YOU’RE INVITED! COME ADVENTURE WITH US
AS WE EXPLORE WILD FLORIDA.
Lorien feeding Ivan the giraffe (18 feet tall!) at San Diego Zoo’s Safari park on one of her photo caravan tours.
Master’s in Experimental Psychology:
emphasis: primate & animal behavior
Animal Science Educator & Caregiver
Florida Master Naturalist
Nature & Travel Blogger
My love for nature and wildlife started in my own backyard in San Diego, California and visiting my grandparents in the deserts and canyons of Tucson and Sedona, Arizona. Many days were spent hiking the canyon trails near my home and observing wildlife. I loved taking pictures and wanted to work for National Geographic when I grew up. As a college student, I was fascinated by psychology and animal behavior. During my Master’s program at Central Washington University, I had the unique and incredible opportunity to help care for a family of five chimpanzees at the Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute; Washoe, Loulis, Moja, Tatu & Dar, who learned ASL as part of an ape language research project in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was a life-altering experience to be able to communicate in sign language with another species and to learn from them, care for them, and love them. I treasure the time I had with this amazing family of chimpanzees, and remember Washoe, Moja, and Dar with love. Tatu and Loulis now reside at Fauna Foundation in Canada.
Chimpanzees in the wild
Chimpanzees in the wild and captivity use natural gestures to communicate, which makes them well-suited to learn a gestural language used by humans, such as American Sign Language (ASL). Language studies with apes have given us a window into their intellect, ability to reason, plan for the future, problem-solve, and communicate emotions.