Paula Noonan, a biologist with extensive animal care experience in field and captive settings, has been appointed lead Animal Room caretaker for Unity College’s distinctive Captive Wildlife Care and Education program.

In her most recent position, Noonan served as seasonal field technician on the small-mammal team for NEON, Inc., of Fitchburg, Mass., a national environmental observatory, conducting research on mice, voles, shrews, and chipmunks for disease and diversity analysis.

Noonan recently served as a volunteer at the Tufts University Wildlife Clinic in Grafton, Mass., participating in the care of mammals (bear, coyote, bobcat, porcupine), birds (raptors, gamebirds, seabirds, songbirds), and reptiles (turtles). Previous experience includes work for National Audubon Society’s Project Puffin, helping conduct productivity and feeding studies of terns and puffins by observing, recording, and inputting data. Noonan also was a field intern at the University of Massachusetts, capturing larval salamanders for a landscape genetics study; and a veterinary technician for a feline practice in Northampton, Mass., assisting with examinations, bloodwork and other laboratory analysis and conducting critical care.

“While my experience has been focused on mammals, I am interested in — and care about the well-being of — all animals,” she said. A member of the American Society of Mammalogists, Noonan holds a Master of Science degree in biology from Smith College, a Bachelor of Science in animal science from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Smith College.

“Paula knows how to follow detailed animal care protocols, is capable of creative problem solving and has excellent observational and record-keeping skills,” said Associate Professor of Captive Wildlife Care and Education Dr. Cheryl Frederick, who manages Unity College’s Animal Room.

The Animal Room provides Unity College students hands-on opportunities to engage in all aspects of animal care, helping them pursue meaningful careers emphasizing caretaking, education, advocacy, veterinary work and wildlife biology, to name a few.