Meet Our Staff

It takes a lot of different types of people to make Oakland Zoo run. We need veterinarians and zoo keepers to care for the animals, teachers to educate and inspire, security to keep all the animals and visitors safe, operations staff to keep the Zoo clean, serve food, take tickets, and other day to day operations, and we need a whole host of administration staff behind the scenes to keep the Zoo up and running. Thanks to all those who work so hard and take excellent care of our animals and visitors!


Dr. Joel Parrott

President and CEO

Dr. Joel Parrott received his BS and DVM degrees from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. Born in the Adirondack region of New York State, Dr. Parrott spent his high school years in Miami, Florida before moving to Colorado to attend college. Upon graduation from veterinary school, he completed an internship at the Denver Zoo and later went into private practice in Castro Valley, California.

With a specialty in exotic animals, he served as consulting veterinarian for Oakland Zoo until 1984, when he became the Staff Veterinarian and Assistant Director. A year later, he became the Executive Director of Oakland Zoo and has held the title of President & CEO for many years.

Under his direction and management for over three decades, Dr. Parrott is responsible for the grand transformation of Oakland Zoo to what is today. His improvements include an over-arching conservation focus for the Zoo, naturalistic and enlarged animal exhibits, increasing the size of the Zoo from 25 to 100 acres, the creation of the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo, a new state-of-the-art Leed-certified veterinary hospital, and the development and reality of the California Trail expansion.

As an avid conservationist and naturalist, he views the role of zoos as instrumental to environmental education and conservation of animals in the wild.

Nik Dehejia

CFO and VP of Business Affairs

As Chief Financial Officer, Nik directs institution-wide financial functions and is responsible for evaluating, directing, implementing and communicating approved organizational plans. As the Vice President of Business Affairs, Nik oversees various operating business units including food, retail, admissions, and rides.

He is also responsible for government affairs, guest service, and provides guidance to other operating functions throughout the Zoo as needed. In his previous position at Oakland Zoo, Nik served as Director of Strategic Initiatives where he led planning of the Zoo’s transformational California Trail, a three-stage, multi-million dollar project that includes a new Veterinary Hospital (opened in 2012), a Biodiversity Center (opened in 2013), and the opening of the Gondola and Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center (opened in 2017).

Nik began his career in the public and non-profit sectors, working in international public policy at the World Resources Institute, World Bank and corporate responsibility at Business for Social Responsibility. He moved to the commercial world at Levi Strauss & Co., working in the Dockers brand across Marketing, Licensing, and Merchandising functions.

Nik holds an MBA from U.C. Berkeley and an undergraduate from Vassar College. A 20-year resident in the Bay Area and a father of two, Nik lives in Alameda.

Biruk Weldhana


Biruk Weldhana is Controller at Oakland Zoo. He administers programs to attract and retain an exceptional, diverse workforce, as well as being committed to the collective success of the Zoo. As Director of Operations for Oakland Zoo, Biruk oversaw guest services, the gift shop, the food service and the rides area. Prior to joining Oakland Zoo, Biruk was a Project Director at Compassion International, a non-profit organization helping underserved children with their education and daily needs. Biruk completed his degree at San Francisco State University - School of Business where he majored in Accounting.

Randy Kyle

Director of People

Randy has 20 years of Human Resources Management and Consulting Experience. His nonprofit experience is as the Director of Human Resources for Golden Gate Graduate School/Seminary and as the Senior Director of Human Resources for Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco for several years. Randy’s consulting experience consisted of working for organizations such as Teach for America (for the Kansas City School District), ThinkHR (knowledge based consultancy), and ADP TotalSource (over 70 companies with 4,000 employees). Randy holds the highest HR credentials - Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM-SCP. He is a Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist (CHRS)and is Hay Compensation System Certified. Randy is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA). Educationally, Randy holds Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology. In addition to his graduate study in a Master of Science in Administration (Human Resources emphasis) from Central Michigan University, he has a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEL), a Master of Divinity (MDIV), and a Master of Theology (THM) from Golden Gate Seminary and Graduate School. He is currently in a Doctorate program at Fuller focusing on Leadership Theory and Organizational Structure in Effective Organizations. Randy has two rescue dogs and fosters dogs for local rescue groups. He loves to road trips and chasing waterfalls!


