People


Hosts/Instructors

                                                                                               

Gwen Myers DVM, Zoo Miami
Dr. Myers is highly involved in the national zoological medical community. She is the Veterinary Advisor for the North American river otter. She has a passion for conservation research and fieldwork and serves as a Volunteer Veterinarian for the United States Geological Survey in Alaska.  Dr. Myers was an Adjunct Professor at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a guest lecturer for the College’s Preventative Medicine program. She is a frequent presenter at the annual American Association of Zoo Veterinarians conference.




Kimberly Treiber

                     Zoo Nutritionist, Zoo Miami

I earned my PhD at Virginia Tech in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and joined the Zoo World as a Sue Crissey Animal Nutrition Resident at Fort Worth Zoo where I worked as a Nutritionist until moving to Miami to become the first Zoo Nutritionist at Zoo Miami. With Miami’s commitment to otters it seemed logical (and fun) to offer my support to the otter nutrition team. 

Instructors


Barbara Henry

Curator of Nutrition, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG)

Barbara has been in Cincinnati since the mid- 2005 and prior to that at the Brookfield Zoo for 10 ½ years.  She has been one of the small carnivore TAG /otter nutrition advisors since 1999.  Barbara oversees developing, implementing and supervising all aspects of nutrition, nutrition records, food safety/handling, and quality control.  Barbara works in teams on browse and growing of the hay. Barbara has served on the AZA Nutrition Advisory Group (NAG) steering committee since 2001, and was Chair of the NAG twice, between 2004-2006 and 2008-2014.  Barbara helped in the formation of the Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation that began in 2009 and is currently on the board of directors as the president.  In addition to her working as an advisor for Otters, Barbara is a nutrition advisor for Bear TAG, Red Panda SSP, Okapi SSP, Gibbon SSP, Bonobo SSP, Colobus SSP, and Piciformes TAG.


                                                             


Dane Jorgenson

Lead Keeper, Omaha Zoo

             Dane works with African spotted-necked and Asian small-clawed otters as a Lead Keeper at the Omaha Zoo. He has a strong interest in behavior modification techniques and animal management programs. He has presented on otter training for AAZK, the International Giant Otter Workshop, IMATA, and OKWS. Dane has participated in OKWS and been a member of IUCN OSG since 2014.



                                                                        

Andrea Standridge

Interim Zoological Manager

Lead Animal Care Professional for the Children’s Zoo and Alabama Wilds Trail

Birmingham Zoo

Andrea began her career at the Birmingham Zoo in 2011 after graduating from Auburn, AL with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. Her main focus of work includes caring for North American river otters, foxes, black bears, birds of prey and domestics. Her biggest passion in life includes training, demonstrated through presentations on training of medical behaviors at previous otter keeper workshops. One of the proudest training accomplishments she has had includes training the otters for sharing space. By sharing presentations at the workshop about training, she hopes to inspire other otter keepers to follow suit. Her passion for training carries with her outside of work. In her spare time she enjoys training and competing with her dogs in a sport known as flyball and participating in k9 biathlons.



                                                                

Amanda Foltz

Curator of Mammals and Reptiles, Mote Aquarium

Amanda got her start working with exotic animals after attending Moorpark College’s Animal Training and Management Program. Her early years were focused on marine mammal training primarily with cetaceans. Amanda has been at Mote Aquarium for nearly 9 years and as the Curator of Mammals and Reptiles she oversees the care and training of Florida Manatees, North American river otters, Sea turtles, American alligator, Spectacled caimans, and other reptile species.  Having never worked with otters previously Amanda was able to be a part of the entire process of bringing otters to Mote (exhibit design, animal acquisition, animal introductions, and establishing behavioral management and enrichment programs).  Within the first year of having an established program, Mote started a behavioral research project focusing on behavioral flexibility in North American river otters, and has currently progressed to a second research project. Amanda has attended the 2016 and 2018 OKWS and is excited to continue to be involved particularly with sharing her passion for training and enrichment.





































