SITKA - Debbie Reeder was named executive director of the Alaska Raptor Center by the not-for-profit's board of directors.
Reeder, the operations manager for the last five years, assumes responsibility for all aspects of the animal hospital and visitor education, including operations, animal care, membership, fundraising, and visitor programs.
"We are thrilled to more fully tap Debbie's skills, experience and enthusiasm to help the Center continue to grow and serve the wildlife and tourism industries," said Paula Scott, chair of the center's board of directors.
Reeder will now manage all aspects of the state's only full-service avian hospital and state-of-the-art bald eagle flight training facility that was completed in 2003.
"I'm excited by the opportunities to care for Alaska's wild birds and educate the public about these majestic animals and the habitats in which they live. I look forward to the Center achieving great things through a partnership of a dedicated staff, engaged board and involved membership," explained Reeder.
In the coming year the Center will treat between as many as 200 wild birds, releasing many back to the wild. In addition, nearly 40,000 people will visit the Center's 17-acre campus and see the more than 20 resident education birds in natural habitats, including bald and golden eagles, several species of owls, falcons, hawks and ravens.
"Our staff does tremendous work, providing a critical service to Alaska's wildlife as well as a thrill of a lifetime for visitors who get to be within a few feet of a wild bald eagle," said Reeder.
The Alaska Raptor Center's mission is to provide critical medical treatment for injured bald eagles, birds of prey and all wild birds that need help; to educate the public about species and habitat preservation; and to conduct avian research.