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Michelle has had a love for animals since a young age. She realized her passion for marine mammals after a Dolphin Encounter experience at Discovery Kingdom. Originally from San Jose, CA, Michelle moved down to Monterey to pursue a Marine Science degree from CSU Monterey Bay. She found out about SLEWTHS through a friend and immediately applied. Michelle joined the SLEWTHS family in 2010 and reached the Head Trainer level in December of 2016.

Michelle is excited to learn from the SLEWTHS family and gain experience to pursue her dream of becoming an animal trainer.

   
 

Originally from Göteborg, Sweden, Alex moved to the US when he was 12 years old. While living in Sweden, Alex spent his summers sailing around the Swedish archipelago which started his life long passion for exploring and learning about the ocean. In fall of 2005 Alex moved to Anchorage, AK were he pursued his degree in Marine Biology and Environmental Science. He moved down to Monterey Bay in August 2011 to continue his dream of educating people about the marine environment and its animals.

Shortly after arriving in Monterey a co-worker suggested SLEWTHS as a perfect fit for his interests and background. Since his first day at SLEWTHS, the experiences and knowledge he has gained have far exceeded his dreams.
   
 

 

 
Originally from Wildomar CA, Alex moved to Monterey in 2009 for the opportunity to attend California State University Monterey Bay on a water polo scholarship. She has spent her whole life in the water and as an animal lover so SLEWTHS was a perfect fit. In December 2015, Alex entered into the Senior Trainer position and everyday looks forward to her future interactions with the staff and animals.
   
   
 
   

From day one, Sean Williams has had a passion for working with animals. Sean grew up in Upland, California where he and his family raised and bred Friesian horses. Their family ranch was known as Thunder Mountain Friesians. After graduating from Damien High School in 2011, he moved to Monterey Bay to pursue a Degree in Marine Biology through Cal State University, Monterey Bay. Just at the end of his first year, he discovered the SLEWTHS project through a good friend and current staff member. He was brought into the SLEWTHS family in July 2012, and became a Senior Trainer in early 2016.

   
   
 
Originally from Valley Springs, CA, Jessica has had a passion for animals since before she could remember. Throughout high school Jessica was involved with Future Farmers of America (FFA), during which she was allowed the experience in raising chickens and lamb every year to show at the annual county fair. In 2010, Jessica moved to Monterey to pursue a Marine Science degree from Cal State Monterey Bay. Shortly after the start of her third year of college, Jessica discovered the SLEWTHS project. In November of 2012, Jessica joined the SLEWTHS project in hopes to further her knowledge of marine mammals and learn all of what it takes in caring for them. Jessica moved up to Assistant Trainer in December of 2013. She feels blessed for all the opportunities and knowledge she has already obtained while working with a group of such inspiring people and animals. Jessica is looking forward to her future involvement at SLEWTHS and is excited for the opportunities this project will bring her.
   
 
From the small town of Grass Valley, California, Melodie has always dreamed of working with marine mammals. After graduating with an A.S. degree in Natural Sciences from Sierra College, she transferred to CSU Monterey Bay in 2011, majoring in Biology. After hearing about the SLEWTHS project in 2012, she became part of the SLEWTHS family in December 2012 and has now obtained the position of Senior Trainer in December 2016. She loves every moment working in the lab and is excited about learning new things in animal behavior and husbandry.
   
 

Originally from Riverside, California Aubrianne always had a love of animal growing up with many pets. When she was five she fell in love with killer whales after watching Free Willy and seeing them at Sea World. Her interest in killer whales and pursuing a degree in marine biology brought her to California State University Monterey Bay. After hearing about SLEWTHS through a family friend she looked further into it and became a part of the SLEWTHS project in November 2012. Since joining the project she has gained invaluable knowledge and experiences. Aubrianne is so thankful for this wonderful opportunity that has been provided to her and looks forward to the many things still to learn.

