Zoological & Environmental Education Director
Alan Varsik came to Metro Parks Tacoma in February 2015 as Deputy Director at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park with 30 years of zoo, aquarium, and conservation experience. His experience includes keeper, curator, Director of Animal Programs and Conservation, and Chief Operating Officer roles at an array of organizations, including Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Santa Barbara Zoo, and Oklahoma City Zoo. He has been a university instructor and has a long history of conservation work, including with the California condor and Channel Island Fox.
Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental and systematic biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a master’s degree in conservation management from DePaul University in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’, AZA, Executive Leadership Development Program and a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Park and Recreation Association. He also serves as an accreditation inspector, on the Diversity Committee, and is a professional development instructor for the AZA.
While at Northwest Trek, he oversaw activities that included the celebration of Northwest Trek’s 40th anniversary and construction of the $1.9 million nature-inspired Kids’ Trek playground. Under his direction, Northwest Trek also set two attendance records and served more than a quarter-million visitors in 2016.