Title: Animal Naturalist
Company: Western North Carolina Nature Center
Location: Doniphan, Missouri, United States
Mary Jayne Churchill, animal naturalist at Western North Carolina Nature Center, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in environmentalism.
Working with animals has long served as Ms. Churchill’s passion. While coming of age, she regularly maintained small hobby farms with horses, cows, chickens and goats, despite living in the Philippine Islands and Okinawa, Japan, as part of her family’s military service. Though she initially began working various jobs in medical transcription and records, she followed her passion to pursue a career which would allow her to care for animals. Throughout her 15 year career with the Western North Carolina Nature Center, Ms. Churchill has worked hard to make a positive difference in the lives of every animal.
Ms. Churchill began her career as a lead naturalist for Predator Habitat. In this capacity, she handled such large carnivores as cougars, bobcats, timber wolves, red wolves, coyotes and black bears. Moreover, she led public educational programs pertaining to hawks, owls and assorted birds of prey. Ms. Churchill is gratified to have educated children and adults alike with interesting animal facts and wildlife safety tips.
Ms. Churchill is proud to have been selected to present her research at the Red Wolf Symposium at Appalachian State University. Throughout her career, she has been featured in the Zoo Keeper’s Journal, the Asheville Times People Section and the book series “Cool Careers for Girls.” For her work with endangered red wolves, she received her own chapter of the aforementioned series, which highlighted her career path in environmentalism. Above all, Ms. Churchill is proud to have been recognized as a role model for young girls.
Ms. Churchill is fortunate to have formed personal bonds with many of the animals she has cared for over the years. Notably, she has been kissed on the mouth by a cougar, been inside enclosures with red wolves and unloaded reindeer in the snow. Looking toward the future, Ms. Churchill aims to continue appreciating and devoting herself to the protection of wild animals.
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