Cria Kay, M.S.


Conservation & Science


Urban Wildlife Institute




M.S. – Environmental Informatics and Environmental Justice, University of Michigan School
B.A. – Environmental Studies, Comparative American Studies, and Geology, Oberlin College


Areas of Expertise

  • Water conservation and access
  • Remote sensing and spatial analysis
  • Environmental justice and equity
  • Urban wildlife management


Cria, a native of Ohio, moved to Chicago to work as the coordinator for the Urban Wildlife Institute’s growing Urban Wildlife Information Network. She began her career as an environmental advocate—working for the city of Delaware, Ohio, on source water protection and watershed education. From there, she went on to study the nexus between humans, wildlife, and natural resources at Oberlin College.

She has worked or interned at a variety of institutions, ranging from the Field Museum in Chicago to Common Ground Health Clinic in New Orleans. Most recently, Cria spent two years researching water security in southeast Michigan. During that time, she completed a master’s degree with a dual track in environmental informatics and environmental justice.

Cria has worked at Lincoln Park Zoo since July 2018. She firmly believes that humans must act now to preserve a diversity of wildlife and the health of our natural ecosystems.


  • Kay, C., K. Markley, D. Rockowitz, M. Sahai, C. Askew-Merwin. 2018. Roadmap to Water Security. Deep Blue, 320.