Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Due to the upcoming end of the partnership with the Oregon Zoo next year, the Biology and Management of Zoo Animals degree program at Portland Community College has been officially suspended. We will continue to offer the classes needed to complete degrees for our currently enrolled students through June of 2017. Please contact Joyce Kaplan or Laura Harris for recommended regional educational options in the field of animal management.

Faculty Profiles

Joyce Kaplan
Joyce grew up in Los Angeles and has been involved and working in zoos since high school at the Los Angeles Zoo. She holds a BS in Biology/Animal Physiology from Cornell University and an MS in Zoology from the University of Idaho, has worked at a variety of zoos and other animal facilities in every region of the country, and for 14 years was the director of a zoo animal technology degree program in Florida. Highlights of her career have been developing opportunities for students to obtain valuable experience that has helped them pursue successful careers at some of the best zoos, and taking students to Africa to share their experience with international colleagues. Serving as an advocate for best practices animal management and conservation education regionally and internationally is her passion. Joyce teaches Animal Nutrition, Captive Population Management, Exhibit Design, and the Zoo Biology & Management 4-course series.
Dr. Diana Corwin

Dr. Diana Corwin has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Montana State University, pursued graduate work in Biology at San Diego State University, and earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee. Her years of experience in a diverse range of animal care and research settings includes work in animal shelters, large and small animal veterinary clinics, the Louisville Zoo’s veterinary hospital and wildlife rehabilitation program, university field studies in radio-collaring deer, and research at the San Diego Zoo. She has also been trained as an Oregon Zoo Guide and taught educational programs for the Audubon Society of Portland.

Dr. Corwin teaches Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology I & II for the BAMZA department as well as serving as an Anatomy and Physiology instructor for PCC's Biology and Veterinary Technology departments.

Dr. Sarah Courbis

Dr. Sarah Courbis earned her BS in Biology (minor in chemistry) with a marine focus from Millersville University, and later earned an MS from San Francisco State University and Ph. D. from Portland State University, both in Biology. She spent several years working at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon and two years for the Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources. Dr. Courbis taught Biology at Hawaii Pacific University and Portland State University, and was an Online Adjunct Professor of Biology and Environmental Science for American Public University System and American Intercontinental University. Her research focus is behavior and genetics of dolphins near the Hawaiian Islands.

Dr. Courbis teaches BMZA 280A Cooperative Education in Zoos. Her own co-op experience as a student was at the New Jersey State Aquarium working with seals and bird rehabilitation.

Jenny DeGroot

Jenny grew up in the Chicago area, and first began her career in the animal field as a volunteer and intern at Shedd Aquarium.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University.  As an animal keeper for over a decade, Jenny has worked at multiple zoos and aquariums with a variety of species including marine mammals, birds, carnivores, fish and invertebrates, and reptiles.  She also spent a portion of her career rehabilitating wildlife, researching endangered birds, and had a pet-sitting side business for several years before moving to Portland.  She is an active member of the International Marine Animal Trainers' Association (IMATA), and she has published her work and presented at multiple conferences. 

She has been a key participant in the development of the program curriculum and zoo experiences from the inception of the program, and currently teaches the Zoo Animal Behavior Management course.

Dr. Lisa Harrenstien

Dr. Lisa Harrenstien is a graduate of Duke University (BS – Zoology) and North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). She has worked as a small-animal/exotics private practitioner, a clinical intern in exotic/wildlife/zoo animal medicine at Kansas State University, a postdoc in veterinary pathobiology at the University of Tennessee, a clinical resident and faculty member in zoological medicine at UC Davis, and in 2005 became a Diplomat of the American College of Zoological Medicine. Dr. Harrenstien has worked with a variety of projects involving contraceptive use in zoo carnivores, reintroduction of red wolves into the Southeast, and disease surveillance in zoological species. She was a clinical veterinarian at the Oregon Zoo for 14 years and currently works as a consultant for captive and free-ranging wildlife medicine, including recent work at the National Zoological Park, Houston Zoo, various exotics-focused private practices, and serving as the veterinary advisor for the Species Survival Plan of the endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. Dr. Harrenstien brings this wealth of knowledge and experience to PCC’s BAMZA students in the Veterinary Procedures and Treatments for Zookeepers course.

