Cara is the executive director of The Land Connection, an educational nonprofit organization in central Illinois that trains farmers resilient, restorative farming techniques, educates the public about the sources of our food and why that matters, and works to protect and enhance farmland. Cara oversees the implementation of all of the educational programs, and is currently working with program staff to develop new curriculum for a full year immersion food system school. She is also the primary grant writer and fundraiser for the organization. She has taught or presented on topics relating to business planning, communicating your story, and grant writing for small farms.
Cara is also a writer and editor, and has written, edited, or contributed to publications and blogs for The Land Connection, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the Tropical Forest Group, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Columbia University graduate student newspaper Communique.
Since its formation in 2006, Cara has worked in various capacities with the Tropical Forest Group. While on staff with TFG, Cara coordinated a wide range of research, advocacy and outreach on tropical forests and climate change. At the annual UNFCCC as an official observer, Cara focused on REDD+, international finance and incentives for tropical forests, and outreach to UNFCCC Parties on a range of policy and technical issues, including: measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), reference levels, and coordination between the LCA, SBSTA, COP, and the Copenhagen Accord.
Prior to working with TFG, Cara managed her own website and graphic design business for several years, and in 2006 was the Coordinator for the Center for Sustainability at Santa Barbara City College. She holds a BA in Biology from UC Santa Barbara (2003) and an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute (2010). For her culminating project at Columbia in applied earth systems management, Cara co-managed a consulting team of 12 graduate students on a research project for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), titled Evaluating the Possibilities for an International Climate Change Regime.
Cara lives in Champaign, Illinois, has two grown daughters, and spends her free time working on her art (botanical painting and wood carving), cooking, and food photography.
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