Meet the Flock of Interns

Sharon Beltracchi is a senior at Stanford University where she is majoring in Environmental Science. She hopes to work at a zoo or an aquarium where she can help wildlife and educate the public about conservation. This summer at Pandemonium, Sharon is spending most of her time on behavior and enrichment training. She is working on teaching Fannie, the Victoria Crown pigeon, to be an "ambassador bird” so that Fannie can make an appearance at this fall's Victoria Crown affair to raise awareness about the species. In addition, Sharon works on daily enrichment training sessions with the companion parrots, most of which are finally starting to get along with her! She plans to continue working on foraging projects and ambassador training through the summer as well as on weekends during the coming year.

Carey Phelps is a freshman at Stanford University; she is interested in international relations and computer science. At Pandemonium she is pursuing her more artistic passions. She can be found snapping photos or painting, as well as designing brochures and newsletters. This summer, Carey had planned to spend a few months in Cairo working with the ambassador, but the recent resurgence of violence has postponed her travel plans. At Pandemonium, she is most excited about getting to know the Turacos, Kenya and Amadeus.

Paul Hughes is a Business Economics major at the University of Denver as well as a bird lover! He is interested in the business mechanisms of a non-profit and spends time learning about how Pandemonium's internal machine functions. He has also been working on various projects to help expand Pandemonium by increasing in-kind donations. However, sitting in the office all day can get a little repetitive, so he's always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it: from gardening work to cooking!

Kat Taylor is a local high school student who interns at Pandemonium because she is interested in pursuing a career in marketing or international relations. She always seems to have fun here no matter what she’s doing. Her focus at Pandemonium is getting the word out about our amazing work and learning about the marketing side of non-profits. Right now she’s focused on gala planning, as well as finding other ways for Pandemonium to support itself. In addition, she is the head tweeter. Her current project is coordinating the sale of artisan bird houses on the Pandemonium website. In searching for appropriate craftsmen, she would like to identify people who can enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship, so she is seeking out handicapped wood workers.

Alex Chu is a Stanford graduate who came to Pandemonium from Affymetrix, where he spent a year and a half developing enzymatic assays for use with the GeneChip platform. He currently manages the website for Pandemonium, and is in the process of developing a birdwatching app for the iPhone. He is also responsible for searching avian zoological literature for information to optimize bird care. Alex will be spearheading a partnership with the California Academy of Sciences in an effort to study viruses in New Guinea birds. He is equally at home devising mathematical formulas as he is cooking up sumptuous brunches for visiting conservationists.

Briana Konigsberg graduated from Scripps College in 2010 with a degree in biology. At Pandemonium, she works to create educational material for the general public, mostly in the form of reading material. She is also interested in examining bird nutrition so that all our residents have a well-balanced diet throughout their years with us. After Pandemonium, she hopes to go to veterinary school, where she will focus on exotics so that she can continue to work with the strange and wonderful animals with which we share our lives.

Jake Honig did a six month work study at Pandemonium Aviaries from Northeastern University. She decided to become a vegetarian at the age of six because she has always felt a strong connection with animals. Though she loves all animals, she had never worked closely with birds until she came to Pandemonium. Initially, she was hesitant to approach the aviaries, but after getting to know the parrots, especially Mia and Amigo, she realized how charming birds can be. She also fell in love with a little Lady Gouldian finch named Daisy. Daisy's albino coloring stood out to Jake. She struggled at first but is now thriving. Jake was initially nervous around the Victoria Crowns because of their red eyes, but grew to appreciate them after learning about their endangered status and watching them wag their tails. Pandemonium Aviaries has opened her eyes and her heart to another lovable species of animals.

Julia Kruep helps out in a variety of ways around Pandemonium, whether it be baking cookies for Pandemonium visitors, cleaning the areas near the aviaries, helping to conduct the monthly census, or expanding the bird species information on the website. Her main focus is securing birdhouses for auction in the October brunch event. In addition she is researching the extinction of the Dodo bird in relation to conservation of the endangered Victoria Crown pigeon. This fall Julia will be a freshman at the University of Notre Dame studying biological sciences with an emphasis on organismal and evolutionary biology. She is looking to explore careers in either veterinary medicine or conservation research. So far, Julia’s favorite birds are the East African Crowned cranes, the Violet turacos, and the Victoria Crown pigeons.