ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo Society and the Randolph Friends of the Zoo (RFOZ) announce grants totaling more than $8,500 to North Carolina Zoo employees with innovative ideas supporting the zoo’s conservation and education missions. After reviewing 16 applications, the RFOZ Grant Fund Committee selected eight recipients for partial or full funding.

Halley Buckanoff, Veterinary Tech II at the Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, is awarded $1,500 for ongoing titled project: Post-Release Monitoring of Hand-Reared Songbirds.

A grant of $1,000 goes to Mariko Bushcamp, Zookeeper II, who will attend Polar Bear International Climate Alliance Workshop in Churchill, Manitoba.

Karen Jarvis, Animal Records Registrar, will receive $1,300 to attend the Zoo Wildlife Regulations and Permits Workshop. This course will benefit the recipient’s career as well as the zoo. It is imperative that the zoo stay in compliance with all permits, annual reports and current knowledge of all laws and regulations. 

Erin Masterson, Aviary Keeper I, is awarded $950 to attend the Avian Egg Incubation Workshop, which is hosted by Toledo Zoo.

A grant of $900 goes to Kelly Nields, Zookeeper II, to attend the Endangered Wolf Center’s Hands-on Wolf Capture & Restraint Workshop.

Jody Stancil, Horticulture Supervisor, receives $1,250 to attend the 2015 Association of Zoological Horticulture Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Chris Shupp, Animal Management Supervisor, is awarded $1,260 for a project that supports an ongoing conservation study of the Pine Barrens tree frog through the use of radio telemetry.

A grant of $500 is awarded to Dana Urbanski, Zookeeper II, to attend the Giraffe Care Workshop hosted by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The Randolph Friends of the Zoo and the Zoo Society established the Employee Grants Fund in 2000. Grant funds are generated from a small percentage of the Zoo Society’s annual Zoo To Do fundraising event, which is presented by signature sponsor Randolph Telephone. RFOZ is a volunteer organization that supports the fundraising efforts of the Zoo Society. The North Carolina Zoological Society is a private, non-profit organization that supports the North Carolina Zoo and its conservation and education initiatives.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Donald R. van der Vaart, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.