The Class of 2015

In addition to the thousands of animals that pass through the Wildlife Center’s doors each year, the Wildlife Center also welcomes dozens of externship students. These students come from all over the world to complete an eight- to twelve-week volunteer externship at the Center, focusing in one of two areas: wildlife rehabilitation or education outreach.

The Wildlife Center gains many sets of hands — energetic, enthusiastic students who assist with the endless daily work of a busy wildlife teaching hospital. The externs gain in-depth, hands-on experience in the field of wildlife rehabilitation and outreach — and a chance to “test run” a career in the field.

A large amount of the rehabilitation students’ time is spent hand-feeding a wide variety of orphaned animals and monitoring their progress. Other duties include learning about animal husbandry, nutrition, capture and restraint methods for various species, wildlife laws, and release criteria.

The outreach externs spend their time learning how to present programs, assisting with written patient and education animal updates, and focusing on some of the outreach technology the Center uses.

By the time 2015 is over, almost three dozen externship students will have passed through the Center’s doors. Check back throughout the year for information on the students and links to their blog posts.

Name: Kathrin
Area:   Rehabilitation 

Hometown: Saint Francisville, LA
College: Louisiana State University
Degree in: Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Favorite animals to work with:  B
ats. Those feisty Big Brown Bats were adorable and I loved learning how to handle and care for them!!
Read Kathrin's blog post: I've Gone Batty!


Name:  Lizzy
Area: Rehabilitation 
Hometown: Covington, GA
College: North Carolina State University 
Degree in:  Zoology
Favorite task: Feeding baby squirrels
Read Lizzy's blog post here: Falling in Love with Turtles.


Name: Ariana 
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Bay City, TX
College: Texas A&M University 
Degree in: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Favorite opportunity: Restraining a snapping turtle. It was awesome to see such a massive turtle and all the strength those creatures have.
Read Ariana's blog post: The True Story of the Virginia Opossum.


Name: Suzanne 
Area: Rehabilitation 
Hometown: West Hartford, CT
College: University of Vermont
Degree in: Wildlife Biology and Fisheries
Claim to fame: Singing for [and doting on] the feeder mice
Read Suzanne's blog post: Mostly Feeding Squirrels: My Life at the Wildlife Center


Name: Tori
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
College: University of Virginia
Degree in: Biology and Spanish
Favorite animal to work with: baby opossums and foxes
Read Tori's blog post: A New Feathered Father for Baby G'Ho


Name: Jeff
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Keswick, VA
College: Piedmont Virginia Community College
Favorite task: Hand-feeding baby opossums, squirrels, cottontails, and hatchlings in the ICU

Name:  Jessica
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Aiken, SC
College: Guilford College 
Degree in: Biology
Favorite moment: The day I rescued a turtle hatchling! One of the hatchlings fell out of its soaking tub under the deck in a pile of leaves, and against all odds, I found it :) Definitely a proud moment for sure!
Read Jessica's blog post: I Saved a Virginia Opossum's Life!


Name:  Deidra 
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Baldwin, NY
College: Temple University 
Degree in: Environmental Science
Favorite task: Pick-up & exercise!  It's like PT for injured owls.
Read Deidra's blog post: Interior Designing for our Feathered Friends


Name:  Danny 
Area: Outreach
Hometown: Sterling, VA
College: George Mason University 
Degree in: Integrative Studies
Read Danny's blog posts here: Nature's JanitorSmall Actions,Big Differences; Stories: A Tool for Teaching Others To Care


Name: Jamie
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Lanexa, VA
College: James Madison University 
Degree in: Biology 
Favorite animal: Bald Eagles! They are amazing!
Read Jamie's blog post: Release the Kraken!


Name: Spencer
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: South Chester, VA
College: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Degree in: Environmental Biology
Claim to fame: Jaz's current favorite extern
Read Spencer's blog post: All that Jaz.


Name: Erin
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
College: Marshall University 
Degree in: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Read Erin's blog post: For the Love of Falcons!


Name: Savannah
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Richmond, VA
College: Virginia Tech 
Studying: Wildlife Conservation
Favorite task: feeding fawns 
Read Savannah's blog post here: Baby Birds' First Calls of the Wild

Name: Brigette
Area: Rehabilitation 
Hometown: San Antonio, TX 
College: Sweet Briar College
Studying: Spanish
Claim to Fame: Being the nicest and most clumsy extern
Read Brigette's blog post: The Other Gender Gap

Name: Anna
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Mount Airy, NC
College: North Carolina State University
Studying: Zoology
Read Anna's blog post here: Fawn-napping is Happening!

Name: Adam
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL
College: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Degree in:  Neurobiology
Favorite animal to work with: baby opossums
Read Adam's blog post: Holy Hibernators and Crazy Craniums


Name:  Nicole
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Stevens Point, WI
College: University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point
Degree in: Biology
Most excited: I to came this experience with an extensive background in ornithology, but I have a newfound love for reptiles and amphibians!
Read Nicole's blog post: Chattering in the Chimney & the Flying Cigar


Name:  Renee
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Floyd, VA
College: Purdue University 
Degree in: Veterinary Technology (LVT)
New addiction: Newly converted wildlife addict, will work for opportunities to catch and restrain raptors!  
Read Renee's blog post: Why Wildlife?



Name: Peter
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
College: University of California, Los Angeles
Degree in: Biology
Favorite animals to work with: Owls
Read Peter's blog post: Wildlife Rehabilitation -- Is It an Art or a Science?


Name:  Danny (yes, he's back!)
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown:  Sterling, VA
College: George Mason University
Degree in: Integrative Studies
Fascinated by: zoonotic diseases!
Read Danny's blog post: The Learning Curve


Name: Tori L. 
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Goshen, OH
College: The Ohio State University 
Degree in: Environmental and Natural Resources
Favorite task: feeding the baby squirrels in ICU
Read Tori's blog post: The Hand that Feeds -- A Day in the Life of a Rehab Extern

Name: Catherine
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Broadway, VA
College: Blue Ridge Community College
Degree in: Biology
Favorite animal: Turkey Vulture 15-1858 that we had nearly the whole time I was here!
Read Catherine's blog post: Can Turtles Smell? Do Birds Fart?


Name: Zena
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Nevada City, CA
College: University of California Berkeley and University of Sydney
Degree in: B.A in Media Studies and Masters of Media Practice
Favorite opportunity: Being able to release a Virginia Rail back into the wild!
Read Zena's blog post: Compassion Fatigue and Wildlife Rehabilitation 

Name: Lela
Area: Rehabilitation
Hometown: Co. Tipperary, Ireland
College: University College of Dublin
Degree in: Zoology
Favorite Animals to work with: Owls and Jaz
Read Lela's blog post: A Journey Back to the Wild

Interested in being in the Class of 2016? Please visit our training opportunities page.