Michelle completed her MA through the University of Exeter in 2017. Her thesis focused on the effects of eco-tourism on conservation, and how international relational approaches to conservation can support community-based efforts in Nepal.
Michelle’s PhD will focus on framing conservation and care in Nepal. By examining the motivations of different organizations involved in Nepal, she will try to discover a common language and set of goals that can be used to promote future conservation efforts. In addition, her research will focus on the discourse versus practice of caring for orphaned juveniles of various species, including humans.
Michelle’s interests also include educational travel, the motivations of humans toward animal preferences, training companion animal nurses in wildlife care, exploring human/wildlife conflict and coexistence, and preserving populations of wild animals globally.
Michelle is a former instructor at a veterinary technician training college in Colorado who specialized in avian, reptile and amphibian husbandry and nursing. In prior years, she taught various age groups (from 2-90) as a public school teacher, an instructor for the Colorado History Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Zoo. The last ten+ years have been spent working as a veterinary technician in various hospitals, teaching future veterinary technicians, and working with various animal rescue and rehab facilities.
For 24 years, Michelle has been a volunteer with the Denver Zoo, working in the pachyderm and primate buildings as well as the hospital. Her passion lies in her work with Team Nepalorado, an American group who travels yearly to Nepal to create relationships with the Nepali people and assist with rhino conservation in the Chitwan and Bardia National Park zones (at the request of animal organizations there). She also serves on the board of the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund, a non-profit supporting conservation and welfare of both non-humans and humans in Africa and Asia, as well as South, Central and North America. Michelle has also spent many years as a volunteer with various animal rescues and shelters, including those focusing on donkeys and companion animals.