Katie Middlebrook, Lead Animal Keeper
Favorite Animal? AWCC: Red Foxes, Sitka Black-Tailed Deer, Canadian Lynx Overall: Great White Shark after doing conservation research in Mosselbaai, South Africa
Where are you from? I grew up in Glendale, AZ but lived in Alamogordo, NM for 4 years and in Anchorage, AK for the past 3. My husband is in the military, and it has moved us around a lot. We will be moving again in November.
Education? B.S. in Animal Physiology and Behavior at Arizona State University
Aspirations? My current aspirations include increasing the quality of life for the animals at our center. AWCC is continuously growing as a facility, and I hope to be a part of the positive growth through high standard quality care, current training methods and innovative enrichment designs. I also wish to be a good mentor for our keepers and interns to help them meet their own personal goals.
What has AWCC done for you? AWCC has allowed me to widen my experience working with Alaskan animals. I have heightened my skills in husbandry, behavioral analysis, interpretive presentations and leadership. I have also had the chance to work with amazing mentors and peers allowing me to constantly grow as a keeper, trainer and individual. My time spent at AWCC will not only help my career as I continue in the animal field, but will also increase my networking capabilities as I move locations.
Plans after this? My husband and I will be moving in November, so sadly my time in Alaska is limited. My plans after AWCC will be to find another position as a keeper/trainer or get more involved with conservation research wherever we are stationed next.
Haley Carr, Animal Care Intern
Favorite Animal? AWCC: Our Black Bear, Kuma Overall: Sea Otters
Where are you from? Ames, Iowa
Education? B.S. in Animal Ecology at Iowa State University
Aspirations? After I graduate in December, I want to work as an animal keeper at a zoo, sanctuary or a conservation center similar to AWCC. I have loved working with injured and orphaned animals. Not only do I want to help rehabilitate these animals, but I also want to educate the public of the wild animals in their area.
How do you hope AWCC will help you accomplish your aspirations? I believe AWCC will educate me on how to work with a variety of animals, including those directly from the wild, and will help me gain leadership experience within my field of study. I am particularly interested in learning about operant conditioning – the act of teaching behaviors through positive reinforcement. I am also hoping to learn more about the socialization process of new animals with humans and others of their species, as well as imitating the animals’ natural habitat to fit its needs.
Plans after this? I plan on finishing school in Iowa and then getting a puppy. After I graduate, I hope to get a job.
*Keep checking for more information about our Animal Care Staff!