| Areas of Expertise
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
| Favorite Quote
“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
– Henry David Thoreau
| Job Title
Director of Animal Care and Conservation
B.S. Environmental Science; Masters of Science in Zoology
Regina Mossotti began her work at the Endangered Wolf Center after college as a wolf keeper, a role that helped her develop a greater understanding and appreciation for the animals in her care. Regina left the EWC to pursue a Master’s of Science in Zoology researching cheetah mating behavior, after which she worked as a biologist researching wolf behavior in the wild as part of the Yellowstone Wolf Project. Like many people drawn to careers in wildlife conservation, Regina has had a love of animals since childhood – a passion she followed around the world. Her love of and curiosity about nature led her to do research in places like Belize, Chile, Alaska, and Kenya, where she lived and worked studying human’s impact on wildlife. An opportunity to work with the University of California, Santa Cruz drew her further west, catching and collaring mountain lions and researching their territorial and predator-prey behavior. Regina left the project to work on her Ph.D. at Oregon State University until the song of the wolves called her back to the Endangered Wolf Center in 2011. “This place is home, the staff and volunteers are like family. And seeing first-hand how important these animals are to the health of the ecosystem, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” Returning to her dream job at the EWC as Director of Animal Care and Conservation marked the beginning of a new and fulfilling chapter in her life
| Wolf pup!
I was told by an advisor in graduate school that it would be harder for me to get a job or be accepted into a Ph.D. program if I was married, especially if I had children. Years later, when I told a mentor that I was pregnant after first starting my position as Director at the Endangered Wolf Center, their response was, “well that is unfortunate. It is unbelievably difficult for a woman to be a good mother and dedicate the time needed to do her job well.”
| Emotional Story
I think one of the most emotional times in my career was being a first-time mother. I remember looking at my little girl…leaving my 6 week -old, tiny baby to go back to work was by far one of the hardest, most emotional moments in my life. But I knew I had to, that my work was building a better world for her to live in. I am so grateful for my career, especially seeing her get the experience of being around wildlife and wild places and growing up with love and appreciation for it, full of wonder and already understanding her part as a steward and protector of our planet.
| Conservation Tip
Be an advocate for a greener planet. The cliché of “we can all make a difference” is true. Imagine if everyone did the little things…together. They wouldn’t be so little anymore. Everything you do in your life will have a ripple effect. You will directly help by being greener, and indirectly you will influence others to do their part. Make sure you talk about your efforts to others and why you do them.
1. Persistence. You have to keep fighting for what you want, even if you get knocked down or don’t get exactly what you want at first.
2. Get experience! Volunteer, do internships, get out there! Experience will help you get the job you want…and will teach you what jobs you don’t want. Getting experience is vital to getting your dream job. And no job is too small to start, you have to work your way up and earn your dream job.
3. Always be professional. No matter what the setting is, make sure you are a professional…in conversation, in emails, talking with strangers, etc. Make sure you are putting your best self forward at all times and representing whatever organization or business you are working for well.
| If You Could Be Any Animal, What Would You Be?
Mountain lion: they are persistent, strong, great mothers and protectors, they love to sleep but have intense bursts of energy, often misunderstood.
Shout-Out: Endangeredwolfcenter.org. Regina works at the EWC, directing their conservation programs and the animal care department. The Center’s mission is to preserve and protect Mexican wolves, red wolves and other wild canid species, with purpose and passion, through carefully managed breeding, reintroduction, research and inspiring education programs.