Emily Pinckney

Program Coordinator, Breaking Barriers Collaborative


Emily Pinckney attended Humboldt State University and Duke University and graduated with a degree in Marine Biology and Conservation, and a degree in Wildlife Management. In her academic career, she has done research at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Fordham University: Louis Calder Ecological Institute, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute: Bocas Del Toro. Her areas of study included phycology, human impacts on marine environments, sensory physiology of marine animals, and how climate change is tightly tied to systems of subjugation and oppression.

Her experiences as a queer black woman scientist led her to focus her efforts on educational equity in STEM as well as educating underserved communities on how to navigate around systemic barriers to community-based decisionmaking, particularly within environmental spaces.

She has worked in wildlife spaces such as Seattle Aquarium and Point Defiance zoo and aquarium. Emily Pinckney is the former executive director of 500 Women Scientists, a social justice focused science organization that supports underrepresented folks in STEM. She uses science and community organizing to make policy more equitable and inclusive. She served on Governor Inslee's Environmental Justice task Force, the Sustainable Tacoma Commission, and the WA Build Back Black Alliance. She currently sits on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency board of directors.


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