Brigette Valencia Zacharczenko, PhD
My fascination with insects is mostly my father’s fault. He wanted to be an entomologist, but chose a different career path. Always the naturalist, he endeavored to teach me as much as he could. From my father I learned how to wield a butterfly net, how to pin and spread butterflies and moths, and how to properly label and display them. Every summer day of my childhood was spent with my net in hand, chasing all manner of insects and reptiles.
I knew I wanted to be an entomologist as soon as I learned what the word meant. In third grade we had a career day, during which we had to dress up as what we wanted to be when we grew up. Most of my friends wore stethoscopes or fireman’s hats… I showed up wearing my favorite bug shirt, carrying my trusty butterfly net, and wearing a pin that said “Entomologist”.
This passion led to an undergraduate degree in Applied Zoology, and to a graduate program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Never content with one goal or project, I also dabble in the worlds of animal care, art, crafting, and powerlifting. I am married to a wonderful man who is supportive of my dreams.
Science Center Educator, Ecology
Talcott Mountain Science Center