Category — News
Cat Canyon construction is coming along nicely. I got the chance to check out the site yesterday afternoon. It helps to be able to visualize where we will be able to place our interpretive elements, e.g. signs, interactives. We wrapped up the design and layout of the signage this week and will be sending that out to production very soon. Now the interpretive team will move on to tweaking some of the interactives planned for the tiger exhibit and planning out the audio elements. I also need to put together an interpretive guide for our staff and volunteers, which provides background information they need to be able to talk to visitors about the cats and the exhibit. Our Education Department is putting together the curriculum for programs and classes, including summer camp, that will incorporate the new exhibit, too. It’s all coming together and we’re getting very excited to be able to showcase tigers and snow leopards again by the end of June!
April 20, 2012 1 Comment
Guest blogger – Emily Gross, Zoo Academy student:
I have often been told that finding a job doing something you love is very difficult, especially in this economy. However, I refuse to spend my life not pursuing something I love. For this reason I chose to combine my two passions: animals and writing. This combination led to the idea of creating a Zoo Academy Newspaper.
Overall, the original goal was to simply have a senior capstone project. However, the school newspaper has somewhat turned in to my baby. I really enjoy finding interesting topics to write about for the students, and I love the idea of staying connected with former Zoo Academy students.
We, as students, often forget that a lot of people around the Zoo were once just students themselves. They have great stories to tell, and a lot of information to share. This is what gave me the idea for my Zoo Academy Then and Now piece. Although I didn’t get too many written replies from the busy keepers, I got to hear a lot of funny stories that I probably would have never heard before.
That is what I like most about this project, it forces me to delve deeply into some areas of the Zoo that I never would have paid any attention to before.
My first piece was a small newsletter, which was basically just an introduction done on Adobe InDesign. My second piece was actually the first edition of The ZA Today, the small school newspaper. This first edition featured stories written by Thane Maynard, students, one of my teachers, and myself. This came with a lot of help from various keepers around the Zoo as well.
I am now working on the second and “my” final edition of The ZA Today. I am hoping that one of the juniors from this year will take the challenge and continue my project in to next year. As for me, I am hoping to continue writing in college as well as pursuing field biology.
Read the ZA Today newsletter here. I hope you enjoy it!
March 22, 2012 No Comments
Exciting news! We recently received a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to re-interpret our Jungle Trails exhibit with a focus on family learning.
A recipient of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA) prestigious exhibit award in 1994, the current Jungle Trails exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the rainforests of Asia and Africa to witness just a sampling of the amazing wildlife that lives there with a focus on primates. The Jungle Trails exhibit appeals to visitors’ emotions and motivations through an innate connection we all have with our closest animal relatives, the primates.
Innovative for its time, the immersive Jungle Trails exhibit sets the rainforest stage with trails that wind through nearly two acres of jungle-type landscape, featuring detailed sculptures and murals, a wild soundtrack, and a variety of exotic plants and animals. Endangered primates such as orangutans, gibbons, and bonobos are highlights of the trail and can be viewed from both indoor and outdoor areas. We are one of less than a dozen zoos worldwide that exhibit and breed bonobos in participation with the Bonobo Species Survival Plan (SSP) managed by the AZA. We also participate in SSPs for orangutans and gibbons.
Through this project, we will plan, develop and design, implement, evaluate, and share fresh interpretive methods to encourage families to learn about the world by discussing new experiences, asking questions, and sharing memories. The project is designed to strengthen our ability to engage our primary audience—families—in new and deeper ways of learning about our non-human primate relatives.
The project will play out over the next two years as we research best practices, test prototypes, develop and design the final interpretive elements, and evaluate their effectiveness. Right now we are delving into the research on family learning and the principles behind creating family-friendly exhibits.
Check back for updates as the Jungle Trails project progresses!
November 2, 2011 5 Comments