Brandi Gibson, who worked two-plus years for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, has been hired to lead the San Angelo Nature Center, effective Jan. 4.

Courtesy Nature Center

As the recreation coordinator responsible for the Nature Center, Gibson will supervise and coordinate the center’s activities, programs, staff and the care of the animals.

The San Angelo Nature Center, 7409 Knickerbocker Road, is a collection of animals, along with related exhibits and information, that are native to the Southwest. Among the animals are bobcats, skunks, a porcupine, tarantulas, lizards, snakes and an alligator.

Gibson had served as the museum program coordinator for the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas, since June 2013. Her responsibilities included developing interpretive programs related to native flora and fauna; leading arts and crafts activities, and bird and tree identification hikes; caring for the center’s reptiles, fish, amphibians and mammals; maintaining native plant gardens and managing volunteers.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology and management from Arkansas State University earlier this year. As an undergraduate, Gibson served as a biology research associate and volunteered with several wildlife research studies.

“My education and experience align perfectly with this position,” Gibson said. “I can’t wait to get started – learning more about the Nature Center and its animals, and creating programming that will interest and excite the community, particularly children.”

The Nature Center is one of the programs administered by the City’s Recreation Division. Gibson replaces Andrew Garcia.

“The Nature Center is such a jewel,” Recreation Manager Brent Casey said. “But too few people know about it. We’re convinced Brandi will not only build upon the programming there, but will help raise the center’s profile so more people will come experience the fun and learning it has to offer.”

The Nature Center will host a New Year’s Eve slumber party for children ages 5-12 from 8 p.m. Dec. 31 to 8 a.m. Jan. 1. The youngsters will play games, make crafts, watch animal-themed movies, and interact with and learn about the Nature Center animals. Participants should bring a sleeping bag, pillow, pajamas and any other sleepover supplies. Two snacks and a light breakfast will be provided.

The cost is $25 for Nature Center members and $35 for non-members. All fees must be paid by Dec. 29. Registration is from noon-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Nature Center. For more information, visit the Nature Center or call 325-942-0121.