Emilie C. Sichon

Accounting Supervisor

Emilie helps maintain Oakland Zoo's finances. She creates journal entries, month-end accruals and entries, bank reconciliation information, and supervises accounts payable. Prior to working at Oakland Zoo, Emilie was a Senior Accountant at MSC Mortgage, Inc. located in Santa Monica, California. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, where she majored in Accounting. When not working with numbers, Emilie enjoys walking throughout the Zoo and visiting the animals.


Sara Becker

Director of Development

Sara Becker comes to Oakland Zoo with over two decades of experience in nonprofit development and management. As the Zoo prepares to open the California Trail in mid-2018, she focuses on completing the capital campaign and strengthening the Zoo's donor relationships and support. Her favorite part of the work is spending time with the Zoo's generous supporters who make it all happen at the Zoo. She's been heard to boast that hers is a “zoo family” with close relatives working in AZA-accredited facilities.

Sarah Cramer

Membership Manager

Sarah Cramer is the Membership Manager at Oakland Zoo. In this capacity, she is responsible for the planning and oversight of member programs and benefits, supervising the membership team, and contributing to Development department projects. Sarah joined Oakland Zoo in 2002 as a part time instructor for the Education Department. Over the years she has held many responsibilities, including coordinating the ZooMobile outreach program, training new animal handlers, coordinating docent training, serving as Interim Volunteer Coordinator, and from 2007-2014 she was ZooCamp Director. Sarah previously worked at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and the Golden Gate Recreation Area. She received a BA in Biology from Carleton College, in Minnesota and is both a Certified Interpretive Guide and Certified Interpretive Trainer with the National Association for Interpretation.

Animal Care, Conservation, and Research

Colleen Kinzley

Director, Animal Care, Conservation, and Research

Colleen Kinzley directs the Zoo's animal care, wildlife conservation, and research programs. In this position she sets the standards of animal care and well-being, aims and actions for conservation, professional growth for the department of close to 50 staff. She defines the zoo's position with regard to animal welfare and other wildlife issues. Colleen started her career at the Phoenix Zoo in 1983 working with elephants among other animals. In 1990 she came to Oakland Zoo as the manager of the Zoo's elephant program, transitioning it into a protected contact system where keepers only use positive reinforcement with elephants and are always protected by a barrier. In her over 25 years at the zoo, Colleen has expanded the animal care department to nearly 50 employees and over 40 exhibits.She has overseen the development of the African Savanna and African Village, Children's Zoo, expansion of the elephant exhibit, California Trail, as well as construction or remodeling of many other exhibits. Under her guidance, the Oakland Zoo is known for its spacious exhibits and behavior management programs which provide animals with the freedom of choice and control over their environment. While earning her Master's degree from Cal State East Bay, she participated in research both at the Zoo and in Namibia studying elephant communication and social behavior.

Adam Fink

Zoological Manager

Adam manages the animals and staff in the Children's Zoo and Commissary, and is a key contributor to the multiple amphibian conservation programs on site at Oakland Zoo. He also manages the ACCR Internship program, overseeing more than a dozen interns each session in Animal Care, Conservation Interpretation, Welfare Research, and Food Logistics. Adam joined the Oakland Zoo in 2000 as a volunteer, moving into an Apprentice position, and finally into a Keeper positon overseeing the Reptile and Discovery Room and the Invertebrate building in the Children's Zoo for over 10 years. Prior to coming to Oakland Zoo, Adam monitored amphibians and reptiles at Camp Pendleton in San Diego and volunteered at the UC Davis Raptor Center. Adam has a BS in Biological Sciences from UC Davis.

Darren Minier

Assistant Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Research

Darren Minier joined Oakland Zoo as a Zoological Manager 2013, where he oversaw the African section. He is the manager for the new California Trail, which includes grizzly and black bears, jaguar, mountain lions, condors and eagles, grey wolf, and bison. He also manages the Zoo's onsite welfare research programs, advising graduate students and interns and working with the zoo's Research Partners to investigate animal care, welfare, and conservation. He is a Research Partner for Sonoma State's Primate Ethology Research (SSUPER) Laboratory. Prior to joining Oakland Zoo, he oversaw international and zoo-based research programs for the International Institute for Human-Animal Networks at UC Davis and coordinated the development of the animal training program at the California National Primate Research Center. He has also held animal management positions at the Los Angeles Zoo, Sea World San Diego, and the San Diego Zoo. Darren served two terms as Animal Behavior Management Alliance's Chief Information Officer and was the Chair of the Research and Evaluation Committee. He is a member of the IUCN Bison Specialist Group, and serves several other professional organizations such as the International Primatological Society and the Animal Behavior Society. Darren holds a Master's Degree in Zoo and Aquarium Leadership from George Mason University, BS in Wildlife Conservation Biology and Behavioral Ecology from UC Davis, and AS in Exotic Animal Training and Management from Moorpark College.

