Cannoo Hills Creative Arts Residency

The Cary Institute’s Cannoo Hills Creative Arts Residency was formed to inspire creative works that relay ecosystem concepts and the work of ecosystem scientists to the public. Invited guests reside at the campus, exploring its 2,000-acre campus and interacting with research staff.

Writer/Artist-in-Residence appointments can last from several weeks to several months. While fostering creative talent is the foremost goal of the program, there is also the hope (though not the expectation) that immersion in a research community will inspire a creative piece that translates science to the public.

Interested in being considered for the program? Letters of inquiry can be sent to Lori Quillen at


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Hara Woltz, environmental artist and scientist
(Fall 2015)


Hara Woltz is an environmental artist and scientist that uses a variety of media to address the destruction and conservation of ecological systems. Her solo and collaborative projects investigate the complex relationships between humans and other living organisms. Field research is integral to the creation of her work. Informed through direct immersion, she documents, questions, and mitigates the impacts of human constructs—perceived and concrete—on the environment and its inhabitants.

Hara has worked on a variety of ecological and habitat design projects throughout the world, including the Asia Trail at the National Zoological Park in Washington, DC, habitat restoration for native species on the North Island of New Zealand, giant tortoise and albatross habitat assessment and restoration in the Galápagos, and bio-cultural resilience in the Solomon Islands. Her work has also appeared in a variety of publications, including ORION, Biological Conservation, Popular Science, and Landscape Architecture Magazine.


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Patrick Wadden and Marlena Marallo, Founders/Directors of Arm-of-the-Sea Theater
(Winter 2013)


Patrick Wadden and Marlena Marallo combine forces in a fruitful artistic partnership, whose work draws on the Hudson River Estuary as a source of inspiration. In 1982, this duo began developing creative techniques of communicating various issues related to the Hudson River and environs to the general public.

Marlena sculpts and paints most of the Theater's vivid imagery. Patrick is a playwright and poet, and in addition to the written scripts, he creates sets, and directs productions.



Katherine Larson, writer
(Spring 2013)


Recipient of the Yale Younger Poets Prize and numerous fellowships for her writing, Larson is also a research scientist in molecular biology.

Her poems connect the empirical world to the imaginative, exploring creative and destructive moments in micro- and macro-environments.



Maria Coryell-Martin, artist
(Fall 2012)

Maria Coryell-Martin paints regions vulnerable to climate change and degradation to bridge art, science, and environmental education. Since 2005  she has focused on polar and glaciated regions where she has often collaborated with scientific research teams.

Following her stay at Cary, Coryell-Martin published a series of vignettes inspired by her field sketches and conversations with scientific staff.

Science Vignettes (.pdf) >




Lynne Cherry, writer and illustrator
(Fall 2011-Winter 2012)


Lynne Cherry is the author and/or illustrator of over thirty award-winning books for children. Her best-selling books such as The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild teach children to respect the earth.



Akiko Busch, writer
(Spring 2011)

Akiko Busch writes about design, culture, and the natural world for a variety of publications. She is the author of Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live and The Uncommon Life of Common Objects: Essays on Design and the Everyday.



Rebecca Allan, artist
(Summer 2010)

Rebecca Allan is a New York-based painter whose work centers on the landscape and themes of music. Rivers and tributaries of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and northern England, as well as the chaparral landscapes of California are her primary sites of investigation and expression.


Michael Tennesen, journalist
(Fall 2009)

Michael Tennesen is a science writer who has written for many of the top publications in the country, including more than 400 stories in such journals as Discover, Scientific American, New Scientist, National Wildlife, Audubon, Science, Smithsonian, and others.

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