Posts Tagged ‘blog’

by , Keeper
I am most famous here in the animal department for "expanding" the barred owl exhibit, clogging the wolf pool, and splitting my pants. My other less notorious work, since 2003, includes keeping, purchasing our animal supplies, coordinating our volunteers, and managing our animal enrichment program.
Find me training the lemurs or in other various animal enclosures Monday through Friday, or at the grocery store on Wednesdays, when I shop for produce!

Hello from Philadelphia!

August 26th, 2010

I’m here in Philly for the National AAZK (American Association of Zoo Keepers) Conference and I presented my paper today!  The presentation was about our blog and I spoke to about 75 other keepers from around the US.  I didn’t trip, Powerpoint didn’t crash, and I avoided completely blanking out in the middle of the presentation, so I’m considering it a success!   Beck helped me immensely in putting the whole thing together and I’m very grateful for her efforts!

My audience let me take a picture of them at the end of the talk.

a podium view of my supportive audience

It was great letting other people know about our awesome blog, and hearing about the many other impressive things that keepers are doing. I’ve seen presentations on how a Denver Zoo hyena was trained to voluntarily hold still and allow a keeper to do a blood draw from its jugular, heard about the valiant efforts of Hogle Zoo keepers’ wildlife repsonse to a local oil spill,  and learned about a expansive database that a Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium keeper has created to manage the entire enrichment program at her zoo.  The AAZK and the fundraising efforts of our keepers have been a huge factor in the conservation of rhinos ( Bowling for Rhinos has donated 3.4 million dollars to rhino conservation efforts), and keepers have been invited to play a larger role in becoming the next generation to manage SSPs (Species Survival Plans) and PMPs (Population Management Plans) for everything from birds to hoofstock.

In the vendor room, Mazuri and Nebraska Brand diet companies gave out nutritional information about their diets, and the Snow Leopard Trust was selling hand made wool items (a livelihood for women in Central Asia so that the poaching of snow leopards by the herding communities they live in is no longer necessary for their survival).

We went to the Philadelphia Zoo on Wednesday and were able to see behind the scenes at many of the animal exhibits.  Although we don’t have tigers or naked mole rats at the Museum, I’m always able to glean some great information by taking a look at how other keepers do things, whether it’s about safety, organization, enrichment, etc.

It’s been a really interesting week, and although I’ve been nervous for my presentation through most of it, it’s been fun. The conference helps me remember that it’s the keepers that are the ones maintaining the highest levels of care for their animals and how important we are to wildlife conservation as well. I really appreciate getting the chance to be here, and I’ll be glad to get back to NC to share the inspiring stories (and the many conference pens I’ve collected) with the other Museum keepers!

Join the conversation:

  1. Those attendees look really happy–I hope it’s not because they’re glad the session is over. :-) I’m sure you rocked Kristen!

    Posted by Leslie
  2. Great story Kristen! When are you going to share the presentation with us?

    Posted by Debbie
  3. Web Geek Comment :

    Kristen – You rock! An audience full of smiles after a presentation is the best indication there is that you did a fantastic job. WTG

    Posted by Beck Tench
  4. Kristen, your presentation was great! I really liked your blogs and pictures. It is encouraging to see such dedication in reaching new zoo audiences. Thanks for the ideas and for sharing. And in case you were wondering I was smiling, although I’m like 8 rows back on the right side and barely in the picture. :-)
    -Nate
    Utah’s Hogle Zoo

    Posted by Nate Strong
  5. Keeper Comment :

    Hey Nate,
    Thanks for your kind words– glad you liked it. Keep checking in; we’d love to swap stories and ideas with other keepers!

    Posted by Kristen Pormann

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by , Keeper
I started volunteering at the museum when I was 13 (I'm 22, and they pay me now, which is nice). Favorite work activities include, but are not limited to: bathing our steer, talking about bears, playing guitar (sometimes for the animals) and riding my bike around grounds. And blogging, of course.
I work Tues-Sat and can be tweeched @ernbrn.

Makeover!

February 11th, 2010

So we’ve been at this blogging thing since October of 2007, and we decided that it’s time for a change in the way we look. Just think of it as reader enrichment.

Our new look will have a picture bar across the top just like the excellent blog of Ranger Greg Dodge. So go check out the bar and read up on his posts while you’re there. What we are trying to decide is what our categories should be. We’ve been brainstorming, and we’ve come up with two different sets of options and would really like the input of those who use it the most, you readers.

So here’s what we’ve got. We could do a “kind of posts we write” theme that would include picture buttons for:

  • Enrichment
  • People
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Health/Vet
  • Videos
  • Exhibits
  • Hilarity
  • Education

The other theme we thought of would be an “elements of being a keeper” that would have buttons like:

  • Cleaning
  • Diet
  • Enrichment
  • Conditioning
  • Maintenance
  • Blogging
  • Hilarity

Which ones seem most appealing to you? Which ones would you use the most to explore our blog? Can you think of another one that you would like to see? Please let us know!

Join the conversation:

  1. I really like how "Hilarity" is guaranteed to be included. I'm most interested in behind-the-scenes, enrichment, exhibits, and of course, hilarity. I've enjoyed the recent posts about Yona and Nimbus.

    Posted by Jessica
  2. Jessica,What's a blog without some hilarity? Thanks for your input!

    Posted by Erin Brown
  3. also, "enrichment" is a must, as are photos/videos. I like the first list better, as it seems consistent with how I think of the blog.

  4. I also like the first list best. And also glad to see that hilarity is represented either way.

    Posted by eb
  5. Other "grouping strategies" could include by animal for a pull down menu, an option of patrons interaction with the animals around the museum to promote people to come in as much as follow the blog (although that sounds like the exhibits area), and education facts on specific animals such as their names, but also diet, habits, lifespan, hair/fur/skin type, etc. I think hilarity and behind the scenes do seem to be the most capable of driving unique (new) traffic. Can beck run a program that tracks where people go on the blog for a period of time and then expand on those areas as bases?

    Posted by Clay

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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

QuikPost: Blog meeting

August 28th, 2009

Some of the great minds from the Animal Dept. blog met yesterday to
ponder future strategies. I resolved to make more short posts like
this one and am hereby coining the phrase “QuikPost”.

Join the conversation:

  1. Posted using iPhone and blogger email submission. Only problem is you have to go back and add tags. Currently exploring other options.

    Posted by Larry
  2. My misappropriation of Marilyn's chair has been forever immortalized.

    Posted by Beck
  3. Wow, I look really bored in that picture. I actually had an eyelash in my eye for almost the entire meeting, that was finally worked out right as we were ajourning.And Beck, it's already immortalized in Marilyn's brain. Don't worry.

    Posted by Erin Brown

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