Genny Greene


Genny started as an animal care volunteer with the zoo in 1999, and after a year she joined the zoo as our the Animal Registrar, a required position at most zoos. In this role she manages our animal inventory; including the online records system, animal acquisitions and dispositions, permit and license applications and renewals. Now working full time, she to manages the general operations and administrative needs of the Animal Care department and the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital, including the Registrar duties, budget, personnel records, purchasing, and serves as the department liaison for many of the animal, calendar and department questions. She is also the zoo's Institutional Liaison for AZA. Prior to joining the zoo, Genny was a vice president with Bank of America, working as a performance consultant in the corporate and commercial bank.

Gina Kinzley

Co-Elephant Manager

After graduating with a BS degree in Zoology and Animal Science at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, Gina decided to fulfill her goal of caring for animals by pursuing a career in zoo keeping. As a volunteer intern in 2005, Gina was introduced to the Oakland Zoo Elephant Program and shortly thereafter became a full time elephant keeper. Gina manages the Behavioral Observation Program, overseeing volunteer observers who work with keepers to understand the behavior of the animals at the zoo. Since her time as a keeper she has been able to travel to Namibia to help participate in wild elephant behavioral research, has advocated the truth about circus abuse and appropriate management practices, and has taken a leading role in participating in elephant welfare related studies, including foot care management. Recently, in her position as Co-Elephant Manager, she helps oversee the psychological and physical well-being of the zoo's four African elephants. She has played an active role in the coalitions for both AB 96, a California bill to ban ivory sales, and SB 716, a California bill to prohibit the use of the bullhook, while promoting the Zoo's mission of education and conservation.

Jeff Kinzley

Co-Elephant Manager

Jeff Kinzley is the Elephant Manager at Oakland Zoo. In this position he is responsible for the care of the Zoo's African elephant herd. Jeff coordinates training of the elephants in our Protected Contact management system using positive reinforcement. This allows the staff to provide husbandry and veterinary care to insure the elephant's health. Jeff also oversees the elephant's enrichment and exercise making sure that the elephants are kept active and engaged in natural behavior patterns. Jeff began as an elephant keeper at Oakland Zoo in 1996. He took a position at the San Diego Zoo in 2000 working with their elephants. He returned to Oakland Zoo in 2003 to manage the elephant program. Under Jeff's leadership a special keeper position was developed to ensure that the elephants and other Zoo animals have ample tree branches for forage.

Leslie Storer

Zoological Manager

Leslie joined Oakland Zoo in 2013 as a Lead Keeper, later becoming the Zoological Manager responsible for the Africa section, which includes giraffe and other hoofstock, lions and tigers, multiple aviaries, and reptiles. She also manages the Animal Care Volunteer program, overseeing over 100 volunteers who work directly with keepers to ensure our animals have the best lives possible. She has worked with a wide variety of animals professionally at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, The Living Desert, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and as a volunteer with Project Wildlife, Lindsay Wildlife Experience, the California Raptor Center, the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, and at the San Francisco Zoo. Leslie has a passion for birds and positive reinforcement-based training and enjoys assisting other staff members with both. She was born and raised in the Bay Area and has a B.S. in zoology.

Amy Gotliffe

Conservation Director

Amy Gotliffe has a mission to connect all human beings to nature, envisioning a planet where all species live in peaceful co-existence. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications, several teaching credentials and a Master's Degree in Ecological Education. She also holds certifications in humane education, nature-based leadership, conservation psychology, human-wildlife conflict resolution, nature interpretation and influencing conservation behavior change. She has worked at various Bay Area educational and environmental institutions, creating campaigns, planting pollinator gardens, teaching all ages, producing earth day events and generally influencing positive change in wildlife conservation and green living. As Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo, she coordinates international, national and local conservation efforts, creates positive partnerships and alliances, produces a Conservation Speaker Series, leads international conservation expeditions, produces awareness events, coordinates the Zoo's on-site sustainability efforts and leads massive and enthusiastic, inter-departmental efforts to conserve biodiversity around the globe and in our own backyards.

