Staff

Sean Grace

Center Director

860-364-0520 ext. 120, email

Sean Grace’s lifelong interest in the natural world began while following the banks of a river where he grew up in Massachusetts. He combined his enthusiasm for the outdoors and an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts School of Business Management and ran mountaineering stores working his way up to the District Manager level. Eager to make an impact in conservation, Sean’s path led him to the Teton Science School in Jackson, Wyoming where he completed the Professional Residency in Environmental Education. While in Wyoming, he combined his skills in animal tracking and wildlife observation working on several wildlife research projects following moose, coyote, and elk in the mountains surrounding Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

In 2000, Sean completed his MA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Education, at Montclair State University’s New Jersey School of Conservation. In 2001, Sean became Director for Wildlife Expeditions in Wyoming and trained a team of wildlife biologists that offered educational programs to the public on the wildlife and ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. From 2005 to 2013, Sean was the Sanctuary Director at the NJ Audubon Plainsboro Preserve and developed a robust programming model connecting the local community with the natural world and leading occasional trips with NJAS Eco Travel program. At Princeton University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Sean helped further research operations by bringing the Stony Ford Field Research Station back on line, and helping to coordinate a seven million dollar renovation of the Eno research laboratories, while supporting ongoing research in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

A dedicated community member, Sean has volunteered his time since the mid 1990’s helping with a variety of projects, including: the Calling Amphibian Monitoring Project, USGS Breeding Bird Surveys, Monitoring Bird Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) stations, Kestrel Nest Box Monitoring, and by training a team of volunteers to help determine the status and range of bobcats in New Jersey for the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife Endangered & Nongame Species Program. In 2014, Sean was elected as the Chair of the East Amwell Environmental Commission, where he had previously served as a commission member from 2011-13.

At Audubon Sharon Sean is the Center Director, Team Leader for Eastern Forests (Forest for the Birds Conservation Program), and the principal fundraiser coordinating efforts through a team approach that includes the staff and Board of Directors. Audubon Sharon includes the Sharon Audubon Center, Miles Wildlife Sanctuary, the Edith Leopold and Pasquariello properties totaling approximately 3,000 acres in Northwest Connecticut. The Sharon Audubon Center platform encapsulates the Sharon Environmental Education & Learning Center, a staffed Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, Raptor Aviaries with 20 non-releasable raptors, five MAPS bird banding stations, and stewardship of 3,000 acres including 200 Bluebird and 30 Kestrel nest boxes. As Team Leader for Eastern Forests Sean heads a dynamic team partnering with CT DEEP, the CT Agricultural Experiment Station, NRCS, and private foresters. The landowners receive a comprehensive report outlining recommendations on how to improve forest structure to increase bird diversity and abundance. In two field seasons, they have assessed 80 privately owned properties, influencing management on approximately 150,000 acres, and hosted multiple workshops for landowners and/or private foresters.

Sean’s mission in life is to share his passion for nature by connecting communities with conservation and sharing this adventure with his wife Maria and two children Cooper Ridge and Elden Winter.

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