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Category — Exhibits

My Summer Interpretive Media Internship

Guest blogger:  Crissi Lanier, Interpretive Media Intern

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.

Say Hello to Moe every time I come for a meeting!

I say hello to Moe every time I come to the Education Center for a meeting!

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.

Morning walk through Jungle Trails

Morning walk through Jungle Trails

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!

Shasta Bray and I

Shasta Bray (left) and me (right)

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.

LeRoy in P&G Discovery Forest

Leroy in the P&G Discovery Forest

After all, who else gets to walk through a rainforest on their way to a meeting or hang out with orangutans on their breaks!

Hello Lana!

Hello Lana!

August 28, 2013   No Comments

A.D.O.P.T. In YOUR classroom!

Guest blogger:  Crissi Lanier, Interpretive Media Intern

A.D.O.P.T. in YOUR classroom!!

As the time of starting back to school approaches, I have a fun idea for your classroom that was a lot of fun in mine!  I’m the Assistant Coordinator and Toddler Teacher at the Children’s Center.  My friend/co-teacher and I work with children 18 months to 3 years old.  We’re always trying to come up with ways to bring the outside world in and encourage learning about any topic they are interested in.  We learned quickly that almost all of these kids love the Zoo.  Even if they don’t visit often, they are still excited to tell about their animal adventures, favorite sights and sounds and even how much they love the train ride!

This past year we decided as a classroom to A.D.O.P.T. Joseph the cougar. Each family was asked to donate $1, which went to the cost of the adoption.  We explained to the children during group time about how the money helps the Zoo care for the animals like feeding the cougars, as well as providing enrichment (e.g. toys) and medication when needed.  These are things that two-year-olds understand and they were excited to “help take care of Joseph”.  We also created the poster below that hung in the classroom with our adoption certificate, as well as pictures of Joseph for the kids to look at.

Joseph adoption poster in classroom

Joseph adoption poster in classroom

They were so excited to tell us when they had visited the Zoo over the weekend and if they saw Joseph or not.  It was a simple but ongoing lesson of caring for animals and having a feeling of responsibility towards this cat, and in turn broadening their view of the world. They would say it was “their Joseph” with great pride when they saw him at the Zoo.

Joseph the cougar

Joseph the cougar

So as this new school year approaches, I encourage you to incorporate A.D.O.P.T. in your classroom at any level from Pre-K to high school.  There are so many lessons that can be incorporated in to this process ranging from basics of size and touch, to more in-depth lessons such as adaptations and habitat loss.  It also encourages responsibility for the animals and a sense of pride of the Zoo and the animals that live there.  Most importantly, it helps the Cincinnati Zoo care for these animals and encourages the students and their families to visit when possible. It may even inspire students to become more actively engaged and to include their families in their animal stories and actions.

Telling daddy about Joseph

One of my students telling daddy about Joseph

This was a great part of our year last year and we plan on adopting another animal this fall!

To learn more about how to A.D.O.P.T. an animal,  click here.

 

August 7, 2013   3 Comments

Saving Tigers

Today is Global Tiger Day. What would the world be like without tigers? The Zoo partners with other zoos on a Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) so we never have to find out.  In addition to maintaining a healthy tiger population in zoos, the Tiger SSP supports field research and conservation of tigers in the wild through the Tiger Conservation Campaign.

Malayan Tiger (Photo: Crissi Lanier)

Malayan Tiger (Photo: Crissi Lanier)

As consumers, we all have the power to protect wildlife by using the Sustainable Shopper app to choose products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.  Palm oil is used in many of the foods and products we consume every day from frozen vegetables to shampoo. Oil palm plantations are spreading across Indonesia, which produces 85% of the world’s supply of palm oil, often to the detriment of its rainforests and wildlife. As consumers, we can choose to buy products made with sustainable palm oil as certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The Sustainable Shopper app connects you with more than 500 products manufactured by RSPO-certified companies.

To get the Sustainable Shopper app:

From your web-enabled phone, go to cincinnatizoo.org/sustainable-shopper OR scan this QR code with your preferred QR code reader.

 To use the Sustainable Shopper app:
  • Select “Go Shopping” from the main menu.
  • Select “Edible” or “Non-edible” from the main products menu.
  • Select the appropriate sub-category until you locate your product.

 

 

July 29, 2013   1 Comment