Anne Toomey

Anne Toomey

Associate Professor
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Environmental Studies NYC
One Pace Plaza


Faculty Bio

Anne is an interdisciplinary conservation scientist who is interested in how people connect to their natural environment and the role of scientific research in supporting that connection. Currently she holds the post of Assistant Professor at Pace University’s Department of Environmental Studies and Science, where she teaches courses on sustainability and multiple environmental perspectives. Her most recent research focuses on the links between citizen science, civic environmental stewardship, and sense of place along urban waterfronts. Anne received her Ph.D. in Human Geography from Lancaster University in the UK, her Masters in Sustainable Development and Natural Resources from American University, and her B.A. in Political Science and Communications from the University of Rhode Island.

Awards and Honors

  • 2020, PAVDF Periclean Faculty Leader Award
  • 2019, Bronze Medal, Jefferson Awards for Public Service

Research and Creative Works

Research Interest

Please visit my personal research website at:

Courses Taught

Past Courses

ENS 486: Rsrch in Envrnmntl Sci
ENS 798: Tpc: Environmental Science
ENV 100: Water, Wildlife and Windmills
ENV 105: Social Respon and World Nature
ENV 112: Envrnmntl Studies-Basic Issues
ENV 140: Act Locally:Sustain Dsgn & You
ENV 235: Sustainable Living in Our Wrld
ENV 265: Multiple Envrnmntl Knowledges
ENV 297: Nature and the City
ENV 297: Topics: Citizen Science
ENV 390: Internship In Enviro Studies
ENV 395: Independent Study
ENV 396: Internship In Enviro Studies
ENV 498: Mentoring Seminar
ENV 499: Senior Year Exp/Environmental
EP 608: Analytical Mtd for EP Analysis
EP 610: Cntmpry Issues in EP: Capstone
ESP 608: Anlytcl Mthds in Env Sci
ESP 794: Cntmprry Envrnmntl Issues: Cps

Publications and Presentations


Why facts don't change minds: Insights from cognitive science for the improved communication of conservation research
Toomey, A. H. (2023). Biological Conservation. Vol 278

The Making of Conservation Landscape: Towards a Practice of Interdependence
Toomey, A. H. (2020). Conservation & Society. Vol 18 (Issue 1) , pages pp. 25-36 .

Place-making, place-disruption, and place protection of urban blue spaces: perceptions of waterfront planning of a polluted urban waterbody
Toomey, A. H., Campbell, L., Johnson, M., Strehlau-Howay, L., , B. M., Thomas, C., Graham, T. & Palta, M. (2020). Local Environment. Vol 26 (Issue 8)

Academic Leaders Must Support Inclusive Scientific Communities During COVID-19
Maas, B., Grogan, K. E., Chirango, Y., Harris , N., Liévano-Latorre, L. F., McGuire, K. L., Moore, A. C., Ocampo-Ariza, C., Palta, M. M., Perfecto, I., Primack, R. B., Rowell, K., Sales, L., Santos-Silva, R., Aparecida Silva, R., Sterling, E. J., Vieira, R. R., Wyborn, C. & Toomey, A. H. (2020). Nature Ecology & Evolution. Vol 4 , pages 997–998.

The place-making potential of citizen science: Creating social-ecological connections in an urbanized world
Toomey, A. H., Strehalu-Howay, L. & Manzolillo, B. (2020). Landscape and Urban Planning. Vol 200 (Issue 103824)

Exploring and expanding the spaces between research and implementation in conservation science
Toomey, A. H., Maas, B. & Loyola , R. (2019). Biological Conservation. Vol 240

Writing History in the Present: The implications of localized forms of science in Latin America for a postcolonial world
Toomey, A. H. (2017). Alternautas.

Assessing the evidence of stakeholder engagement in biodiversity conservation
Toomey, A. H., Sterling, E., Sigouin, A., Gomez, A. & Betley, E. (2017). Biological Conservation. Vol 209 , pages 159-171.

What happens at the gap between knowledge and practice? Spaces of encounter and misencounter between environmental scientists and local people.
Toomey, A. H. (2016). Ecology and Society. Vol 21 (Issue 2)

Inter-and transdisciplinary research: A critical perspective
Toomey, A. H., Markusson, N., Adams, E. & Brockett, B. (2015). Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development. Vol 20

Related News and Stories

In the Media

BBC writes a story about several former animal-industry workers who have founded start-ups focusing on plant-based foods— they reference Dyson Professor Anne Toomey’s scholarly work, ‘Why facts don't change minds: Insights from cognitive science for the improved communication of conservation research’.

In the Media

Toomey, a conservation scientist at Pace University’s Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, tells me why this happens: It’s human psychology.

“Knowledge is formed by our experiences, not just by reading facts in a textbook,” she says. “Scientists believe ‘if only people knew what I know, they’d think differently from how they think now.’ But that’s not how it works. We don’t just need to give people information. We need to start understanding how that information can be brought into a process of change-making.”

Faculty and Staff

Dyson Environmental Studies and Science Professors Monica Palta and Anne Toomey have been conducting research in Coney Island Creek, documenting the existing environmental and social ecosystem. Their work aims to reshape the conversation surrounding urban waterfront development.