The start of any new experience is always very exciting, but also nerve-wracking. For the few weeks leading to my start at the Center I was so impatient – I was ready to arrive and begin learning! It also didn’t help that it was -30 degrees outside with nearly four feet of snow in northern New York!
I didn’t know what it was going to be like working at the Center … but I knew that it was going to be life-changing.
When I was younger, I helped volunteer for events and fundraisers with the Animal Welfare League. I remember bringing my Ball Python, Nanook, to events or schools to teach people about my pet. Little did I know, I would look back at these memories 15 years down the road and realize this was just the beginning of it all.
I graduated from SUNY Oswego (in New York) with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. Two days after I graduated, I began working with an organization called New York Sea Grant as an Aquatic Invasive Species Resource Educator. Throughout this past year at New York’s Sea Grant, I have learned so much about the Great Lakes and the effects we have on the ecosystems. Working around the Great Lakes and teaching the general public about invasive species has been an amazing experience for me. This opportunity has made me realize how much I enjoy sharing my knowledge with the world.
Nothing brings me greater happiness than teaching others about the very things that I am most passionate about. The best part is that I continue to learn new things each and every day while teaching others. I believe that the day you stop learning, is the first day you stop living.
Over the next two months at the Wildlife Center, I hope to learn much more about a subject that I did not know very much about: raptors. The idea of working with these majestic creatures to teach others is magnificent. I hope that by learning about these birds, their natural history, and how to handle them will help me become a better educator – all while opening the hearts and minds of those I meet.
The mission of the Wildlife Center is to teach people to care for and to care about wildlife and the environment. I have always tried to follow a similar mission. It is not our duty to destroy the very things that give us life.
The Wildlife Center is an amazing organization and can help you to apply same principles in your own life. I know that in my first week here I have already learned so many new things, not only about the patients and education ambassadors, but about myself as well.
I cannot wait to see what the next seven weeks at the Center will bring me, and I hope I have the opportunity to “meet” you through the moderated discussion, by attending programs, or attending tours.
Education Outreach Extern, Spring 2014