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Staff Spotlight: Samantha D'Oraseno

Samantha is an aquarist and penguin keeper who hails from Niagara Falls, N.Y. and has been with the Aquarium for six years.
Samantha is a graduate of Niagara Wheatfield High School. She has a degree in Animal Management from Niagara County Community College. While she was in school she interned at both the Buffalo Zoo and the Aquarium of Niagara. After graduating, she continued to volunteer at animal care facilities before being hired at the Aquarium of Niagara.
a person standing in front of a large rock

Get To Know Samantha

What inspired you to choose a career in this field?
I’ve always loved animals. I grew up going to zoos and aquariums and I always admired the connections that the keepers had with the animals. I knew I also wanted to experience that connection. 
Have you held any other positions/jobs at the Aquarium?
I started in the education department! I worked as an educator for about 5 and a half years before shifting to a zoological position. 
What is your favorite thing about your job?
My amazing coworkers! Both animal and human. 
What is something about your job that many people wouldn’t know/realize is part of it?
Its extremely active! We are on our feet and moving all day long. From scrubbing exhibits to scrubbing diet buckets; it’s a workout. 
What’s one thing you are most proud of accomplishing at the Aquarium?
I’m most proud of how much I have learned in my time here so far. I learn something everyday from my incredibly knowledgeable coworkers or from the animals under my care. 
Tell us about your life outside of the Aquarium.
I have a pet sun conure named Pablo. I have a few tattoos. One of my tattoos is of Pablo, another is of a horseshoe crab which is the first animal I ever worked with. I enjoy cooking, exercising and studying tarot cards. 
If you were an aquatic/marine animal, what would you be and why?
I’d like to be a Whale shark because they live in warm waters, let other fish hangout with them and they’re pretty laid back. 
a fish swimming under water