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Jessie is a wildlife conservationist. She has studied primates in the rainforests of Costa Rica and Uganda and cared for many species of zoo animals, from sea lions to snakes. She earned bachelor degrees in Environmental Science and Anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Through her role as Conservation Manager at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, she has raised funds and awareness for over 50 wildlife organizations, developed creative events and fundraisers and mentored others on how to channel their passion. She is the founder and leader of the conservation initiative Plant.Grow.Fly., which encourages citizens and organizations to preserve and restore pollinator habitat. She spearheaded the 2013 Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation (ZACC) Conference held at Blank Park Zoo and now serves on the ZACC Steering Committee. Jessie has a wide range of skills and experiences ranging from campaigning for roadless national forests and the elimination of coal-burning power plants to positive reinforcement training and behavioral enrichment for captive animals. She is particularly interested in the impact small zoos can have on wildlife conservation and empowering the general public to take real conservation action.