Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Conservation Education at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research

Hi all! It’s hard to believe that Meaghan and I are already over halfway through our internships with the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. We have both been busy with our own research projects: hers focusing on the Palm Oil issue and mine focusing on the conservation of Vaquita, the smallest known species of porpoise and most endangered marine mammal in the world. The largest portion of this internship has allowed me to develop student activities to promote education and conservation efforts with the Ridge to Reef curriculum, more specifically for the Vaquita, which may be applied to a teacher workshop series that will take place in San Felipe, Mexico. In addition to this, I have had the opportunity to expand my knowledge on the complexity of changing human conservation behaviors, develop a teacher workshop based on inquiry learning, go behind the scenes of the new Tiger Trail exhibit (which is incredible), learn basic field research techniques, practice surveying guests, and meet some of the most welcoming, inspirational people I have ever been fortunate enough to work with.   
Here are a few pics from around the Zoo and Safari Park:
In the five short weeks since arriving in Escondido, CA I have had the opportunity to not only partake in an amazing internship, but also explore this incredibly diverse area. The beaches and hiking destinations have all been beautiful and I’ve been able to explore places such as the Del Mar Fair, Balboa Park (and museums), downtown San Diego, a Padres game, Birch Aquarium, and of course the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. I look forward to exploring more of the San Diego area and seeing what else I will be able to accomplish through this internship over the upcoming weeks.
Here are a few pics from different beaches, Balboa Park, the Del Mar fair, and Birch Aquarium:

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