Kate Jirik, M.S.
Kate Jirik serves San Diego Zoo Global as Library Research Specialist. In this role, she is responsible for researching, writing, and curating content for the San Diego Zoo Global Library’s Animal Fact Sheets. This unique collection of more than 120 fact sheets—each peer reviewed and based on scientific literature—is used by zoo and aquarium professionals, volunteers, scientists, students, writers, filmmakers, media, and other wildlife enthusiasts in the U.S. and internationally. Kate manages the research and editorial processes, frequently corresponding with leading experts in conservation science and wildlife care.
One of Kate’s current priorities is fulfilling tailored research requests for San Diego Zoo Global team members. Kate is also updating fact sheets to support San Diego Zoo Global’s conservation initiatives and prepare for the opening of the Sanford Children’s Zoo. She continues to help advance the Library’s engagement efforts by creating newsletter content, enhancing web technologies, sustaining responsive service, and cultivating partnerships.
Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in Creative Studies–Biology from University of California Santa Barbara and her master’s degree in Biology from California State University Long Beach, where she was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Research Fellow Award for her investigations of the spatial and reproductive ecology of stingrays. Kate’s penchant for fieldwork provided her with opportunities to study endangered species, such as the smalltooth sawfish, and endangered ecosystems, including coral reefs, coastal salt marshes, and mangroves. Before joining San Diego Zoo Global, Kate worked as a public educator and naturalist with Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. As a writer/editor at University of California San Diego, Kate helps scientists grow the visibility of their research by providing writing and communications guidance. She also serves as communications chair for UC San Diego’s Staff Sustainability Network and is a member of the San Diego Science Writers Association.