As the Director of Visitor Programs and Staff Training here at the Aquarium, I get to really delve deeply into shaping a positive and informative experience for our guests. Whether it’s through staff trainings or daily interactions with guests, I get to have meaningful conversations about what our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures really means and how others can help spread our message! Outside of my work at the Aquarium, I love to spend time with my family and cook delicious, healthy meals for them!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Actually, when I was eight years old, I wrote a little story about what I wanted to be when I grew up. According to my eight year old self, I wanted to be a teacher, a nurse, a mother, a coach and a zookeeper. I think I got pretty close!
What did you study in school?
How did you get started in your field of work?
I was very fortunate to start volunteering at the local zoo when I was just 13 years old in the barnyard area as a Jr. Zookeeper. Later on, I volunteered in three other positions and finally got my first paid job as an Education Specialist. Throughout high school and college, I worked at several museums, a marine animal rescue facility, a dog training center and most recently, I worked at another AZA accredited zoo.
At the Aquarium
How long have you been at the Aquarium?
Since March of 2012.
I love what I do because...
My job combines my biggest passions: engaging with guests, building great teams and inspiring conservation stewardship!
Most memorable moment at the Aquarium
Seeing the wonder, awe and joy in my three year old’s eyes when he first met our giant Pacific octopus, searched for sloths in the rain forest and discovered our Dolphin Discovery exhibit!
Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Would you believe I don’t have a favorite? It’s true, having worked at several zoos and aquariums — I couldn’t possibly choose because each animal has a unique story to tell, magnificent adaptations and beauty.
The cacao tree of course! That’s where chocolate comes from...
Three things you never leave home without?
- My cell phone
- Recycled car tire purse
- Reusable bags (you never know when you might need to hit the store!)
If you could have lunch with anyone (alive or dead), who would it be and why?
Jim Henson and Walt Disney – They both created magical places and experiences where families can share memories, have fun and learn.
One lesson you wish you'd learned earlier in life?
Conservation is just as much about people as it is about the animals.
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