Eliza Cava

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Policy Analyst, Renewable Energy and Wildlife
eliza.cava@defenders.org

Eliza Cava, Conservation Associate, Renewable Energy and WildlifeAreas of expertise: renewable energy policy; ecosystem restoration; wetland and habitat mitigation; GIS mapping and geospatial analysis

As the Renewable Energy & Wildlife Policy Analyst, Eliza works to help implement the renewable energy program activities to help promote Smart from the Start renewable energy development. She engages in national and regional policy development, internal and external outreach activities, energy efficiency and conservation, and national geothermal energy issues. 

Prior to joining Defenders of Wildlife, Eliza worked in the field of environmental and outdoor education before later transitioning to environmental policy. She led trail crews with the Student Conservation Association and taught nature appreciation and wilderness survival skills as well as led caving, rock climbing, and backpacking trips for several companies in Maryland and Massachusetts. Her past work experience also includes coaching collegiate women’s rugby, developing watershed-based environmental education curricula, and managing a geographic database of the street trees in the city of New Haven, CT. During graduate school she worked with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy on its China Environmental Performance Index and consulted informally for environmental organizations including the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the World Wildlife Fund, and Defenders of Wildlife.

Eliza received her B.A. with High Honors in Environmental Education from Swarthmore College. She earned a Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her thesis focused on understanding how the Army Corps of Engineers is adapting to meet the complex challenges of large-scale ecosystem restoration in the Florida Everglades, for which she received the school’s Strachan Donnelly thesis award. Her essay The Arctic Irony: Protecting Areas We May Never See was published in SAGE Magazine in 2011.

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