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Advanced Inquiry Program

Inspiring change in our students and the community

Woodland Park Zoo’s Advanced Inquiry Program students and graduates are enacting environmental stewardship and social change in our communities! We’ve collected some of their stories about how the program has positively impacted their personal and professional lives both locally and globally.

Tracey Byrne

An AIP graduate and a Learning Mentor for Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences, Tracey describes how the Advanced Inquiry Program deepened her understanding of biophilia and place-based education and the effects of habitat fragmentation on urban flora and fauna. This inspired her to become an active steward of local wildlife with a focus on pollinators and amphibians.

Watch a video of Tracey’s story


Sandra Becka

An AIP graduate and wildlife biologist and herbalist, Sandra shares how her AIP journey empowered her to be a voice for positive wildlife-human relationships. Here, you can read about her culminating project – “Crossing the Continent for Coexistence” – through which she visited and documented wildlife-friendly farms across the country.

Read Sandra’s story



Kate Marcussen

An AIP graduate and a Woodland Park Zoo Education Program Presenter, Kate describes the impact that this program, including an inspirational Earth Expedition to Thailand, had on her life:

Read Kate's story



Carole Parks

An AIP graduate and an instructor with the Community Colleges of Spokane, Carole describes the tremendous impact this program, including a field course in Washington's Columbia Plateau, has had on her personally and professionally. She also shares how an AIP course helped her find her passion and inspiration at Drumheller Springs, a local park in her community.

Read Carole's story



Julia Ward

An AIP graduate and formerly a fifth grade teacher at Whittier Elementary, Julia illustrates the impact that this program has had on her personal and professional life, including building her confidence at being an expert in science and inquiry-based learning. Julia is now a lead science teacher at Jane Addams Middle School in Seattle.

Read Julia's story



Sabrina Hetland

An AIP graduate and a West Mercer Elementary kindergarten teacher, Sabrina illustrates the impact that this program has had on her teaching, her students, and her life. Especially impactful was her experience on a life-changing Borneo Earth Expedition:

Read Sabrina's story