Faces of Conservation

Cori Kahn: Walking in the Footsteps

Rachel Carson

Learn more about the woman who inspired Wendy.


Inspired by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Cori Kahn strives to carry out part of that vision through her work at the Conservancy. Learn more about her role.
"I see my role as keeping the relationship between people and nature strong. My job (is) to align people’s passion with conservation results."

Cori Kahn, senior associate director of philanthropy, Maine

Why are you a conservationist?

Cori Kahn:

Growing up in Maine, it’s inevitable that you spend lots of time hiking in the woods and swimming in lakes and in the ocean — all of this was very important for my family. I feel my spirit is renewed when I’m in nature. My husband and I choose to live in Maine because of the simple things — like clean air and water — and I want to be part of protecting those natural values.

On the road to becoming a conservationist, who inspired you along the way?

Cori Kahn:

I was an environmental studies major in college when I first read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Most people are familiar with Carson’s work to expose the ecological hazards of chemical pesticides. But this visionary, author and biologist was also a founder of The Nature Conservancy’s Maine chapter. She did so because she saw the need to protect the incredible diversity of Maine’s wetlands and forests and because she believed in the Conservancy’s practical approach. I feel that I’m carrying out part of her vision by working here.

Describe one project you are working on that you are particularly excited about.

Cori Kahn:

The Penobscot River Restoration Project. The scale of this project is amazing: We’re restoring a watershed that takes up one-third of the state. I think future generations will look back with astonishment that so many partners came together to make this happen.

How does your work advance the Conservancy's mission?

Cori Kahn:

Whereas many of my colleagues at the Conservancy work to keep places healthy, I see my role as keeping the relationship between people and nature strong. I connect people with the work of the organization and see it as my job to align people’s passion with conservation results.

Where do you find hope?

Cori Kahn:

In the incredibly dedicated, diverse people who support this organization and who want their legacy to be healthy lands and waters. People in Maine realize that our natural resources are what keep people here and draw others to visit, and they want to be part of protecting that.


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