Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’

by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Volunteer Quiz

July 14th, 2014

Name these volunteers:

volunteer quiz 002

Yes, it is a back shot, so even the Keepers might have a hard time identifying the volunteers. I’ve only written about one of them before, so to be fair maybe you will only get one out of three correct (although I do have higher expectations for any Keepers reading this post). I took the picture initially to show of the great shirts we have for our committed department volunteers.

The front shot is below— don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see the faces of three of our wonderful volunteers just yet.

Thanks to these three and all our volunteers for helping us care for our critters especially during this hot summer weather.

 

 

 

Donald, Janine, and Amy taking a photo break

Donald, Janine, and Amy taking a photo break

Join the conversation:

  1. Looks like Donald just came in from the farmyard!

    Posted by Larry

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

QuickPic: Ingenuity

May 1st, 2013

Our handy office shelf broke, so we fixed it!

broken shelf

Animal keepers (and our volunteers!) can be pretty good at fixing things.
Sometimes more creatively than others.

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. It was one of the best things in the office while it was up! It brought a whole new natural and rustic feel to the room.. fitting in well next to the creepy doll, the stinky can, and the snowflake cutouts on the window. Haha..

    Posted by Colet

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

QuikPost: Just a little newspaper and flour…

December 12th, 2011

Throughout the year, the animal department has groups of people from different places that want to come volunteer their time with us for a few hours… kind of like community service. Often times these groups (usually anywhere from 6 to 20 people) are from various schools or colleges in the area. The group projects may consist of doing anything from mulching the farmyard to cleaning enrichment toys at the bear house. Our most recent group project was based around making enrichment items as opposed to cleaning them. We use paper mache balloons with some of our animals as a way to hide treats. After we put the treats in, the animals must roll the paper mache around or tear it open to the treat. This is our first time ever making paper mache traffic cones, so we’ll see how they turn out!

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

The thrills of working around construction….

September 19th, 2011

You may have seen the previous post that Karyn wrote about new flooring being installed on our support hall. Well, this week has been difficult for the keepers because everything is out of place and out of whack. However, even in light of the craziness that we are currently enduring, people are working through it like champs. In fact, we are trying to find amusement in the chaos wherever we can. The fact that we have to crawl through the small viewing windows of our snake cage exhibits just to gain access to an entire hall of animal exhibits is probably one of the most humorous (if you’re watching someone else crawl through) and annoying (if you’re the one doing the crawling) things that we are having to deal with. Here’s some pictures of us having some fun this morning as we work!

Our amazing volunteer, Annie, attempts to climb through the snake window first thing in the morning to get fresh water for one of our education critters.

Ding ding! Order up at the service window!

I decided to see if I could fit through the top window. Annie figured this was the perfect opportunity to get back at me for the photo I took of her!;)

"Hmmmmm... how should I go about this?"

 

At this point, I thought I might actually be stuck... but that would be way too embarrassing to ever live down with my co-workers, so I squeezed through.

It was THIS position that finally made me realize what a bad idea this was, and that I should have gone back instead of forward. Ouch!

Whew! The worst is over!

I decided to demonstrate another way to go through the windows on my way back out.

So far, so good...

OK, a bit hard on the knees and shins right here. I'm too old for this!

But while I'm here, I might as well get my exercise in for the day and do some push-ups. Hey, no gym tonight!

 

Join the conversation:

  1. We told you it was construction but really, we just wanted to try some new keeper enrichment. :-)

    Posted by leslie
  2. I love that all of us have our unique ways of getting through those windows. I like going through feet first. It reminds me of how all of the bears go up/down the cliff differently.

    Posted by sarah
  3. Crack me up Marilyn, believe it or not you aren’t the only person to try the top window, however Intern Matt was a bit more graceful than you :)

    Posted by kimberly

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Spotlight: Volunteer Karyn

June 25th, 2011

Karyn is a wonderful volunteer, although she prefers live in secret.

Karyn organizes our storage sheds

Karyn does so many different things to help us out.  She can do all of the typical volunteer tasks- cleaning in the Farmyard, taking care of the education animals, and preparing diets -and then some. We ( I guess the ’me’ part of ‘we’) often pull her off  regular volunteer tasks and have her step in to help out in so many different ways. She’s organized all our enrichment supplies, super cleaned and organized our hay barn in the farmyard, scrubbed out the bear moat, formulated vitamins for the aviary birds, written blog posts, and the list goes on and on.

