Biography

Marie Long
Associate Director of Conservation Education & Science
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Marie Long joined the staff at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in 2004 and serves as the Associate Director of Conservation Education & Science. The department is a hub for research, education and conservation of the Sonoran Desert Region. As Associate Director, Marie oversees the Museum's interpretive, educational and cultural programs, and non-living collections.

Marie has 20 years’ experience in environmental education, interpretation and teaching desert ecology. She has worked at three non-profit museums: The Living Desert, Palm Springs Desert Museum and currently at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Marie has provided international expertise related to education, interpretation, visitor experience and botanical technical support to wildlife agencies in both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. She contributed to the creation of a vision for the development of the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve renovation project in Jordan and advised on international best practices regarding visitor services, interpretation, and management plan recommendations for the United Arab Emirates Desert National Park, Wadi Wuraya. She is currently collaborating with the Siberian Association for Interpretation, providing interpretive and educational support to Museums and Nature Reserves in Russia. She holds a B.A. from the University of South Carolina and Applied Science Degree from North Carolina State.

Marie spent her formative years living in Saudi Arabia exploring the Arabian Desert and travelling around the world. She enjoys cultivating relationships with both local and international community organizations. She has led natural history expeditions throughout the Sonoran Desert Region, the Galapagos and southern Africa and has facilitated and coordinated cultural exchanges with indigenous community members from the southwestern United States and Sonora, Mexico. Marie recently completed a large-scale project between the Desert Museum, Pinacate Biosphere Reserve & UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument supporting the implementation of both in-situ and ex situ conservation actions related to the Quitobaquito pupfish and Sonoyta mud turtle.

Marie continues to teach and develop curriculum for an extensive 15 week “Natural History of the Sonoran Desert” course at the Desert Museum and has taught interpretive classes at the Tohono O’odham Community College, Nature Conservancy, Sabino Canyon and Tucson Botanical Garden. Marie has also developed curriculum in desert natural history for both youth and adults, worked on numerous exhibition teams and served as the Interim Director of the Art Institute for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Marie supports the approach that Museums play an important role as a strong community anchor that enhances civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and culturally based dialogue. She co-lead a full-scale development project designed to build institutional capacity in leadership and practice among science museums to increase public understanding of environmental change, and the relationship to nature from indigenous perspectives. Examples of project outcomes include the following: Basketry and Native Foods Symposium, cultural exchanges and exhibitory and educational programs that includes indigenous perspectives.

At the Desert Museum, Marie has helped to build financial support for the Museum’s exhibits, education and cultural programs by increasing grant support. She continues to build long-term partnerships with community members both locally and abroad.