New wolf curator hired at International Wolf Center

Contact: Chad Richardson
Phone: 763-233-7138

New wolf curator hired at International Wolf Center

Center’s longtime curator to remain on staff to assist with the transition


A new wolf curator in training has joined the staff at the International Wolf Center. The hire was announced by the Center’s current Wolf Curator, Lori Schmidt. 

Giselle Narvaez Rivera began work at the Center on Jan. 23. 

Schmidt will remain on staff, full-time, throughout the year to help with the transition and training period.

While this role is new for Narvaez Rivera, she is not new at the Center.

Schmidt and Narvaez Rivera first met in 2014 when Narvaez Rivera was a wolf ethology student at the Center. 

“While graduate school opportunities led her down a different path, her passion for wolves and the Center’s educational mission remained strong,” Schmidt said.  “In the short time she has been employed, we already have some positive greetings from the wolves through the fence. The process of integrating into the pack and gaining the wolves’ trust will take several months.”

From 2013-2019, Narvaez Rivera was a research assistant for the Monkey Bridge Project, conducting, analyzing and interpreting primate behavior. She was also an animal caretaker in 2013 and 2015 at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica, where she gained diverse, hands-on experience in animal care.  Narvaez Rivera has extensive teaching experience creating curricular content, advising and mentoring undergraduate students and fostering students’ commitment to lifelong learning.

Narvaez Rivera earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Ecology in 2015 and her Masters of Arts in Biological Anthropology in 2017 from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Her Master’s thesis involved assessing conflict resolution between residents in Gandoca, Costa Rica, and three neotropical primates. 

Among many other awards, she is the recipient of the 2019 Andrews Fellowship and the Environmental Research Award from Purdue University, where she was pursuing her PhD in Anthropology.  She is fluent in English and Spanish and has a strong understanding of cultural diversity.


The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future. For more information about the Center, visit