WRITER, ARTIST, Wildlife rehabilitator
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biography

Photo: Diving in a sea turtle nursery off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 2017. ©Erica Cirino

Erica Cirino

Erica Cirino is a writer, artist and wildlife rehabilitator who explores the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds. Her work is focused on the human connection to nature–wild creatures in particular–and human impact on planet Earth. 

As a writer, Erica covers stories about wildlife and the environment, most often related to biology, conservation and policy. Her stories appear in Scientific American, VICE, Ars Technica, Audubon, The Atlantic, New Scientist, The Revelator, Hakai Magazine, Oceans Deeply, Proto and other popular science publications.

As an artist, Erica creates works that conjure human emotions toward the nonhuman world. She is an award-winning photographer and mixed-media creator who combines her artistic finesse with her knowledge of wildlife physiology and ecology to devise striking, thoughtful works focused on wild beings and landscapes.

Currently, Erica is focused on covering stories about the global plastic pollution crisis—from documenting plastic in different ecosystems, to investigating the latest science measuring the extent of the issue, to new solutions that could prevent further ecological destruction and harm to wildlife. Her work covering the story of plastic pollution has taken her sailing twice across the Pacific, in Danish waters, and around Iceland; to Southeast Asia, across the U.S. and Western Europe; the Caribbean; Polynesia and beyond. Erica gives lectures about her experiences reporting these stories in the field around the world.

One of Erica’s major creative inspirations is her role as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who has spent many years in the clinical setting. Over the past 11+ years, Erica has helped treat thousands of sick, orphaned and injured wild animals for their eventual release into the wild. She specializes in treating birds of prey, such as hawks, owls and falcons.

Through her writing, art and wildlife rehabilitation work, Erica hopes to foster human care, conversation and, perhaps, kinship with the nonhuman world.

Learn more about Erica’s lectures and book a presentation here.

 

Awards

Fellowships:

Safina Center "Kalpana Chawla Launchpad Fellow" 2017 (Inaugural), 2018 and 2019

Inaugural CUNY Resilience Fellow 2017

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Ocean Science Journalism Fellow 2016

Academic:

Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Undergraduate Honors Award, May 2014

Stony Brook University Sustainability Studies Director's Award for Academic Excellence, May 2014

Presidential Scholarship, 2010 - 2014

Art:

Center for Humans and Nature's March Artist of the Month - 2018 

Photographer's Forum Best of Photography, runner-up 2010 (BW), 2012 (color), 2017 (color)

Stony Brook University Undergraduate College of Leadership and Service Creative Expressions Contest Winner, 2010

Long Island's Best Young Artists 2008 - mixed media sculpture

Education

MS Journalism — focus in science, health, environment & tech reporting. Summa cum laude

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y.   —   12/2015

BA Environmental Studies, Minor in Environmental Humanities — focus in environmental science, policy & law. Cum laude, with honors

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y.   —   5/2014

development

Society of Environmental Journalists Member - August 2015 to present

Licensed New York State Wildlife Rehabilitator - April 2008 to present