Margaret Rousser

Conservation Manager

Margaret arrived at Oakland Zoo in 2006, as a Zoological Manager for the Children's Zoo and primates. In 2017, she became the Conservation Manager. She currently manages Oakland Zoo's BioDiversity Center which houses the amphibian conservation programs. The Center, in conjunction with AZA, breeds the endangered Puerto Rican Crested toad and returns the offspring to Puerto Rico. Also housed in the BioDiversity Center is the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog recovery program which includes two species of endangered frogs from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Oakland Zoo has partnered with federal and state agencies as well as universities to rescue the endangered frogs from the deadly fungus that threatens them. Margaret also works with AZA's SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program and organized the first meeting of interstate government agencies and independent biologists to collaborate on Western Pond Turtle recovery. She liaises with AZA, government agencies, and universities to continue Oakland Zoo's role in critical animal conservation programs. Margaret has a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara, an AS in Exotic Animal Training and Management from Moorpark College. She has served on AZA's Hamadryas Baboon Advisory committee and was on the Board of Directors of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance for nearly ten years.


Bo De Long-Cotty, PhD

Director of Education

As Oakland Zoo’s Director of Education, Bo De Long-Cotty has over 25 years’ experience in pre-K-12 STEM research and development in both formal and informal settings. Her work has included curriculum and program evaluation and assessment; teaching; K-12 STEM curriculum development (including classroom curriculum and hands-on kits, toys, and games); educational and instructional technology; project-based learning; systemic reform; social-emotional learning; and child and youth development and prevention. Prior to joining the Zoo in 2011, Bo worked as Senior Research Associate and Project Director for WestEd, in the STEM, Health and Human Development, and Standards and Assessment Development programs. She has also developed curriculum, designed evaluation studies, and provided professional development for Lawrence Hall of Science, Boston Museum of Science, San Jose Children’s Tech Museum, Center for Science in AZ, and the Indianapolis Art Museum. She received a BS from Purdue University in Indiana, a MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University in NY, and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Chantal Burnett

Assistant Director of Volunteer Services

Chantal came to the Zoo from South Africa, where she completed her education in the fields of Personnel and Administration. Before moving to the US in 2000, Chantal worked for three years as an administrator for a medical clinic in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. After arriving in the US, she worked for an East Bay Veterinary Hospital in California as their Practice Manager and later in a communications role where she worked closely with clients and their pets to ensure their well-being. Chantal completed the Oakland Zoo’s comprehensive Docent Program in 2010 and joined the Education Department as the Volunteer Programs Assistant. She was later promoted to Assistant Director of Volunteer Programs. Chantal coordinates and administers a number of the adult volunteer programs and zoo-wide events, including community group programs, Docent Walking tours, Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital Tours, and Docent and Volunteer Orientations. Chantal is the chair of the Docent Conservation Committee and a member of the Docent Training Committee, which she helped redesign in 2013.

Daniel Flynn

Program Director, Family, School, & Community Outreach

Daniel Flynn joined Oakland Zoo in 2010, and currently manages Family, School and Community Programs. Daniel has also served as a ZooCamp teacher, Zoo Ambassador, and Education Specialist. In his position, Daniel oversees a broad range of K-12 conservation and environmental science education programs that serve over 40,000 students each year, as well as numerous family and community programs, like boy and girl scout badge and journey workshops, family overnights, birthday parties, ZoovieNights, and community festivals and events. As Manager of the Zoo-to-Community Initiative, Daniel sees that children and families from underserved neighborhoods and schools receive free Education programs here at the Zoo and in their classrooms and communities, generally reaching about 5,000 participants per year. Daniel has worked in both informal and formal education, mentoring in afterschool programs throughout Oakland, interpreting at the Aquarium of the Bay, and teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Daniel is a dedicated and spirited teacher who loves educating all ages, from tots to teens to adults.

