Gary Robson Promoted to Executive Director

Gary Robson, who has been running the education department for the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary since last March, has been promoted to Executive Director of the Sanctuary effective today. Prior to that, he served on the Sanctuary’s Board of Directors.

For about four years, the Sanctuary has operated without an Executive Director, with four department heads reporting to the Board of Directors. With the number of projects and improvements in the works, the Board felt that it was time to put a single person in charge of the Sanctuary.

The Board made several other changes in staffing, including promotions for Nigel Murphy and Koby Kasten, elimination of two positions, and the creation of three new positions. Those new openings will be posted on the Sanctuary’s website and elsewhere.

“We have a strong team at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary,” Robson said, “and I am looking forward to expanding that team and continuing the great work everyone has been doing.”

Two of the Sanctuary’s big projects, the new gray wolf habitat and the migratory bird building for the sandhill cranes and turkey vultures, are nearing completion. This summer, the Sanctuary added a new raccoon, a ferruginous hawk, and two coyote pups. The front deck was rebuilt, and the Sanctuary is now raising funds for a remodeling project in the education building.

YWS Adds Jackie Pagano to Animal Care Staff

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The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary has hired Jackie Pagano as the third Animal Care Specialist on the staff.

“Jackie is a great fit for us,” said Nigel Murphy, the Animal Care Coordinator at the Sanctuary. “Her previous experience with wolves, foxes, and birds really let her hit the ground running.”

Jackie has a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont. She interned at various sanctuaries, rehabilitation centers, and science centers, specializing in wolves, raptors, fish, and reptiles. After graduating from college, she worked as a vet tech at a sanctuary in Cali, Colombia, followed by field work in California on foxes and owls.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Jackie said. “It’s gratifying to work with these non-releasable animals. Red Lodge is a great place to live and I love working with the people at the Sanctuary.”

YWS Hires Gary Robson as Education Director

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The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary has hired Red Lodge resident Gary Robson as our new Education Director.

“We’re really looking forward to having Gary on board,” said Mark Eder, the President of the Sanctuary’s board of directors. “With his background and experience, he’s the perfect fit for the position, and he has the right personality for education and outreach.”

The Education Director position at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary has been vacant for almost six months, and the Sanctuary has been searching both locally and around the country for candidates. In his new role, Robson will be responsible for creating educational materials and curricula; conducting on-site education through tours and seminars; conducting outreach into schools, museums, and other organizations; setting up field trips; collaborating with other wildlife-focused nonprofits; and working with other staff members on the Sanctuary’s website and social media.

Robson has a varied background. He has written dozens of books, with his children’s nature series, Who Pooped in the Park?, selling over 500,000 copies to date. His background is in technology, where he worked in software engineering and circuit design in the 80’s and 90’s. That turned into extensive work in accessibility technology for deaf people, and teaching computer courses for three colleges, including Rocky Mountain College in Billings.

Robson has lived in Carbon County with his wife, Kathy, since 2001. They owned Red Lodge Books & Tea for 15 years, published the Local Rag newspaper, and currently own the Phoenix Pearl Tea Tavern, which is managed by their daughter, Gwen. Robson is a regular emcee for events in town and is the announcer for the Home of Champions Rodeo Parade and the Winter Fest Parade.

“This job is an exciting new challenge for me,” Robson said. “It dovetails with all of my past work in education and nature, and takes me a step farther in my work with local nonprofits.” He has served on the boards of the Red Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce, Beartooth Elks, and the Festival of Nations, and has been active on committees for the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Red Lodge. He is currently a member of the Sanctuary board, but will be stepping down when he starts the new job.