Dr. Brad Krohn
Dr. Brad Krohn is a veterinarian and Director of PCC’s Veterinary Technology program. He has a special interest in fish medicine/aquatic environments and is developing and teaching Zoo Water Quality Management in the BAMZA department. He lectures on fish medicine/aquaculture within the VT program where he also teaches small animal Anesthesiology and Surgical Nursing. Dr. Krohn is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.S. Biology) and Mississippi State University - College of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). He completed a post-graduate internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada and is an alumnus of the AquaVet program held at the National Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dr. Krohn sees fish patients during the summer with his business Aquatic Veterinary Services of Oregon. In his spare time he enjoys playing ice hockey, riding café racers, reading, and collecting books and records.
Julia Walz

Julia grew up in southern California where she had her first internship at the Santa Ana Zoo. She holds a BS in Evolution and Ecology from UC Davis and an MS in Biology (Behavioral Ecology) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Julia has volunteered at the California Raptor Center, maintained a fish behavior laboratory, and worked with a wide variety of species at several zoological facilities on the West Coast. She has worked at the Oregon Zoo in the education, bird, and marine life departments, the insect zoo, as a family farm mentor, and currently as a primate department keeper. In her spare time Julia enjoys spending her time in the great outdoors gardening, hiking, camping, and wildlife watching.

Julia is passionate about quality animal care and management, conservation, and discovering and sharing how and why animals behave as they do. She is excited to engage and immerse her students in these topics as a core BMZA instructor, teaching Introduction to Zoo Science, Introduction to Animal Behavior, and Conservation Biology.

Dan Franek

Dan has taught horticulture and agriculture for 15 years in California, Washington, Maine and Oregon. With a B.S. in Animal Science from Ohio State University and a a M.S. in Environmental Soill Sciences he finally has a chance to teach about both animals and plants, two of his passions, in the Zoo Horticulture course of the BMZA program. Some of his other job experiences have been working as Botanical Specialist with the City of Portland Community Gardens Program and working as a Farm Reviewer for Oregon Tilth. Dan is a Master Gardener and and ISA Certified Arborist, while also having his Oregon Tilth Organic Landcare license. Presently he consults in horticulture and agriculture production and owns a company called NW Organic Landcare.

Laura Harris

Laura comes to PCC from Toledo, Ohio, is a Certified Veterinary Technician with 12 years of experience, and also holds a BA in English with a writing concentration. She has a background in small animal and zoo medicine, as well as veterinary technology course instruction at a small college. Laura had her first glimpse of zoo medicine when she completed her post-graduate externship at the Toledo Zoo. After passing her national boards, she was hired by the Toledo Zoo as a RVT where she assisted with a variety of procedures from annual exams on primates and big cats to elephant artificial insemination. She was also involved in training for blood collection from their grey seals and pregnancy ultrasounds on their gibbons, and is proud to say that she was involved in the conservation efforts of the Kihansi Spray Toad and the Wyoming Toad. Laura looks forward to bringing her passions for the fields of animal science and education to helping foster the success of the BMZA students

Laura is the Instructional Support Technician for the BMZA program as well as teaching the Zoological Professional Development Seminar and Cooperative Education – Zoological Specialty courses.

Shannon Ansley

Shannon is a full-time instructor in the Biology department at PCC Sylvania, and is a graduate of the University of Guelph (BS – Zoology) and the University of South Florida (MS – Biology). Shannon is an ecologist, a Certified Interpretive Trainer, and an Oregon Master Naturalist, with a love for nature in general and animals in particular. She has interned in animal care at the Oregon Zoo and currently volunteers at the Oregon Humane Society. Besides teaching general biology, wildlife conservation, and field courses for PCC’s Biology department, Shannon is excited to be a part of PCC’s BAMZA program by developing and teaching the Wildlife Education Management course.