Director, Science Action Center
As Director of Rapid Inventories & Conservation Tools for ECCo (Environment, Culture and Conservation), Corine Vriesendorp manages all aspects of the Rapid Inventories, from final selection of sites and oversight of the logistics, to composition of the inventory team and editing of the reports, to translating the results into hectares of intact habitats conserved. The rapid inventory program has been terrifically successful. Since 1999, ECCo's work has resulted in 12 newly protected landscapes, 9 areas in the process of obtaining legal protection, and 9 areas with reinforced management. She also directs the conservation tools initiative, which transforms the Museum’s collections into traditional field guides (e.g., Birds of Peru), a growing on-line reference to the entire Neotropical Flora and other innovative digital resources.
An avid field biologist and plant ecologist, Dr. Vriesendorp participates in the inventories as a member of the botany team. Her interests and research bridge the continuum from basic to applied science. She began her career studying mahogany in Bolivia, researching the impact of logging practices on mahogany populations, and creating recommendations for better management practices.
She went on to research seedling dynamics of a tropical forest community in Costa Rica, to understand birth and death processes in high-diversity forests and their implications for the conservation and management of these forests. Her seedling work is ongoing—she and her team have marked more than 30,000 seedlings since 1999.
Dr. Vriesendorp is most fascinated by the connections among organisms, and although she has published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and technical reports about plants, she also has written short natural history notes about mammals and amphibians.
She received her B.A. from Princeton University, and her Phd from Michigan State University. Her dissertation was on the maintenance of plant diversity in a Costa Rican rainforest.