Community Stewardship Manager
Tara Cornelisse (she/hers) joined LandPaths in June 2022. As the Community Stewardship Manager, Tara manages the team that stewards LandPaths’ unique preserves, with a goal to promote conservation and ecosystem health through community action and connection.
Tara’s love for nature was fostered during childhood camping trips along Lake Michigan where she developed a curiosity and affinity for all six-legged creatures while combing the endless sand dunes. From there, Tara studied dung beetles, termites, and forest biogeochemistry to earn a B.A. in Biology from Boston University. She then wielded a pickaxe as a member of the Student Conservation Association’s Desert Restoration Corps in the Mojave Desert.
Tara went on to receive a M.S. in Conservation Biology from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz where she worked on the conservation and restoration of the endangered Ohlone tiger beetle and its California coastal prairie habitat.
Prior to joining LandPaths, Tara was a natural resources programs director at Conservation Corps North Bay, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, and a biological consultant for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tara was also an assistant professor at Canisius College, where she taught and mentored student research in ecology and conservation. She has published many peer-reviewed articles and technical reports in conservation and serves on the board of Fire Safe Sonoma. As a result, Tara brings over 15 years of experience in environmental advocacy, education, and conservation-based land management. She is committed to advancing LandPath’s mission of fostering a love of the land in the Sonoma County ecosystems and communities that she knows and loves.
Tara lives in Santa Rosa with her wife and spoiled dog and loves exploring Sonoma County, traveling to biodiversity hotspots around the globe to view unique species, especially birds and beetles, cooking anything with broccoli, and baking bread.