Captive Wildlife Care and Education at Unity College provides integrative, hands-on training and experience, preparing students to become expert wildlife rehabilitators, educators, conservationists, and advocates. As part of the program, students have the opportunity to work with organizations across the globe and work closely with species they’re likely to encounter in careers after graduation — gaining valuable real-world experience.
Two new faces joined the program this year, bringing international experience from different corners of the globe, and strengthening an already flourishing major at America’s Environmental College.
“Faculty serve as important role models to students, and it is only through exposure to a diversity of thought, cultures,
and backgrounds that our graduates can be fully prepared for an increasingly global society,” Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said. “From India to Florida, Australia to California, and all the way back to Maine, faculty experience from across the world and our nation is of inestimable worth to this institution and our students.”
Dr. Tristan Burgess, Assistant Professor of Captive Wildlife Care and Education, holds a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California-Davis and recently completed a postdoctoral research position with San Diego Zoo Global. Additionally, he received a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from Massey University, New Zealand and a Bachelor of Science degree in immunobiology from the University of Sydney, Australia. He specializes as a wildlife veterinarian with a range of field, research, and teaching experience related to captive and free-ranging wildlife, and has spent a number of years consulting on animal health management for some of the nation’s finest zoos and aquaria.
Ms. Pratibha ‘Poly’ Singh, Visiting Instructor of Captive Wildlife Care and Education, has over ten years of experience working in the field of conservation biology, and holds a B.S. and M.S. in Botany from Delhi University, a M.S. in Forestry from the Indian Institute of Management, and a Master of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon. In her career, she has worked within zookeeping in North India, Nepal, and Bhutan, as well as numerous other management positions with the government of India. She most recently comes to Unity College from the Zoo Technology Program at Santa Fe College in Florida.
“I know it sounds corny, but I came to Unity because I really love the mission here. The environmental focus, experiential education — these students are great, and I love teaching them,” Ms. Singh said. “I’ve spent a large portion of my career in the field, and I’m looking forward to passing that experience on.”