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Cannoo Hills Creative Arts Residency

Inspiring creative works that relay ecosystem concepts and the work of ecosystem scientists to the public.

Illustration: Maria Coryell-Martin, 2012 Artist-in-Residence
White Footed Mouse, 7” x 5” ink & watercolor

Invited guests of the Cannoo Hills Creative Arts Residency 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

Want to learn more about efforts across New York to bring art and environmental science together? Common Ground: Art, Data, and Ecology at New York State Field Stations is a report assessing the potential for collaboration between the arts and field stations. Case studies include Cary's Writer/Artist-in-Residence program.


Heather ‘Bird’ Harris
(Spring 2024)

Heather ‘Bird’ Harris is an artist, curator, and educator who prioritizes caretaking and connection. Her work explores the throughlines between history and ecological crises, engaging with communities, scientists, and site-specific materials to investigate land memory, systems of complicity, and possibilities for emergence.

Harris received her B.S. in art history from Skidmore College and master’s degree in education leadership from Columbia University. Harris has served as principal of a turnaround school in New Orleans, curriculum director, and continues to consult with school leaders across the U.S. to support anti-racist history education. Her art practice has been featured nationally on NPR, Sea Change, Artist/Mother Podcast, and All We Can Save Project. Recent exhibitions include the New Mexico State University Museum, Bristol Art Museum, Art Fields, Stoveworks, the Barnes Ogden Gallery at Louisiana State University, and Science Gallery Atlanta. She was one of 7 artists selected for the Art & Social Justice Fellowship at Emory University in 2023. Bird is an MFA candidate at Georgia State University and lives in Atlanta with her partner, Josh, and their two children, Jade and Hazel.

Dornith Doherty, filmmaker, photographer, digital artist, educator 
(Spring 2018)

Dornith uses photography to explore relationships among humans, science, and nature. Her most recent work, Archiving Eden, documents international seed banks, climate change, and political instability. She holds a MFA in Photography from Yale University and a BA from Rice University.

A 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Dornith has received grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the United States Department of the Interior.

Her work has been featured widely in exhibitions and permanent collections throughout the US and abroad including: the Denver Art Museum; the Crystal Bridges Museum; the Tucson Museum of Art; the New Mexico Museum of Art; the Museum of Photography - Rafaela, Argentina; the Museum Belvédère - the Netherlands; the Bluecoat - Liverpool, England; the Centro de Fotografía - Isla de Tenerife, Spain; and the Encuentros Abiertos Photography Biennial - Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pieces from Archiving Eden will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences. 

In print, Doherty’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, Hyperallergic, and American Way magazine – among others. 

Doherty is a Distinguished Research Professor at the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design where she teaches classes in contemporary fine art photography.

Allison Cekala, filmmaker, photographer, curator, and educator 
(Winter 2018)

Allison is currently working on a documentary on the Rio Grande. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2015) and a BA from from Bard College (2006) in Photography and Environmental Studies.

She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at the Museum of Science (Boston, MA), the Schneider Museum of Art (Ashland, OR), The Vermont Center for Photography (Brattleboro, VT),The American Film Institute (Washington, DC), among others. In 2015, the Boston globe named her solo show, "Salt Mountain", which chronicled the importation of Boston's de-icing road salt, as one of Boston's best shows of the year. Her work as also been featured on WBUR's Artery, Light Leaked Photography Journal, and Public Radio International's "The World". Cekala's work has been supported through residencies at ACRE, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony.

Allison is currently an adjunct professor of photography at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA.

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.

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.