Friday, April 02, 2010
The Hogle Zoo
Like Amy said, I know people just want to see pictures of Colton, so I'll make this short and sweet. Yesterday, I was offered a seasonal job in the EdZoocation (education) department of Utah's Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake. It's perfect, since I'll be starting grad school in the Fall, because it ends when school starts. It's basically an interactive interpreter of zoo exhibits/animals and live-animal public presentation kind of job that allows me to teach the public and zoo visitors about conservation and animals all day long this spring/summer. I'll be doing several daily live shows in their amphitheater and public demonstrations with animals that people can touch and ask questions about. I also act as an interpreter in their forthcoming seasonal attraction "Nature's Nightmare's", which is in their Tropical Gardens building. It's where they used to have the famous white alligator, Komodo Dragon, Lemurs, and the butterflies on display. Perfect theme for me, because I'm used to removing people's prejudices and fears of animals fairly often.
My mom bought us journals when we were small, and there are pictures I drew when I was four or so, of me holding snakes and large lizards. So, even though it's like an internship, this job is sort of a childhood dream come true. In many ways, this job is more fulfilling for me than being a zookeeper, because I've been keeping and breeding animals for the last 24+ years, and have sort of gotten bored with it. But teaching the public about conservation and helping others learn how to make a real difference is something that I think about at night when I can't sleep. It excites me, because I feel as though it is my purpose. I mean, the love of snakes has to be a gift, right? There will be lots of interaction with kids, which will be fun -- they even do overnight camps for kids, and families can schedule campouts at the zoo. The zoo is one of the few places where the general public, no matter what age, gets REALLY excited about learning recent findings in science, and it'll be such a privilege to harness that excitement in people. I'm thinking this will be a fun, fulfilling summer job.
So anyway, there will be a lot of opportunities for our Utah friends to stop by the zoo and give me heck during one of my presentations throughout this spring and summer.
You can read more about my job as an Eco-Explorer *here*. (Amy really likes messing with me about the job title.)
Okay, I said I'd keep this short. Colton, sorry to take up your blog space, little buddy.