Director of Education
Year zoo career began:
Gabby is the Director of Education at the Phoenix Zoo where she provides the support and resources necessary for educators to run successful programs. She spends time in meetings and at the computer but interacts with people throughout the zoo on a regular basis. One of Gabby’s big tasks is developing the department’s strategic plan and then completing tasks to make sure they are heading towards their goals. Gabby is passionate about training staff members, which includes providing resources and support to make sure everyone is succeeding and growing in their careers. Gabby is also part of the Arizona Association for Environmental Education and several different local task forces for education in the state and regional area.
Gabby loved science in school but didn’t immediately view science as a career path. She first entered college to study speech and hearing but quickly switched her major to study conservation biology, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology. While in college, Gabby served as a teaching assistant and worked in a research lab that was run by the university veterinarian, which made her question if she was suited for hands-on work with animals. Before graduating, Gabby held a job teaching summer camps at the Phoenix Zoo and fell in love with education. She worked in the education department after graduation and became the education director in 2007. Gabby earned a master’s degree in Environmental Education and Communication in 2013.
Gabby’s favorite part of her job is mentoring and training staff and helping them find their best potential. Gabby advises aspiring educators to hone their people skills and increase their emotional intelligence. She also recommends that you take every opportunity to try a new task or project. Gabby would love to help anyone as a mentor and coach.