Interns in 2005:
José María “Chema” Barredo

Jose Barredo photo

José María “Chema” Barredo

José María “Chema” Barredo is a veterinarian from Veracruz, México. Chema worked as a volunteer with IBRRC and IFAW staff at the 2005 PEMEX Oil Spill along Coatzacoalcos’ river in Veracruz.

Prior to that he was doing a vet training residency at African Safari Zoo in Puebla developing activities which involved clinic, pathology, behavioral enrichment with a group of Chimpanzees and a female Asian Elephant. He always had an interest for wildlife and during college was part of a study group organizing and inviting other professionals in the field to share their experiences.

“I became an IBRRC intern in April of 2005, where I’ve improved my skills at handling, learned about treatments, rehabilitation, and protocols for aquatic and marine birds. Personally, to live in a different culture helped me see things with other perspective” Chema said.

Interns in 2005:
Janet Ekstrom

Janet Ekstrom photo

Janet Ekstrom

According to intern Janet Ekstrom her first word was bird and “I was bound to end up in wildlife rehabilitation sooner or later!” said Ekstrom.

In 2003 she completed an internship at Wildlife Rescue in Palo Alto, California. She continued as an animal care assistant in 2004 and served as the Weekend Animal Care Coordinator in 2005. She first heard about IBRRC while working at Wildlife Rescue. “It was that place way up near Fairfield where we'd send all of our shorebirds as soon as we could find a
volunteer to transport them,” said Ekstrom.

“I really enjoyed my internship here at IBRRC,” said Ekstrom “The staff and facility are beyond repute, and it is such a treat to have veterinarians on-site. It’s
amazing to be able to take part in an organization that has virtually no
limitations in its ability to provide high quality medical care for its
wildlife patients.”

Ekstrom is a native Californian and the proud owner of three wonderful pets: a cat, a rat and a rabbit. She attended U.C. Berkeley and graduated with honors in Human Biodynamics. Upon completion of her internship at IBRRC she plans to find a full-time job in wildlife rehabilitation.

Interns in 2005:
Kristen Rzemien

Kristen Rzemien photo

Kristen Rzemien

Kristen Rzemienis a recent graduate from the University of Vermont (UVM) majoring in Wildlife Biology. While attending UVM she used her internships as a way to explore the diversity of wildlife occupations.

She thoroughly enjoyed suburban wildlife rehabilitation in British Columbia and educating the public regarding black bear ecology in Minnesota. She applied for an internship at the International Bird Rescue Center in an effort to work with aquatic birds.

She looks forward to a career centered around wildlife education and rehabilitation.

Her personal interests include piano, fiddle, caring for numerous household pets (cats, five-foot iguana, and 27 ducks) and cooking.

Interns in 2005:
Katy Siquig

Photo of Katy Siquig

Katy Siquig

Katy Siquig is a pre-veterinarian student originally from Carmel Valley, California. She now lives in Oakland and also works at a small animal emergency clinic in San Francisco. Additionally, she volunteers at the Oakland Zoo with the large cats and giraffes.

Katy first heard about IBRRC when she volunteered at the Monterey County SPCA’s Wildlife Center in 2002 and 2003. She grew up in the Monterey area hiking in local parks, so her interest in native wildlife stemmed from many close encounters on trails near her home. Adding however, “I knew next to nothing about pelagic birds or shorebirds before working with pelicans and murres at the SPCA!”

After graduating from Princeton University in 1999 with a degree in Anthropology, Katy briefly considered pursuing a career in public health. To this end, she spent a summer in Ecuador working at a rural health clinic. She ultimately decided that she wanted to focus on animal health care because of her formative experiences with the natural world and her deep respect for the environment and all species.

Katy would like to work with pelagic birds in her future career, in large part because her volunteer experience at IBRRC has been so positive. After ten months as a volunteer, she entered the internship program in October 2005. Although she goes home exhausted after long days at the bird center, she is always ready to return for more the next day.

Learning from staff, other interns and volunteers, and the animal patients has made her experience at the center very fulfilling. “The quality of care at IBRRC is unparalleled, as is the depth of its staff’s experience and the dedication of all the people involved in the center’s work, says Katy. “I also enjoy the unique international perspective of the center that comes from IBRRC’s many overseas trips for oil spill response and its frequent international interns.”

Interns in 2005:
Alexandra Poncet

Alexandra Poncet photo

Alexandra Poncet

Alexandra Poncet is a fourth year veterinarian student from Nantes, France. Alexandra worked as a volunteer with IBRRC and IFAW staff at the 2002 Prestige Oil Spill along France/Spain coastline.

As part of her education, Alexandra works with wildlife at a wildlife care center which is part of her vet school. At this center she works with a large variety of wild animals including raptors, seabirds, passerines and mammals.

“I wanted to do this internship with bird rescue for a long time because IBBRC is known as the best for oil spill response in the world,” Alexandra said

“During my internship I have learned a lot about seabird protocols, treatment, handling, and management,” said Alexandra. “It is a very great experience for me. Moreover I have met a lot of people who are wonderful: great teachers, humble, patient, gifted, generous, likeable and appealing.”

For all these reasons she hopes that “I will be able to come back as soon as possible to spend more time here and learn more at IBRRC.”

Alexandra was born in a little village in eastern France (near Switzerland) called Arc sous Montenot (Doubs, 25).

Also see these past interns:

2004 interns

2003 interns

2002 interns

To learn more about the internship, please email

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