 
 
From a small town in the Central Valley, Austin did not know where his future would lead him. He had many pets growing up and he was unaware of how this early foundation would grow into a passion to learn and work with animals. Austin found the SLEWTHS project and joined the team in July of 2013. In October of 2014 he moved into the Assistant Trainer position. Since joining the SLEWTHS project, he has seen how much this project has impacted his life and taught him so much. He is so excited to continue working with SLEWTHS and see where this knowledge and experience will take him.
 

Jana was raised in Santa Cruz, CA and developed a deep love of animals and the ocean at an early age. Participating in a dolphin trainer-for-a-day program in her early years helped her make the decision to pursue a career in the marine sciences and animal behavior fields.  Jana graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Marine Biology and is now working on gaining the experience that will help accomplish her goal of working in the animal world.  She happened to stumble upon the SLEWTHS project in June of 2014 when taking an animal training course taught by the director of the project.  After interning for a week, she knew that SLEWTHS was exactly where she needed to be.  She is honored to now be a part of the SLEWTHS family and is excited to create such positive, trusting relationships with these animals now and in the years to come.

   
 

Kerissa came from a military family originally stationed in Virginia, then settled in Tucson, Arizona when she was 7 years old. She grew up riding horses and was a competitive gymnast for 15 years. When in Virginia her family would spend every weekend on the water which is where her passion for the ocean and marine mammals brewed. Once in Arizona they took a family vacation to SeaWorld and Kerissa fell in love with the dolphin shows. She then put gymnastics and animals together and made the decision she wanted to train dolphins! After an injury that ended her gymnastics career and military entrance, she moved to Monterey Bay to obtain a degree in Marine Science.

In January 2015 she joined the SLEWTHS family and has now obtained the Assisatnt Trainer position. After graduation she would like to work for the Georgia Aquarium training their dolphins and eventually work towards a career with the United States Navy Marine Mammal program training either their dolphins or Sea Lions. She is very excited to see what the future has to bring for her here at Slewths!  
 

 
Bree has always had a passion for marine mammals. Although she grew up in the small Central Valley town of Turlock, California she spent her summers growing up in Morro Bay, California where her love for the ocean environment blossomed. In high school she spent two summers attending Sea World’s Career Camp where she got to interact with various types of animals in a professional animal care and training environment. She fell in love and decided to pursue a career working with marine mammals. In 2014, she moved to Santa Cruz to go to school for Marine Biology. After hearing about the project while on a local whale watching trip, Bree was fortunate enough to join the SLEWTHS family in December of 2015.
She moved up into the Senior Animal Care position in October of 2016. Bree is thankful to be a part of the project and excited for all the learning experiences to come!
 

 

Deneille grew up in the city of Temecula where her family lived on 2.5 acres. They had a lot of space so what more use of that space than to own horses and a lot of pets!  Her sister was the first to want to be an animal trainer, specifically dogs, and Deneille learned that she wanted to train animals too! She has wanted to train dolphins, since they are her favorite animal, but coming to SLEWTHS she has learned that having a variety of interests is important for not limiting herself.  Before she knew where she wanted to go to college, Deneille needed to know what she needed to do in order to be an animal trainer.  On a family trip to Sea World, she spoke with one of the dolphin trainers and said that everyone had a Psychology degree.She then decided that Cal State Monterey Bay was the college for her and graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychology. Not only did it have the major she needed, but it was right next to the ocean. There were a few people that she knew that went to CSUMB and also worked at SLEWTHS, but at the time it didn’t seem to be the appropriate time to apply.  She then started working in Pebble Beach as a trail guide working with horses and it gave her the experience with animals that she needed to apply for SLEWTHS.
She joined the SLEWTHS team in June of 2015 and has already gained so much experience, and enjoyed being able to use what she has learned so far in her own job. She is excited to continue on with her experiences and enjoys the opportunity working with sea lions.

 

 

 
 

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Updated December 2016