Meet the Center

Meet the Center

Nora Wineland, Director

Dr. Nora Wineland, DVM, MS, DACVPM, serves as the director of the Center for Animal Welfare. She received her DVM from Michigan State University in 1984, and shortly thereafter, began her career in APHIS’ Veterinary Services program as a veterinary medical officer in Ohio. After 3 years in the field, Wineland joined APHIS’ Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, which explore and analyze animal health and related agricultural issues to facilitate informed decision making in government and industry. In 1993, she completed an MS degree in epidemiology at Colorado State University. From 1995 to 2008, Wineland served as the director of the National Animal Health Monitoring System program, which conducts national livestock and poultry health and management studies in the United States. In 2009, she coordinated the VS 2015 initiative, which guided APHIS’ Veterinary Services program in making changes to better meet animal health needs by the year 2015.

Catherine M. Cole, Training Specialist

Catherine Cole joined Animal Care in June of 2011. She plans, designs, coordinates, and evaluates training on a national basis for all Animal Care employees. She also advises on and coordinates education and outreach. Cole brings over 15 years of federal service that includes regulatory investigations as well as developing and presenting training to stakeholders, state, and local government, so they can maintain compliance with federal regulations. She is also an adjunct professor of: Composition, Advance Composition, Speech, and Organizational Communication. She has developed and evaluated curriculum for these disciplines. Cole has a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Systems from Truman State University and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Studies with an Emphasis in Applied Communication from Missouri State University.

Laurie Gage, Big Cat and Marine Mammal Specialist

Dr. Laurie Gage, DVM, DACZM, has been the big cat field specialist and marine mammal advisor for APHIS’ Animal Care program for almost 8 years. She also assists the National Marine Fisheries Service with their programs relating to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. She is a lecturer at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and also a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network. Before working for USDA, Gage was the director of veterinary services for Six Flags Marine World for 23 years and concurrently the director of veterinary services for The Marine Mammal Center in Marin, California, for 14 of those years. She also has been a consulting veterinarian for the Oregon Tiger Sanctuary, Safari World in Bangkok, Thailand, and for the Coyote Point Museum in San Mateo, California, as well as a staff veterinarian for the Los Angeles Zoo.

Vaughan Langman, Biophysicist

Dr. Vaughan Langman conducts research in the areas of biophysics (thermal comfort zones, insulation, acclimatization, and solar absorbance) and gas analysis (CO2, O2, CO, and NH3) for APHIS. He also conducts biophysics training for veterinary medical officers and Animal Care inspectors. He holds a Ph.D. in thermoregulation and the behavior of giraffe. Langman has served as a research fellow at Harvard University and as a professor at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Veterinary Medicine, at Wellesley College, and at Louisiana State University. He has also worked as a game warden in Kenya, East Africa, and been a trustee with the Kenya Wildlife Trust. Langman has conducted research on African and Indian elephants, giraffe, black rhinoceros, reindeer, wolves, coyotes, dogs, and killer whales. He is fluent in Swahili.

Gwendalyn Maginnis, Non-Human Primate Specialist

Dr. Gwendalyn Maginnis, DVM, received her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine in 1994 and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1996, both from the University of California (UC), Davis. While in veterinary school, Dr. Maginnis chose to study in the zoological medicine track and participated in internships at the Los Angeles and Woodland Park Zoos. After graduating, she received her Primate Residency Certificate from the California National Primate Research Center in 1998. Before joining the USDA-APHIS staff, Dr. Maginnis worked for 7 years supporting GLP toxicology work at WIL Research Laboratories, LLC. Prior to this, she spent 10 years in the Division of Animal Resources for the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). During her tenure at OHSU she served in different capacities including Chief of the Clinical Medicine Unit, Acting Head of the Division of Animal Resources, and as Attending Veterinarian.

Denise Sofranko, Elephant Specialist

Dr. Denise Sofranko graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. After receiving her DVM, she co-owned and managed a large animal veterinary practice in Manitoba, Canada. She started her career with APHIS in 1988 as a member of the Public Veterinary Practice Career program in Ohio and then worked for 4 years with APHIS Veterinary Services’ veterinary accreditation program. Before joining the APHIS Animal Care program in 1997, she took a position with the Governmental Relations Division for the American Veterinary Medical Association as a media specialist and congressional liaison. After joining Animal Care, she served as an inspector in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado and became one of Animal Care’s first field specialists.   

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