual, I strive to be part of that global effort.”
The MK McCarthy-RW Worth Scholarship, which provides $2,500 to each recipient, was established in 2015 by Margaret McCarthy ’82 B.A., and her husband Robert Worth, to benefit master’s students who have completed a minimum of two semesters and have demonstrated leadership in the field of conservation biology and wildlife conservation.
The idea for the scholarship was proposed by former co-chairs of the “ConBio” Student Interest Group, Tara Meyer ’15 M.E.Sc. and Danielle Lehle ’15 M.E.M., who sought to honor the significance of conservation and wildlife science among F&ES students.
Recipients of the conservation scholarship are selected based on their demonstrated leadership at F&ES and their dedication to advancing the field of conservation biology. Students can demonstrate leadership through organizing events or speakers, promoting professional skills development, conducting excellent research, or mentoring classmates through teaching fellowships and other positions.
The aim of this scholarship is to foster and promote professional development and the advancement of conservation science at F&ES.