Karyn, organizing enrichment items.

Her skill, enthusiasm, and commitment to the Museum is stellar. We even hired her for awhile when Kristen was pregnant and reduced her hours. She’s usually in volunteering on Monday and Friday mornings, and when she’s not “working” she comes by just to visit! 

Say hi if you see her around, or look for tweets from her- if you want to know more about this let us know in the comment section.

Karyn, with her grandaughter Ruby (and a baby degu)

Join the conversation:

  1. Sherry,
    I like all of the blogs from you, the animal keepers, the entomologists, Ranger Greg and also “Volunteer Karyn”….
    The picture of the chinchilla with the raisin is awesome and I’m pretty sure I have seen videos of the bears and farmyard animals taken by Karyn …..more, more, more!!! DJ

    Posted by DJ
  2. Karyn also keeps our home highly organized, including the zoo animal that is her husband!

    Posted by Mark Traphagen
  3. Volunteer Comment :

    Oh my!

    Posted by Karyn Traphagen
  4. Director Comment :

    Glad you like the Blog DJ.
    Nice to hear from you Mark!

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  5. Karyn is awesome! I always look forward to working with her on Fridays.:)

    Posted by Marilyn

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

QuikPost: leaning tower of pizza boxes

June 11th, 2011

I was shuffling through a bunch of pictures that Katy had taken and I came across these. The picture title was so clever I figured I’d use it as the title of this post!

We use empty pizza boxes as enrichment. Looks like we had a few too many stored up!

Wow Annie, that's brave!

And there they go!

Well, at least they didn't hit Annie.:)

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

Bathing a small car…

April 14th, 2011

Yes, that’s right… I said bathing a small car.  That’s because our 1,400 pound steer, Max, is almost big enough to be a small car (or at least it seems that way when you have 4 or 5 people scrubbing him down).  We give Max pretty regular baths during the warmer months of the year. He really seems to enjoy being bathed and pampered and it also serves as a fun thing for our volunteers to participate in, along with being a big hit for our visitors to watch! During one of our 80 degree days last month, Kent decided to bathe Max with some of our volunteers and interns.

Kent pours the baby shampoo onto Max (the steer) while Max (the volunteer) starts scrubbing.

Kent keeps watch while our volunteers and interns bathe our small car... I mean Max the steer... and visitors watch from the side. Max is making no fuss over this business of washing him!

Look at that lather!

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

Today in the hall

February 9th, 2011

The Animal Support Hall is always full of life.  Whether it’s a Sunday morning with one keeper and one volunteer inside or a Thursday right before lunch with eight keepers and five volunteers.  Today the hall was used for exercise.  Our opossums Sonny and Cher are a bit on the heavy side so we place their daily diet in various places around the hall and let them wander  in search of their goodies. 

Cher found her yummy breakfast

Here's Sonny - too cute!

This afternoon while doing snake enrichment, I was practicing using a snake hook with one of our corn snakes.  This is what he wanted to do instead.

Corn G, resting on the wall

Join the conversation:

  1. Eee, y’all! Hi! I just found y’all’s blog, and am cruising back entries, because that’s the kind of person I am. And I have a question!!!

    What all do you do for snake enrichment? I have a hognose, and I suspect she is terribly bored. However, she hates being picked up and hisses like a steam engine (as hoggies do!), continuing to hiss and run around her cage after being put down just in case I didn’t get the message. How can I give her some more snakey fun in her life? I put little tubes and stuff in her cage, but she doesn’t seem to use them…

    Posted by SK
  2. Keeper Comment :

    Hi there,
    Thanks so much for checking out our blog and reading past entries. We do enrichment for snakes three times a week right now. One day is handling for at least 5 minutes, another day is adding natural materials, such as leaves, river rocks, pinestraw, pinecones, twigs, non-animal scents, soil, moss, or hay. And the last day also has to do with their habitat but less natural materials such as t-shirt, fake plants, paper lunch bags, cardboard or pvc tubes, snake rattle (old medicine containers with a couple beans or small rocks inside), grass mats, ramps, shredded paper, mirrors, brush, or various sleeping logs.

