Julie has worked with animals her entire life and has been involved in the zoological profession for more than 15 years. She has a broad background of experience in both marine and terrestrial animals with some of the nations leading organizations including: the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo, the Washington National Zoo, the Virginia Aquarium and the Virginia Zoo.
Julie’s animal care and management experiences are unique and diverse. These include extensive husbandry and behavioral training with exotic cats, wolves, elephants, seals and sea lions, birds of prey, rhinos, giraffes, otters, hippos, and many other species.
Julie has also held senior leadership positions as the Curator of Exhibit Development for the Virginia Aquarium and the Director of Education for the Virginia Zoo. Likewise she has worked at the international level with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as part of their Conservation Education Committee, which develops and institutes numerous conservation initiatives throughout the zoological community.
Julie grew up around domestic animals and has raised horses, dogs, cats, snakes, rodents, birds and frogs. Currently Julie’s sidekicks are her Golden Retriever named Gibson and her yellow Lab/Golden mix named Taylor. Julie also has a few 2 legged animals…her 3 kids (Daniel, Roman, and Grace) and her husband Chip!
Julie is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and is a graduate and Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor Training Academy for Animal Training and Behavior (KPA-CTP). Julie is a Professional Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and is a certified Evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen program (CGC). Gibson has his CGC certification. Julie also volunteers extensively for Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education, and Training (SEVA GRREAT) as a Home Evaluator, Intake Assistant, behaviorist and trainer for adoptable dogs in foster homes, and writes training articles for their quarterly newsletter.