                        Instructors                             

David Hamilton 
Interim Director/General Curator, Seneca Park Zoo
David serves as the Species Survival Plan (SSP) Coordinator for the North American river otter, as NARO Studboook Keeper and as Small Carnivore TAG vice-chair. He has maintained the North American River Otter Studbook for the last twenty years. He is also a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group and its OZ Task Force.  He has been an instructor and/or an organizer for each of the previous Otter Keeper Workshops. He is the Interim Director and General Curator at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY where among many other animals they have three North American river otters. David is also an Adjunct Instructor at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches General Biology Lab and Zoo Internship.


                                                                     

Sarah Duncan

Keeper, Mesker Park Zoo

Sarah Duncan started her career as an intern at Clearwater Marine Aquarium because she wanted to work with dolphins.  However, after meeting the two resident NAROs -Garth and Webster, otters wormed their way into her heart.   She worked for 8 years at the Newport Aquarium where she worked with over 30 Asian small-clawed otters.  She has been a keeper at Mesker Park Zoo for 7 years.  Currently, she works with cats, primates, small mammals, and various herps.    Sarah is the International Studbook Keeper for Asian Small-clawed otters and the Species Coordinator for AZA as well.

                                                 




                                                                    

Tammy Schmidt

Assistant Director, Niabi Zoo

Tammy has been privileged to be part of multiple zoological teams throughout the United States. She has worked with North American river otter, Giant otters and Asian small clawed otters. Tammy has served as an instructor/presenter for the Otter Keeper Workshop for the last five workshops and contributes as an administrator to the OKWS Facebook Page. She has also been a contributor to the Summary of Husbandry Guidelines for Giant Otters in Zoos, Aquariums, and Wildlife Sanctuaries for IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group, OZ Task Force. In 2017 Tammy was invited to participate in the 1st International Giant Otter Workshop in Cali, Colombia. Tammy has also had the honor to be accepted to participate as a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission/IUCN SSC Otter Specialist Group and serves as the team leader.  Although Tammy loves all otters, giant otters are her favorite.      





                                                              

Teresa Shepard

Jungle Supervisor, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Teresa serves as the Species Survival Plan (SSP) Coordinator for the Spotted-necked otter, and as Spotted-necked otter Studboook Keeper. She has held these positions for two years. She is also a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group and its OZ Task Force. She attended the workshop in 2010 and has served as an instructor at the last four workshops. Teresa is the Supervisor of the Lied Jungle at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo which houses a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Among those animals are two species of otters, Asian small-clawed and African spotted-necked.  




                                                                 

Rebecca Westover

Primary Keeper of Rocky Shores, Utah's Hogle Zoo

Rebecca has been working with otters since 2009. During her career she has had the privilege to work with several species of otters but specializes in North American River Otters. Rebecca has a strong interest in training and has been lucky enough to work with and train a variety of species throughout her 14 year career including marine mammals, bears and elephants. Rebecca currently leads the Otter Education Advisory Group, this group is dedicated to providing educational materials to animal facilities that want to highlight otter education and conservation. This is Rebecca's first year as an instructor and she is excited to connect with fellow otter lovers!




                                                                 

Cynthia Maples

Lead Keeper-Kids Cove, Zoo Knoxville

Cynthia has worked with a variety of species at Zoo Knoxville for the past 15 years, including NAROs. She has been the Lead Keeper since 2012 working with heritage livestock, beavers, skunks and raccoons. She also recently spearheaded a beekeeping program in Kids Cove. Cynthia has a special interest in behavior management and enrichment and she is the primary trainer for ZK’s two NAROs. She attended the 2016 workshop and is looking forward to participating again this year!  



                                                        

Aubrey Theiss

Animal Care Specialist, Seattle Aquarium

For the past six years, Aubrey has been working in animal care with a variety of marine mammal and bird species including NARO and sea otters. She is the aquarium’s program lead for NARO. Every month, she joins the aquarium’s conservation research team and travels to the Washington coast to collect data on activity budgets of sea otters as well as assisting with the annual Washington State sea otter survey. Aubrey has aided in the rehabilitation of several orphaned sea otter pups. Aubrey attended the OKWS in 2016 and 2018 and is excited to participate in this year’s workshop.