Leanne White

Leanne White

Director of Education

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jacksonville, FL USA

Somebody took a chance on me and I’ll never forget that.


By Roadtrip Nation

Leanne White


My road in life has taken me all over.
I grew up in San Joaquin County, California.
I spent a lot of time in nature as a child and knew that I eventually wanted to go into a career that involved the outdoors.
My goal was to work at a marine mammal rehabilitation center but that was put on hold when my family moved to South Carolina.
I went into college studying biology but was swept up in the computer industry—I got a job as a project manager at a computer company and never ended up finishing my biology degree.
Even though my background was now in technology, I still had a strong desire to work outdoors with animals, so I started volunteering at the Greenville Zoo.
When the education curator position opened up, I decided to go for it.
I worked as the education curator at Greenville Zoo for 13 years before moving on to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where I currently work as director of education.
Keep following my journey


High School


Director of Education

I'm responsible for community education and volunteer engagement programming for the zoo.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Working with Others

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Studying zoology or biology can open doors more quickly if you want to work with animals. However, I got my foot in the door by following my interest and volunteering at a zoo. If working with animals is your passion, don't write it off just because your background is in something else. People think zoos only have zookeepers and veterinarians—that's not true! We have many different departments—IT, finance, education, nutrition, etc—so you're likely to find something that can fit your background.


The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"You shouldn't apply for that position. You already have a good job—just stay where you are."