Wildlife Manager-Victor Roubidoux
Victor Roubidoux, an Ioway member, was born in Perkins, Ok. He lived his life in Perkins until he joined the US Army in 1969. He served for 4 years. During his time in the army, he fought in Vietnam for a total duration of 30 months. During this time he earned a Bronze Star with V Device as well as the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Palm.
When Victor returned, he began working for the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. He served the tribe by representing them as their Treasurer for 13 years, was the Chairman for the Repatriation and Sacred Sites Committee for the National Congress of American Indians and the Treasurer for Keeper of the Treasures. It was during this time that he developed the idea for an eagle sanctuary after viewing a news clip about an eagle injured in Oklahoma. This bird was transferred to New Mexico because there was no place for it in Oklahoma. Victor began gathering information and support from the Iowa Nation to begin the project. Once everything was completed the tribe asked Victor to run the facility. Victor accepted and started training. Since then Victor has ran the facility for more than 7 years, completed 23 eagle releases, saved the lives of over 50 resident eagles, and educated more than 13,000 people about eagles.
Aviary Director-Megan Judkins (Trope), Ph.D., CWR
Megan, a Choctaw tribal member, began volunteering at the GSEH during her sophomore year in college at Oklahoma State University where she was completing a B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management and a minor in Zoology. She graduated in 2009 and in 2012 she earned her MBA in non-profit management. In 2012, Megan had the opportunity to begin a PhD at Oklahoma State University. Her dissertation focused on developing conservation genomics tools for bald and golden eagles. These tools included an 88X coverage of the golden eagle genome as well as a custom chip that has 100,000 genetic markers (SNPs) for bald and golden eagles. She used these tools to begin evaluating the genetic variation of both species throughout their North American range. Megan successfully completed all of the necessary requirements to graduate with her PhD in December 2017. Megan has also passed the requirements to become a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator and is a member of the Raptor Research Foundation and the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association. Megan has now worked at the GSEH for 12 years, is the current Aviary Director, and is continuing to conduct research pertaining to the conservation of bald and golden eagles in collaboration with the Van Den Bussche Lab. To find out more about the research or Megan, visit meganjudkins.wix.com/research.
Aviary Community Relations Manager-Abraham Lincoln
Abraham is an Ioway Tribal member. He is the son of Renee Lincoln. He grew up in a traditional and cultural based family. He has been at the aviary since the summer of 2007 when he began volunteering at 12 years old. Abraham has many ties and connections not only with the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma but many tribes throughout the state. Along with Abraham’s role at the aviary, he was also elected as Vice Chairman for the Ioway Tribe of Oklahoma Gaming Commission. At the GSEH, Abraham aids in assisting the Iowa Tribe and other tribes with information regarding regulations pertaining to Native Aviaries, eagle feather distribution, and tribe to tribe interactions with the aviary.
Amy is from Roswell Georgia where she graduated from Walton High School in 1998. She moved to Stillwater Oklahoma in 2002. She went to college at Oklahoma State University in 2007 and graduated in December of 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Zoology. She started volunteering at the Grey Snow Eagle House in January of 2011 and was hired full-time employee in June 2011. She has attended several trainings including received 100 hours of raptor training at the Birds of Prey Foundation in Broomfield Colorado, attending the NWRA conference, and completing the IWRC Basic Rehabilitation Course. She is currently in charge of the feeder animal breeding programs at the aviary and will helps in the education program handling several of the smaller raptors.
Aviary Education Specialist-Jessica Ruiz, CPBT-KA, CIG
Jessica graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station, with a B.S. in Wildlife Science, and a specialization in Conservation Biology and Biodiversity. She was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has traveled many of the United States, South Africa, India, Germany, Spain, and Belize. Over the years, Jessica’s career has taken her from working at sanctuaries with exotic felines and raptors, to creating public programs as an environmental educator at nature centers and camps. She has experience in rehabilitating, maintaining, training, and free-flying birds at various centers, including the World Bird Sanctuary. Jessica has earned certifications as a Professional Bird Trainer (CPBT-KA), and an Interpretive Guide (CIG), and is a member of the National Association for Interpretation, and the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators. Ultimately, Jessica loves sharing her passion for wildlife with others, and enjoys being a part of the team at the Grey Snow Eagle House!
CJ was hired in 2013 as a full-time employee. Since then, she has received 100 hours of migratory bird training from the Birds of Prey Foundation, attending IAATE and NWRA symposia, and is a lead training in our outreach education program. She enjoys observing plants and animals and showing compassion to wildlife. She values the promotion of wildlife education and awareness to encourage compassionate actions to relieve animal suffering and extinction.
Ashley is a Ho-Chunk tribal member from Indiahoma, Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma State University, in May 2014, with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Zoology. During her time at OSU, she conducted research in the environmental toxicology lab and studied bats in Costa Rica. Birds have always been a favorite subject in her artwork. Eventually, she gave in to her love of birds and began volunteering at Grey Snow Eagle House in March 2014. She became a part-time employee in May 2014 and transferred to a full-time employee in June 2014. Her artwork can be seen around the aviary on t-shirts and event flyers.
Jordan is from Stillwater, Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in the summer of 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology. She spent two semesters doing research in the Zoology Department’s Collection of Vertebrates; one semester digitizing the avian collection and the second semester cleaning and preparing skeletal material. She began volunteering at the Grey Snow Eagle House in November of 2013 and was hired part-time in August 2014. Jordan has always been a huge animal lover and became interested in birds when she was in the first grade and her class incubated and hatched chickens. Her favorite birds are Indian peacocks and burrowing owls.
Alex grew up in Highland Village, Texas with a love for animals both past and present. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in zoology in December 2017. He started volunteering at the Grey Snow Eagle House in 2015 which enriched his fondness for birds. In between school years at OSU, Alex worked in the education department at the Dallas Zoo, where he built curriculums for teachers and worked as a camp instructor. He was hired on as a part-time employee at the aviary in October 2017. Alex loves to talk and educate people about the animals he loves, whether living or extinct. His favorite extinct animal is Spinosaurus.