About the OWCN Bloggers

Mike Ziccardi, DVM, MPVM, PhD
OWCN Director

Mike received his veterinary degree, as well as his masters and doctorate in epidemiology, from UC Davis. Since 1996, Mike has acted as an oil spill response veterinarian and coordinator during more than 50 spills nationally and internationally. He has been a contract veterinarian for the California Department of Fish and Game as well as program coordinator, senior wildlife veterinarian, Assistant Director and now Director for California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network. Mike also serves as an Co-Director of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis. During spills, Mike often works as the Deputy Wildlife Branch Director at the Command Post, as a Group Supervisor where the need is greatest, or clinical veterinarian at the rehabilitation facility.

Curt Clumpner
Deputy Director: Animal Care Operations

Curt came to OWCN after more than 20 years with International Bird Rescue, most recently as that organization’s Preparedness Director. His involvement in oiled wildlife response started as a volunteer in 1984 when a spill occurred near the wildlife rehabilitation center he founded outside Seattle, Washington. Since then, he has responded to spills around the world such as the Exxon Valdez, the American Trader, the Apollo Sea in South Africa, the Erika, the Pallas and the Prestige in Europe, the Nahodka in Japan, the Jessica in the Galapagos and the Rena in New Zealand. For these spills and others, Curt worked in a variety of roles within the wildlife response. He has collaborated globally on rehabilitation and response trainings with colleagues in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Turkey, Russia, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and the US. During spills his focus will be making sure OWCN’s animal care team is a well-oiled machine.

Kyra Parker, MSc
Deputy Director: Field Operations

Kyra earned her Masters degree from UC Irvine, where she studied the foraging ecology of seabirds in the inshore waters of the Galapagos Islands. As a staff biologist for PRBO Conservation Science’s Marine Division, Kyra edited the California Current Marine Bird Conservation Plan, served as lead seabird biologist on the Farallon Islands, and was a member of PRBO’s cadre of trained Wildlife Processing Unit personnel for oil spill response. She worked for the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research from 2008-2010, and before joining the OWCN in 2010 she was a member of the biology faculty at the University of New Mexico. During spill response, Kyra ensures that field response, including hazing and recovery, is a well-oiled machine.

Christine Fiorello, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM
Wildlife Care Coordinator

Christine received her veterinary degree from Tufts and her doctorate in ecology from Columbia where she studied South American carnivores. She completed a small animal internship at Angell Memorial Hospital, and earned her ACZM Board Certification following a residency in Zoological Medicine at the University of Florida. Before joining the OWCN team in 2010, Christine was an Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to her teaching, clinical, and research activities at UGA, she acted as the Faculty Director of the Wildlife Treatment Crew. During oil spill response, Christine acts as the Care and Processing Group Supervisor or Care Unit Leader, and clinical veterinarian at the rehabilitation facility.

Nancy Anderson, DVM, PhD
Field Stabilization Coordinator

Nancy received her bachelors of science and engineering, veterinary degree, and doctorate from Ohio State University. After completing her veterinary degree, she worked as a private practitioner and then joined the faculty at OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. For her doctoral research in ecophysiology, she studied energetics and thermoregulation in brown treesnakes. She came to California in 2000, where she served as the Director of Wildlife Services for Lindsay Wildlife Museum and then became a staff veterinarian at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in 2010. Nancy joined the OWCN team in 2011, and during spill response she coordinates the Field Stabilization Group.

Stephanie Herman
Care Operations Specialist

Stephanie became obsessed with wildlife rehabilitation in the early 1990s, when she began volunteering with Michigan Friends of Wildlife and eventually the River Raisin Raptor Center.  Her interest led her to the University of Guelph, where she earned her bachelors in Wildlife Biology and developed a fascination for wildlife nutrition and captive diets.  After completing her degree, Stephanie interned with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida before becoming a full-time wildlife rehabilitator for the PAWS Wildlife Center in Washington State.  During her five-year tenure with PAWS, she gained experience with everything from bears to hummingbirds and responded to two high-volume seabird events.  During an oil spill, Stephanie goes where she is needed, providing a degree of flexibility for the response effort.

Becky Elias, MSc
Volunteer Coordinator

Becky received both her bachelors and masters degrees in Wildlife Ecology from Washington State University.  Her masters research on reproduction and behavior in endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits led to her position with Washington State University as the manager of the pygmy rabbit captive breeding and research program. In 2008 she moved to Michigan with her family and became a zookeeper at the Children’s Zoo in Saginaw where she worked with a wide variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Becky became the OWCN’s Volunteer Coordinator in 2010 and during oil spill response she manages pre-trained volunteer efforts, oversees volunteer scheduling, and assists in animal care.

Tim Williamson
Facilities Coordinator

Tim began working for the Department of Fish and Game at the Wildlife Investigations Lab in 1989. He transferred to the DFG Office of Spill Prevention and Response to oversee construction of the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, and contributed to the completion of the Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care and Education Center. Tim served as a manager for DFG Wildlife Areas in Del Norte, Humboldt, and Butte Counties from 2001 to 2011, and then returned to oil spill response with the OWCN. He has a wealth of experience in engineering, construction, and equipment operation, as well as animal capture and handling. During spill response, Tim manages the rehabilitation facility and serves as the Safety Officer.

Winston Vickers, DVM, MPVM
Hazing Coordinator

Winston received his veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University, and completed his Masters of Preventive Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. He gained experience with a wide variety of species in a zoo preceptorship, and small animal and exotics practice. For 10 years, Winston has worked as a wildlife veterinarian for the Institute for Wildlife Studies and the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center. Winston is based in southern California, where he leads the Wildlife Health Center’s Mountain Lion and Bobcat Project and is involved carnivore and avian research on the Channel Islands. Winston joined the OWCN team in 2010. As the Hazing Group Supervisor during spill response, Winston leads the teams that work to prevent animals from entering oil-affected habitats.

Scott Buhl
Field Operations Specialist

Scott received his bachelors degree in Marine Biology from UCLA in 2006, and has spent the last 9 years working for nonprofit organizations in support of environmental conservation.  During his 3 years at Heal the Bay, Scott focused his efforts on water quality and conservation, and specifically led the volunteer and public programs at Heal the Bay’s educational outreach facility, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.  More recently, Scott spent nearly 6 years at The Marine Mammal Center, filling various roles during that time (including Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, and Volunteer Resources Manager) in support of marine mammal rehabilitation and conservation.  Scott joined the OWCN team in 2015 as a Wildlife Response Specialist and during oil spill response he supports field operations.

3 thoughts on “About the OWCN Bloggers

  1. I’m glad to have found this blog. I live in New Orleans and could likely be of use to you all. Please see my profile to see my credentials. Briefly, I have been through oiled wildlife response training have extensive animal care experience (wild and domestic) and am well networked. 504-952-7052.

  2. I am a second and third grade teacher and we would LOVE to help! What is the best way we can extend a helping hand without physically volunteering? Please let me know!:)

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