Zoo & Aquarium News

Karen Povey named Education Curator at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium



Kris Sherman, 253-404-3800; 253-226-6718 or kris.sherman@pdza.org

Whitney DalBalcon, 253-404-3637 or whitney.dalbalcon@pdza.org

TACOMA, Wash. - Karen Povey, a 17-year employee at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium who helped pioneer educational live-animal presentations at Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, is the zoo’s new Education Curator.

Povey also is a key member of the zoo team that collaborates with the Tacoma Public Schools’ Science and Math Institute, which conducts classes on zoo grounds and in Point Defiance Park. She teaches classes for the school and works with other instructors to incorporate zoo themes into their curriculum.

She most recently was Associate Curator in the zoo’s education department and succeeds John Garner, who retired, in the Education Curator role.

In announcing her appointment, zoo Deputy Director John Houck told staff members, “Karen has established an impressive resume in the field of conservation education during her 17 years at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.”

In addition to her work in development of the educational programs at Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, Povey is education adviser to the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan. ®

In her off-duty hours, she co-founded the not-for-profit Clouded Leopard Project, which has raised money for cat conservation and research in Southeast Asia. The project also helps educate school-age children in Borneo, Thailand and Sumatra about clouded leopards and other wild cats and the threats that face them in the wild.

Povey is passionate about educating zoo visitors, students, and her community about wildlife conservation issues.

“I’m honored to have spent my career collaborating with a network of dedicated professionals that share a common passion and commitment to advancing conservation around the world. It’s incredibly rewarding to spend each day engaging people with nature and promoting conservation action that is so urgently needed to protect our world’s wildlife.

As Education Curator, she has overall responsibility for the department and staff that present all of the zoo’s interpretive and education programs and takes the lead in conservation messaging.




Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Northwest’s only combined zoo and aquarium, promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s resources through education, conservation, research and recreational opportunities. The zoo, a division of Metro Parks Tacoma, is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA).


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