This summer I’ve had the great opportunity to be an Interpretive Media Intern at the Cincinnati Zoo. When I began in June I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I was excited. The summer experiences certainly haven’t lessened that excitement. I’ve been assisting Shasta Bray, the Interpretive Media Manager, in three main areas.
First, I’ve been writing blogs on various topics from how to tell our elephants apart to the new Africa exhibit. Writing about different experiences I’ve had at the Zoo as part of the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) has been fun, both because of the actual writing as well as sharing my experiences with others.
In addition to the blogs, I’ve been updating and creating animal pages for the Zoo website. This has been one of my favorite projects because I have learned so much about species I have never heard of or paid attention to before this summer. I’ve become much more comfortable with the Zoo and what can be found where in the exhibits. I don’t know where everything is yet, but I certainly feel more at ease than before.
Both of these projects have allowed me to incorporate one of my other passions – photography. I have been fortunate to be able to include some of my personal photos on the animal pages and blogs, which is very rewarding.
One last project has been helping to find out how visitors feel about the new interactives in Jungle Trails. We have completed observations and short interviews about each interactive as well as the overall opinion of the new installments. Everyone seems to really enjoy them! Read more about them here.
The greatest part of this internship has been all the great people I’ve met and had the chance to get to know. Everyone truly seems to love their job at the Zoo in all departments. Learning from Shasta has been such a great experience. Much of what you see throughout the Zoo has Shasta’s personal touch to make it look just right while also engaging and educating visitors. She works with a team from Graphics and Marketing to fine tune each piece. I rarely thought about all the signs and information that are presented throughout the Zoo and how these pieces were produced. This summer has given me a whole new perspective on them and why certain pieces are located where they are; it’s not by accident!
Overall, this internship has been an experience of a lifetime and the only negative part is that it has to end! There has never been a day I wasn’t excited to come to the Zoo. Each morning as I head to the Education Center, I pass through the P&G Discovery Forest, where I say hello to sweet Moe the sloth and beautiful Leroy the blue and gold macaw.
After all, who else gets to walk through a rainforest on their way to a meeting or hang out with orangutans on their breaks!