Beckie is the Education Coordinator for Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. She helped develop the Education Department in 2018, creating more opportunities to help visitors make personal connections to stop the abuse and neglect of the exotic pet trade and the entertainment industry. Beckie attended the University of Arkansas and received her B.S. in Education with a focus on Wildlife Interpretation. Working for the Arkansas State Parks as Park Interpreter, she was able to help connect visitors to the flora and fauna of our beautiful state. After working for the parks, she decided to return home. An opportunity arose to work for TCWR, where she had grown up visiting. Beckie is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. This internationally recognized organization focuses on education to help preserve and protect our natural and cultural heritage resources.
“It is through education that you can be the voice for wildlife everywhere to stop the abuse and neglect that they face. We have a role to play to stop the exotic pet trade and entertainment industry and protect wildlife in their native environments.”
Shayleen Richert became a Wildlife Interpreter at Turpentine in January of 2021 after graduating from Arkansas Tech University and majoring in Recreation and Parks Administration with an emphasis in Natural Resources. She has come from an interpretation background, previously working at Roaring River State Park in Cassville, MO. Ever since taking Interpretation classes at Tech and becoming a certified Interpretive Guide through Tech and the National Association of Interpretation, she knew that educating the public about wildlife and nature was something she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Shayleen has always had a love for big cats deep down since she was little and loves being able to teach people about the hardships they have to face on a daily basis through other facilities.
“I love being able to see that A-HA moment when talking to the public and seeing that what you just said has clicked with them, especially when it is as important as educating people on what these animals have gone through.”
Erin Durphy became a Wildlife Interpreter at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in May 2022. She graduated with a bachelor of science in Wildlife Conservation and Natural Resources from Missouri State in Springfield, MO. Erin has been certified with the National Association of Interpretation. Since childhood, Erin has had a love of nature and wildlife and hoped one day in future she will be able to achieve that love. Since being at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, she has achieved that love, being outside communicating with the public about wildlife and hardships they face in the wild.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” -Walt Disney
The Turpentine Education team welcomed Kristina Seals in January 2023 as a Wildlife Interpreter. She graduated from George Washington University with a Master of Arts in Teaching, specializing in Museum Education. She has also completed coursework towards an EdD in Out-of-School Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Kristina first fell in love with interpretation when working at the Paul Revere House in Boston during her undergraduate years, and she is thrilled to be going back into the interpretive field. Additionally, Kristina has considerable experience working in positive youth development, and one of her favorite projects was creating a humane education curriculum for a program where young people read to dogs at a city shelter.
“The reciprocity of learning that takes place is one of my favorite aspects of working in informal education; as an educator, I value the opportunity to learn something new from a visitor”
Karagan Ross became a Wildlife Interpreter at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in February 2023. She received a Master of Professional Science in Environmental Science from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and a Bachelor of Science in Zoo and Conservation Science from Otterbein University in Westerville, OH. Karagan is also certified as an Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. Karagan realized her passion for education after working at the Ohio Wildlife Center as a camp counselor, where she taught children about how to protect native Ohio wildlife. She is excited to help visitors create a lifelong connection to big cats, and shine a light on the hardships they’re facing.
“I am still learning.”- Michelangelo