Ripley’s interest in wildlife began as a kid, manifesting in an obsession with reading and collecting around 300 copies of National Geographic magazines. Ripley continued to grow this passion by receiving their A.S. in Biology at Phoenix College in their home state of Arizona. During this time, Ripley found their interest in birds through the inspiring community of biologists and naturalists they found online. Now galvanized to gain more experience working with avian species, Ripley began volunteering with Liberty Wildlife as a member of their hotline team. There Ripley responded to incoming rescue calls, coordinated with rehabbers all over the valley, and educated callers on how to contain and transport injured backyard birds. This experience provided Ripley with a great opportunity to teach people about bird behavior and to foster positive interactions between the public and wildlife in urban settings.
Ripley relocated to Salt Lake City in 2022 to join the HWI team as the Fundraising and Finance Assistant while they pursue their B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution, and Environment at the University of Utah. This position is Ripley’s first professional role in the biology field, and they are excited to soak up as much knowledge as they can!
Ripley’s role at HWI is to assist both the finance/admin department as well as the fundraising/communications department with back-end tasks to help the rest of the organization focus on research and outreach.
In their free time, Ripley enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, reading, playing video games, and hanging out with their cat Mothra.