Oiled Wildlife Care Network

OWCN Staff

Michael Ziccardi, Director

photo: Mike ZiccardiMike 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 Associate Director of the Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis. During spills, Mike often works as the Deputy Wildlife Branch Director at the Command Post, or as Care and Processing Group Supervisor or clinical veterinarian at the rehabilitation facility.

Christine Fiorello, Wildlife Care Coordinator

photo: Christine Fiorello 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.

Kyra Parker, Field Operations Coordinator

photo: Kyra ParkerKyra 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 coordinates the Recovery and Transportation Group.

Nancy Anderson, Field Stabilization Coordinator

Photo: Nancy AndersonNancy 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 Recovery and Transportation Group or serves as the Field Stabilization Lead.

Winston Vickers, Hazing Coordinator

Photo: Winston VickersWinston 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.

Stephanie Herman, Wildlife Response Specialist

photo: Stephanie Herman

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, Volunteer Coordinator

photo: Becky EliasBecky 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

photo: Tim WilliamsonTim 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.

Lavonne Hull, Administrative Coordinator

photo: Lavonne HullLavonne began working for UC Davis in 1999 on the administrative team in Plant Pathology, and transferred to the Wildlife Health Center in 2000.  Before coming to UCD, she worked in administration, management, and accounting for legal firms and restaurants. Lavonne provides administrative support to the OWCN, as well as to the Wildlife Health Center’s California Wildlife Conservation Programs, Avian Influenza Program, and to the Center as a whole. Lavonne has worked on over 30 oil spills for the OWCN. During oil spill responses, Lavonne manages personnel logistics, coordinates catering for response personnel, maintains the supply chain for the rehabilitation facility, and oversees financial transactions between the Responsible Party, the OWCN, and OWCN Member Organizations.