Aireona Bonnie Raschke | Desert Botanical Garden


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Aireona Bonnie Raschke

Central Arizona Conservation Alliance (CAZCA) Program Director

Aireona Bonnie Raschke

Arizona State University, 2017


Phone: 480.481.8167

Research Interests

  • Facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration among CAZCA partners, community members and decision-makers to protect, restore, and steward open and natural spaces in the Maricopa County region
  • Community engagement in biodiversity conservation
  • Ecosystem services and nature-based tourism as a conservation tool
  • Natural resource management and policy
  • Ecology and conservation biology in the Southwest and the Caribbean

Personal Statement

I am a life-long explorer of Arizona’s open spaces, and I now hope to play a role in the protection of the desert I love for the benefit of both its people and the many species that call it home. It is the spectacular and stark beauty of the desert that first drew me into the conservation field, particularly as I grew up observing the rapid development and shifting landscape of the Phoenix-metro area. Since then, I have studied all manner of organisms from social insects like the honey bee, to humpback whales in the Caribbean. No matter the species or ecosystem under my lens, however, I understand that people are integral to the success and longevity of any conservation effort. Thus, I have strived to become an effective interdisciplinary scientist, collaborator and communicator, who includes culture and human well-being in every conservation puzzle that I examine. I believe that healthy ecosystems both in and around cities are essential to human well-being, and it is my goal to tackle conservation challenges in a way that enhances the lives and well-being of the communities impacted by them.

Selected Publications

Raschke, A.B., Brown, M.I., & Cheng, S.H. (2019). Evidence on biodiversity conservation impacts: Assessing theories, approaches, and outcomes from community engagement and tenure. World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington DC, March 2019.

Minteer, B. A., Collins, J.P., & Raschke, A. (2019). “From the Wild to the Walled: The Evolution and Ethics of Zoo Conservation.” Routledge Companion to Environmental Ethics, eds. Benjamin Hale and Andrew Light (Routledge).

Raschke, A.B. (2018). Resident Perceptions of Whale Watching in the Dominican Republic: A Sustainability Study. New York: GFDD/Funglode.


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