Sarah Kasack-Rixey, VG23

Sarah Kasack-Rixey, VG23



BA, Geography, University of Maine at Farmington, 2005

Why did you choose to pursue this degree, and why did you choose Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine to pursue this degree?

The emphasis on the human-animal relationship coupled with a focus on the interaction between policy and science really resonated with me.

My Geography degree was heavily focused on environmental planning and policy and prior to having my girls, I worked within state government conducting research to inform policy for endangered species habitat conservation. My work with NMLC really highlighted how much I wanted to include advocacy for the animals themselves into my conservation efforts. When I found MAPP, it felt like the perfect fit.

The required courses and various electives offered stood out to me as really unique and I appreciated how you could tailor your experience to your specific interests and goals. Currently, I’m interested in fostering more informed and harmonious relationships between humans and wild animals by way of research and public outreach. I love transforming scientific data into easy-to-understand, useable tools that connect communities with needed information for empowered decision making.

I’m an enormous fan of the marine mammal stranding network and the rescue, rehabilitation, release, scientific advancement, and public outreach that these efforts conjure.

I admire not just the call to action, but the acute response wild animal rescue and rehabilitation offers to each creature and, ultimately, to the ecosystem as a whole. I’ve seen these efforts connect communities with increased awareness and care for the creatures we share space with and that's something I want to be a part of. I know this will serve as the root of my focus here at MAPP and I’m excited to see where else it will take me.

What are your career goals after completing the program?

I’d love to find myself working for a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center in multiple capacities both in the care of the animals and in community outreach and education. I’d also love to continue to be involved in research that ultimately works to allow wild animals to live in greater peace with their human neighbors. There are a lot of amazing research projects out there that add so much depth to our understanding of animals and I’d love to be involved in all of them if I could. I’m looking forward to discovering more of what my next steps will be as I venture through the program.