Having grown up in Oregon and spending lots of time outdoors, Laura’s love of nature and wildlife led them to begin volunteering at the Raptor Center in 2010. Over the years, they have steadily worked Animal Care shifts, joined the Education Team as a docent and greeter, completed the Basic and Intermediate Raptor Rehabilitation courses, and began delving into bird training in 2014. In the fall of 2016, Laura completed an 8-week intensive online course on Applied Behavior Analysis taught by Dr. Susan Friedman of Utah State University. To further their skills and diversify their animal training experience, Laura attended Hillary Hankey’s Advanced Animal Behavior workshop at Avian Behavior International (Escondido, California) in February 2019.
As the Raptor Center’s Training & Education Assistant, Laura works closely with our resident birds, training them to be active participants in their daily care, as well as provide up-close encounters and educational programs to visitors, individuals, classrooms of all ages, and the extended community. As with many of our staff, Laura has a diverse skillset reaching outside their title – they craft resident training equipment, help the rehabilitation clinic with intakes, rescues, and patient treatments, and assist with volunteer management.
Beyond their work at the Raptor Center, Laura has worked locally as a gluten-free baker and as a licensed massage therapist.