Name: Kyle Turner; Emily Burland
Class Year: Class of 2019; Class of 2018
Hometown: Pickerington, OH; Olmsted Falls, OH
Internship: Conservation and Science; Conservation and Education
Location: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Hey there! This is Kyle Turner and Emily Burland. Since we work so often together, we decided to combine our resources and write the blog together as well. It has been a busy end of June for us, and we cannot believe it is almost the half way point already. The zoo has treated us well and we can't imagine leaving in only a month!
We have been chipping away at our projects and are excited to see a few of them come to fruition. We have completed our conservation engagement kits list, with the next step being the zoo ordering the items online. We are ecstatic that we have helped create something that will be used by the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to promote Future For Wildlife and will be going out on grounds or even travelling to other facilities to secure a future for wildlife. We hope to begin data collection for the zoo's visitor survey some time next week. They want to determine visitors' attitudes and knowledge toward the zoo's conservation work. This means we will be out on grounds with iPads, asking random visitors to answer a few questions. A new task that was recently assigned to us is reviewing the preproposals for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Scott Neotropical Fund. This is giving us a look into how grant proposals are written and the review process for large institutions. Our biggest project of the summer is what is known to us as the millennial project (if you can think of a better name, please let us know!). The aim of this research is to gather an understanding of how zoos, and specifically their conservation work, are viewed by the millennial generation. The pilot study will be given out at Otterbein and then hopefully spread to other institutions if all goes well. We are still writing and working on getting it approved, but fingers crossed we will be able to give the survey out this coming semester, so check your email!
We are still attending the different sessions and events that occur around the zoo which are ongoing throughout the summer. Earlier this June, Emily and I stood outside the observation window in the Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine among a crowd of guests to watch an Andean bear procedure. It was impressive seeing the transparency the zoo offers to its guests, and the guests were enthralled with what was happening in front of them. We were able to attend a session on how the zoo run and manages their endocrinology lab, and it was amazing to see how much work the zoo does in-house with only one lab manager. Last week, we met with the assistant curator and curator of animal care. From them, we learned how they manage the animal collection and what it all entails to determine which animals they can bring into the zoo based on the individual animal and the resources the zoo can provide. The curator took us on a tour of the rainforest and the primates, cats, and aquatics building. Last Thursday, we met a tiger keeper in Wilderness Trek and learned about the Greater Cleveland chapter of AAZK. We enjoyed hearing everything they do to support conservation and also one another.
On June 21st, the longest day of the year, we assisted Emily Baber and the Cleveland Zoological Society with running the World Giraffe Day tables. We had a variety of activities for all guests to participate in. I had a great time with the trivia games, and it was fun getting the kids thinking about how awesome giraffes are and then teaching the adults about giraffe conservation. Also on the table we had the giraffe masks for the kids, a sign to take pictures with, a poster of a giraffe for guests to put a thumb print on, and at the end of the day, some lucky guest won a giant plush giraffe! It was a very successful day with a constant flow of guests to our tables, so it was a nice opportunity for guest engagement.