Manager of ZooAmerica
Year zoo career began:
Theresa Wilson is a manager at ZooAmerica where she assists with daily zoo operations. Her responsibilities include ensuring that the animals in the collection are safe and healthy, planning special events, tracking maintenance needs, and ensuring that ZooAmerica meets or exceeds all government regulations. Theresa also plays a role in ensuring that her facility meets the accreditation standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She also oversees the ZooAmerica budget and assists in the hiring, training, development, and management of full-time animal care staff.
In high school, Theresa took every science course offered to her and she graduated with a New York State Regents diploma in 1999. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Environmental Science with minors in Chemistry and Geography in 2004 from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, Theresa earned her Master of Science degree in Biology- Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from Binghamton University of New York. She studied sentinel behavior of American Crows during nesting season in collaboration with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Theresa’s previous work experiences includes a variety of positions in different fields. She has worked in retail and medical insurance, taught science in middle school, and worked as both a veterinary assistant and as a seasonal park ranger. She had an unpaid internship with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) that really sparked her interested in biology because of the field research she contributed to.
Theresa’s favorite part of her job is that every day is different- she could be cleaning animal habitats, training a raven for a virtual presentation, interviewing potential new employees, or assisting veterinarians with a medical procedure. Theresa’s advice to aspiring zoo professionals is to not be afraid to take another job while you are searching for the job of your dreams. Never burn your bridges, because you may need that reference someday, and be patient with the little bumps in the road. One of her greatest career accomplishments was being selected in the fall of 2020 to be part of the Hershey Entertainment & Resorts’ new employee resource group called the Multi-Ethnic Resource Group for Everyone (MERGE). The group is committed to growing an inclusive culture by hosting educational events, fostering compassionate conversations, and championing the development of talented individuals from diverse heritages, and Theresa is proud to be a part of the group.