Maria Dziembowska

Regional Network: 
Delaware River Watershed Network
Class Year: 
Director of Urban Conservation
The Nature Conservancy
Wilmington, DE

I developed a deep appreciation for nature as a child during summers spent visiting my grandfather outside of Warsaw, Poland. My grandfather showed me that people depend on nature to meet their most basic needs -- food, water, shelter. As beneficiaries of nature, we have a responsibility to protect it. Thanks to those experiences, I feel privileged to have a job which requires me to engage people with the environment. It has served as a great way of merging my personal values with my academic and professional backgrounds. As a sociologist, I have a unique perspective on the role that people, human culture, social norms and social relationships play in efforts to improve the natural environment. I also have considerable experience with managing volunteers, planning events and building strategic partnerships – skills which serve me well in my current role.

In my free time, I enjoy mountain biking and trail running. These activities connect me with beautiful places that we and other organizations have worked hard to protect over the years. Getting outside and into nature is also a great way to decompress. I make it a point to get out whenever I can.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, I worked at the Cadence Cycling Foundation, teaching young adults leadership skills through the sport of cycling. I also worked at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia where I organized and managed a wide variety of outreach events to encourage people to bicycle for recreation, transportation and environmental stewardship. I have a Masters in Sociology from UCLA and a Bachelors in Political Science from Haverford College.