Hello, I’m Dr. Jeffrey Nelson. I’m a Veterinary Medical Officer with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). I work in Ames, Iowa at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).
Being a veterinarian runs in my family – my father is a veterinarian for USDA as well. I heard his stories about the challenges of regulatory medicine and it sounded like a unique opportunity. My goal in vet school was to end up working in regulatory medicine myself. Read more »
Hello, my name is Dr. Pauline Nol. I’m a veterinary epidemiologist for USDA APHIS. As a veterinarian and a researcher, I’ve worked in the wildlife health field since 1999, starting my career at the United States Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis.
I joined APHIS’s Wildlife/Livestock Disease Investigations Team in 2003. Our job is to learn more about diseases that affect both livestock and wildlife populations, and to use this knowledge to provide guidance to our partners and other agencies that manage wildlife populations. We’re also highly involved in using science to help find solutions for disease problems that occur when livestock and wildlife come together. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Bill Huls, Facilities Manager with USDA APHIS’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). I have been with APHIS since 2002. The CVB regulates the industry that manufacturers veterinary biological products including animal vaccines and diagnostic test kits. I communicate with firms on a daily basis to help ensure they are maintaining compliance with federal regulations. This includes managing documents and items that relate to those firms – things like policies and procedures used by the manufacturer to prepare their products, procedures for who enters and exits the facility, the organization and arrangement of the facilities they make their product in, etc. I also conduct inspections of facilities that manufacture biological products. The work performed by the CVB helps ensure both animal and human health is safeguarded.
I decided to become a veterinarian when I was 18 after spending time with a veterinary practitioner in my hometown. Following completion of veterinary school I joined a small animal practice. Eventually, I bought my own practice. My practice years allowed me to have some pretty cool and challenging experiences. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Barry Pittman, an Area Emergency Coordinator for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). I cover the states of Kansas and Missouri, where I do liaison work with local, state and other federal representatives to help ensure we’re prepared to respond when disasters or outbreaks strike. Some areas of my expertise are: developing animal response plans, providing training, building a veterinary reserve corps to response to disasters (like the Joplin, MO tornado), conducting vulnerability assessments, participating in exercises, and responding to incidents.
Becoming a veterinarian was something I decided I wanted to do at age twelve. I loved our pediatrician (he made house calls) and at first I wanted to be a doctor… but the vet in town was much more laid back. After time in the Air Force and Army, I went to vet school to fulfill my dream. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Beth Lautner, Director of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. We’re the animal health reference and confirmatory lab for USDA. We work mainly with livestock and poultry health, but also deal more and more with companion animal issues. It is exciting to be on the front lines of what’s going on with regards to animal health.
I grew up on a livestock farm and had many dogs and cats. I always enjoyed working and interacting with animals and admired the veterinarians I met. From the time I was twelve, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. After vet school, I practiced for 12 years in a mixed animal (livestock and dogs/cats) practice. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot of different aspects of veterinary medicine. Read more »
Hello, my name is Dr. Chrislyn Wood Nicholson and I’m a Poultry Specialist with USDA’s Animal Plant Healthy Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS). I’ve worked for APHIS since 2004 as a veterinarian, but my relationship with this agency began even earlier. As a student, I was a recipient of APHIS’ Saul T. Wilson Jr. scholarship for students interested in veterinary medicine, which helped me get through school.
Why did I become a vet? I have always loved animals and science when I was growing up and a veterinary career seemed like a good way to combine my interests. I now get to help both animals and people every day. Read more »