Felicia Walker

Outreach Coordinator / Education Specialist

Felicia Walker is the Coordinator of Education Program Animals, and brings to her position over 13 years’ experience in informal science education, conservation, field research, animal care, and building international partnerships. Felicia works closely with zookeepers to coordinate, train, and present animals in a variety of educational settings. In addition, as an Education Specialist, she teaches programs, leads tours, participates in the Zoo’s Conservation ZooMobile, and coordinates events at the Clorox Wildlife Theater. Prior to working at the Oakland Zoo, Ms. Walker studied at Kansas State University to complete a BA in Animal Science with a Minor in International Agriculture Studies. During that time, she also served as Assistant Curator of Education at the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas.

Katie Garchar

Teen Program Manager

Katie Garchar is Manager of Teen Programs and has worked in the Education Department since 2014. In this position, she oversees the Zoo’s many teen programs and offerings, including the successful Teen Wild Guide and ZooCamp Teen Assistant volunteer programs, high school-to-college/career events, and the international Teen Eco-Trip Field Research program. Born and raised in the East Bay, Katie has been an Oakland Zoo fan her whole life, including attending ZooCamp as a child. Katie graduated from the University of Santa Cruz with a BA in Environmental Studies, and is an ardent animal awareness advocate. Katie’s career in wildlife education began as a tour guide for fourth-graders at a local lagoon. From there, she moved on to substitute teaching in multiple grades and subjects, and coaching high school soccer. Katie also worked as an environmental education associate for StopWaste.Org, where she learned about the Bay Area’s waste practices and taught students about the 4 R’s - reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. Before coming to Oakland Zoo, Katie spent four months as a volunteer teacher in Guatemala, and served as Day Camp Director and a marine science teacher in the Florida Keys, where she drove boats of students to coral reefs for snorkel tours and taught science labs back in the classroom.

Lisa O'Dwyer

Assistant Director of Education and Volunteer Program Director

Lisa O’Dwyer has served as Assistant Director of Education and Volunteer Program Director for the past six years. She is responsible for overseeing all areas of the Zoo’s volunteer program including Docents, volunteers, special events, community groups, and tours. Before joining the Oakland Zoo, she spent 10 years as the Social Services Designee and Volunteer Director at a local hospital. Lisa brings to the Education Department her many years of experience in the areas of volunteer management, recruitment, and training. She received her BA in Human Development with an emphasis in Gerontology from Cal State Hayward.

Liz Low

ZooCamp Director / Education Specialist

Liz earned her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she found her passion for educating the public about animals during an Education Internship at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero. There, she helped care for their education animal collection, run programs, and create curriculum. Throughout her college career, Liz also worked with the Cal Poly Leopard Tortoise colony, and founded the Zoo and Exotic Animal Careers Club in order to help other students find their own career in the field. After graduating in 2010, Liz was hired as an Oakland ZooCamp counselor, and proceeded to stay on part-time after the summer, working overnights, school programs and later as ZooCamp Clerk. She recently became the Director of Oakland Zoo’s ZooCamps program and is responsible for coordinating all aspects of our summer and school break day camps.

Information Systems

Chris Hanawalt

IT Manager

Chris is in charge of the computer systems at Oakland Zoo. He has worked at Oakland Zoo since completing a degree in philosophy from the UC Berkeley in 2004. The connection between these disciplines might not be obvious at a glance, but computer systems are structured such that they follow from the principles of symbolic logic, a cornerstone in a philosophical education. At Oakland Zoo, Chris fixes all kinds of computer problems, from ethernet cable troubles and damaged phone lines to maintaining systems for animal medical records, point-of-sale systems, and the more typical network maintenance and desktop support for the Zoo's computer users. Chris says the variety of IT needs for a Zoo make his work far more interesting than computer support at many other types of institutions. His favorite animals are tigers, chimpanzees, and tauntauns. In his free time, he reads philosophy and political news, watches soccer avidly, and cooks French food.


Erin Harrison

Director of Marketing & Communications

Erin is responsible for all aspects of public relations and advertising, including conceiving of and building campaigns, composing press releases, coordinating media coverage, media planning, production of commercial spots and online advertising. Prior to her current position at the Zoo, Erin served as Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications where she managed the Zoo website(s), social media platforms, and various marketing campaings. She also filmed and edited short-form videos, developed the Zoo’s new App for smartphones and tablets and helped build up the Zoo’ multimedia library. Previous to the Zoo, Erin worked in various Marketing/PR positions for Pixar Animation Studios, InVism, Inc., WildAid and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Her favorite part of her job has been conceiving of and producing the Animal Art Show at Oakland Zoo in 2014 and 2015. Erin has a bachelors degree in English Literature from UCLA and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Saint Mary’s College.

