Executive Director, Dr. Jordan Schaul – Biography
Dr. Schaul is a career captive wildlife management professional and a domestic and exotic animal trainer. With academic training in field ecology, veterinary science, animal behavior and welfare, he is particulalry interested in the care of captive carnivores and conserving their free-ranging counterparts in nature.
Schaul pursued a a dual DVM/PhD degree at The Ohio State University, which is home to the largest and most comprehensive allied health institute in the nation.
For his doctorate, he studied ecological aspects of the three wild bear species in Alaska and examined animal welfare concerns of all eight species of bears cared for in zoological parks around the world.
Following completion of his undergraduate degree in biological psychology at Skidmore College, he pursued a Master’s degree in zoology and attended a PhD program in organismal biology, before transferring to Ohio State University. He also has pursued advanced certification in animal training.
Schaul has progressive experience as an animal keeper/trainer and curator in zoos and sanctuaries, which includes a curatorship at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. In addition, he served as director of operations of a zoological park in California.
A former research affiliate at two zoos, Schaul is very familiar with zoo and aquarium-based conservation and welfare research programs and also held two academic appointments during his tenure as a zoo administrator. These include an affiliate professorship in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, and an appointment as a nonresident research affiliate in the Department of Biology and Wildlife at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
Schaul has also served on boards of three other wildlife conservation organizations, which conduct conservation initiatives for a range of endangered species. Their work includes safeguarding elephants in Southern Africa (Zambia), monitoring amphibian decline in Southeast Asia (Vietnam), managing carnivore-human conflict in North America (Alaska), and surveying reptile diversity and population densities in South/Central America (Ecuador and Mexico). In general, Dr. Schaul helped these non-profits develop programs to safeguard imperiled species primarily through mitigating human-wildlife conflict and developing capacity building initiatives for local people.
Dr. Schaul has conducted field conservation studies on three continents, which have examined the behavior and population ecology of free-ranging terrestrial and marine carnivores. He also has studied wild fish, bird and herpetile populations to examine the health of these indicator species.
Schaul is a consulting conservation biologist for Western Wildlife Outreach, a non-profit, which contracts with state and federal wildlife agencies to address the human-dimensions of human-wildlife conflict. The Washington State-based organization focuses primarly on bear, wolf and cougar issues in the Pacific Northwest.
Schaul is also a natural historian, animal welfarist and nature writer, having contributed regularly to publications as diverse as National Geographic, Mongabay, Modern Cat Magazine, The Dodo and other popular online publications such as Huffington Post. He has published in peer review journals and was editor and remains a regular contributor to the trade publication International Bear News, which caters to a readership of academic and agency bear biologists and managers.
Schaul served as a reviewer for herpetological journals and was the assistant to the editor of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, with whom he coauthored an academic book chapter on pathogens of select avian species. His popular articles have been recirculated by Scientific American and other popular science venues.
Dr. Schaul has worked at seven accredited and unaccredited captive wildlife facilities, including zoos, rescue centers, sanctuaries and live animal care departments of natural history museums.
His work includes service to conservation research divisions for member zoo and aquarium facilities of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. (The AZA is the largest accrediting organization for zoological parks in North America. The AZA monitors, regulates activities, guides and standardizes practices for member institutions along with the Zoological Association of America. These entities work in conjunction with government agencies to implement animal welfare programs in zoos and aquariums.)
Specifically, Dr. Schaul has served on the council of the International Association for Bear Research and Management, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Bear Specialist Group (IUCN-SSC-BSG), as a member of its coordinating committee, and currently serves as a member of the IUCN Conservation Education Commission. He also serves as an advisor to the AZA Bear Taxon Advisory Group.
Schaul brings a unique perspective having served as a curator at both accredited and unaccredited facilities in the United States. Internationally, he consulted Wildlife SOS, which manages 10 wildlife sanctuaries in South Asia, as their first Westerner in residence. While consulting Wildlife SOS he was awarded a grant from San Diego Zoo Global to track and monitor activities of the first translocated sloth bear as part of human-bear conflict study in India. He also worked on leopard and elephant issues for the South Asian rescue organization.
He has also consulted the Wildlife Way Station, a Los Angeles-based sanctuary and recently an AZA zoo for their upcoming reaccreditation.
While at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, he worked in conjunction with the USFWS and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in a multi-national effort to reintroduce wood bison back to the United States after a 100-year absence. Wood bison, a subspecies of bison, are the largest mammals in the Western Hemisphere.
Schaul taught a course in zoo animal behavior and management to graduate students at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and taught and supervised preventive medicine rotations at the Columbus Zoo for The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He also taught zoonotic disease prevention courses to nonveterinary professional health students at The Ohio State University’s, School of Health and Rehabilitation, the largest allied health institute in the world.
In California, he lectures to veterinary students at the new College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences.
Note: ZooNation is seeking to expand the board and develop advisory committees. If you are interested in non-profit philanthropy, event fundraising, marketing, or feel you can contribute to the advancement of this young organization in any particular way, please email Dr. Schaul, a Los Angeles resident (email@example.com). Thank you!
More on Dr. Jordan Schaul
Select editorial news articles on zoos & aquariums (click on images):
Select radio interviews on zoos and aquariums:
Television media per his IMDB page:
Schaul was featured in several episodes and hosted two zoo-based television programs (KAZOO -ABC-Affiliate, Cleveland, OH) in the 1990’s, and more recently played himself as an animal trainer in a BBC documentary and has trained wildlife for a feature and other documentary films.
Select biographies online (Please click on images to enlarge):