I have gained an immense amount of knowledge here in only six short weeks of being an Outreach Extern. While the information about education ambassadors and handling is a large portion of this, I have also learned about the Center’s overall atmosphere …
There is a culture here that is hard to explain but undeniably present. The people are light-hearted, friendly, and passionate about the Center’s mission and the work they do on a daily basis. As part of the outreach team, I am working to translate this aura into words to convey the Center’s passion to the public.
By attending daily rounds, in addition to spending two full days shadowing the veterinary and rehabilitation teams, I have become more familiar with their work. Close partnering between departments is vital in the effort to care for our education ambassadors and update the public on patients and their situations. Every day I am blown away by the hard work and dedication of each staff member at the Center.
This tangible energy has inspired me to dive right in to the work being done here. So far, I have held Skype in the Classroom programs, led tours of the Center, worked with education reptiles and Grayson the Broad-winged Hawk, presented at the National Wildlife Federation Annual Meeting with Outreach Coordinator Alex and President Ed Clark, and attended and documented a Bald Eagle release on the Fourth of July (patient #18-0752).
Having six more weeks to look forward to, I am excited about leading open house tours and possibly an off-site program, writing new program content, and continuing to work with raptor handling. Being a local has its perks though; I am considering attending and possibly assisting with the Center’s Annual Gala and Benefit Auction in November. After discovering such a wonderful facility right here at home, I intend to continue my relationship with the Wildlife Center of Virginia long after my externship comes to a close in mid-August.
WCV Class of 2018