Reuben Maness

Senior Manager, Multimedia

Reuben Maness is Oakland Zoos in-house 'one-man production company,' creating zoo videos, managing social media and overseeing the website. With an extensive background in television and video production, he has traveled the world producing segments for The Travel Channel, Animal Planet, and CBS Television. Reuben earned an Emmy for his work on Eye on the Bay, a network series in San Francisco. When he's not filming baby otters or giraffe pedicures, Reuben plays piano and watches vintage movies, but rarely at the same time.


Aaron Davis

Public Safety Manager

Aaron Davis has been employed by the East Bay Zoological Society for the past 5 years. He first served as a Security Officer and then as a Field Supervisor where he demonstrated the leadership, professionalism, and dedication necessary to become the department head. Aaron was originally referred to the Zoo by Bridges, a youth employment program, and has since completed Associate Degrees in Business and Criminal Justice while having less than a year before graduating from Cal State University, East Bay. Aside from his Zoo responsibilities that include oversight of guest and employee safety, addressing security issues, as well as updating and implementing related policies and procedures, Aaron enjoys high performance cars and motorcycles, snowboarding, hiking, camping, and mixed martial arts. He is an active member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated that encourages youth to consider the importance of community service and higher education. Aaron is appreciative of the opportunity to protect Zoo assets and is committed to making the Zoo a safe place.

Bob Westfall

Director of Park Services/Chief, Public Safety Dept.

Bob Westfall is responsible for overseeing the Public Safety/Security, Maintenance, Grounds, and Janitorial Departments. Bob has served the Zoo in several capacities and has witnessed countless improvements during his 25 year affiliation. The key to his motivation is the ongoing renovation and potential expansion. He has an extensive background in Park Safety, Law Enforcement, Loss Prevention, Contract Security, and Operations Management. His former employers include both the Oakland Office of Parks and Recreation and the Police Department. He was also priviliged to serve as an Animal Keeper and Amusement Rides Operator at Children's Fairyland on Lake Merritt while obtaining a degree in Administration of Justice. Bob is committed to the development of employee professionalism and service excellence, as well as maintaining the Zoo's reputation as a safe environment for its guests and their families.


Dr. Andrea Goodnight


Dr. Andrea Goodnight is the Associate Veterinarian at Oakland Zoo. From cleaning a tiger's teeth to bandaging a bird's broken wing, she and the zoo's other veterinarian are responsible for the healthcare of all the animals in the collection. There is still much to learn about many of the "exotic" animals, so zoo veterinarians must be creative problem solvers, drawing on knowledge of domestic species in order to treat their patients. Dr. Goodnight enjoys this aspect of her job, noting that every day is a learning experience. She began her zoo veterinary training while still a student, spending her summers working at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. After graduating from veterinary school in 2001, she continued her training as an intern at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital, learning the latest techniques in small animal medicine, surgery and emergency medicine. Next, she completed zoo internships at the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama and the Indianapolis Zoo from 2002-2004. She then went on to complete a zoo medicine residency at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio before joining Oakland Zoo in 2006. She is very excited to be in California and strives to contribute to Oakland Zoo's conservation and education mission.

Dr. Karen A. Emanuelson

Director of Veterinary Services

Karen A. Emanuelson, DVM, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physiology in 1982 from the University of California Davis; and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM) from the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. She completed a zoological medicine internship at Whipsnade Zoo, Zoological Society of London, England. She also was co-owner of Cottage Veterinary Hospital, a mixed exotic and wildlife practice in California, for 7 years. She has served as a faculty clinician at the UC Davis Zoological Medicine Service while working concurrently with Oakland Zoo. Dr. Emanuelson is a member of several organizations, including the American Association of Zoological Veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Wildlife Disease Association, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She is a representative to the Giant Panda Species Survival Program of the AZA. Dr. Emanuelson has been associated with Oakland Zoo since 1987; she joined the zoo full-time in 2000. Currently she is the Director of Veterinary Services and Research at Oakland Zoo.

P.O. Box 5238

9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605