    Each animal reacts differently to enrichment, but changing a snakes habitat has the greatest enrichment potential. We only add one of the above enrichment items at a time and we switch it up week to week to keep it novel. I hope this helps!

    Posted by Kimberly Lawson

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by , Volunteer
I like volunteering to work with the animals and the Keepers (both are quite exciting and entertaining). I speak several languages including chicken. In another life I teach physics, but mostly I just love to learn (anything!) and be outdoors. When not volunteering I like to watch the bears and photograph around Explore the Wild. Follow me on Twitter @ktraphagen

What’s for Dinner?

November 2nd, 2010

NOTE: I’m temporarily working part-time in the Animal Department! I love wearing my official purple shirt. You never know what volunteering at the Museum will lead to.

If you think it is hard to figure out what to have for dinner at your house, imagine all the various critters at the Museum who want to eat. Preparing food for all the animals on exhibit and behind-the-scenes is a major task for the keepers and volunteers every day. Kristen recently wrote about the wolves diet, so I’m following up on the food theme and giving you a peak at what goes on in the Animal Department kitchen. I hope you enjoy this photo journal of some of the food preparation tasks for our animals.

With 5 refrigerators and 5 large freezers, we label them so everyone remembers what's inside.

The produce fridge has fruits and vegetables. The pink crate is full of sweet potatoes (we use LOTS of sweet potatoes).

Keeper Kimberly is chopping up some food for the animals. Some animals get food finely diced, others get chunks. Often we vary how the food is cut up for variation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Join the conversation:

  1. Very nice behind the Animal Dept. doors photo journey…

    Posted by Mike
  2. Great post, Karyn!

    Posted by Erin Brown
  3. Director Comment :

    I love the chinchilla-eating-a-raisin photo, although not as cute as when Jill pretends to be a chinchilla eating a raisin:

    http://blogs.lifeandscience.org/keepers/2010/05/21/quikpost-your-daily-cute/

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  4. I agree. Jill’s photo is cuter! Any other photos of Keepers impersonating the animals?

    Posted by Karyn

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by , Volunteer
I like volunteering to work with the animals and the Keepers (both are quite exciting and entertaining). I speak several languages including chicken. In another life I teach physics, but mostly I just love to learn (anything!) and be outdoors. When not volunteering I like to watch the bears and photograph around Explore the Wild. Follow me on Twitter @ktraphagen

Volunteer Vox: The Scoop on Snake Poop

October 3rd, 2010

I was hoping to write my first Animal Department blog post about volunteering to help clean the bear pool. But, alas, the weather did not cooperate and the bear pool cleaning was postponed. But, I was already at the Museum so I decided to stay and help out with the off-exhibit animals. Maybe you didn’t know that there are many animals who live behind the scenes. These residents are usually used for education purposes (and sometimes they even get to go to birthday parties!)

Megatron

So, even though I speak fluent chicken with our Silkie chicken, love to hold the soft chinchillas (“Salt” and “Pepper”), and think our new opossum, Jessica, is just cute as beans, today I am going to tell you about my least favorite “inside” animal–Megatron. Megatron is our beautiful hissing Pine Snake (emphasis on the “hissing”). He’s a large snake (I think he’s our largest) and he’s been at the Museum for about 8 years.

Reptile Holding Room

Most of the animals around the Museum make quite a mess every day–sometimes many messes every day, like Max (the steer in the Farmyard), or Bugsy the (indoor) rabbit. Not so much the snakes. They don’t eat nearly as often, so you really have to look to see when they leave a “gift” of poop in their habitat. Usually you will smell it before you see it. But when they poop, they can really make a mess.

Megatron's feces (yuck... but oh, so helpful)

Read the rest of this entry »

Join the conversation:

  1. Woo hoo! Great to see you blogging here! Great post, gross pictures! One time (and by one I mean several) I changed Kristen’s desktop picture to a huge picture of Skeletor poop (the other big pine snake). It never gets old.

    Posted by Erin Brown
  2. Director Comment :

    Karyn, an animal department volunteer, will be making regular posts to the Blog. Look for many future posts from the volunteer perspective.
    THANKS KARYN!

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  3. This is so awesome! Thanks for contributing Karyn!

    Posted by Leslie

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