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Do Aquarium Visitors have a Preference towards Exhibit Type?

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As the public becomes increasingly aware of the morality of wildlife institutions like zoos and aquariums, these places are now having to face possible negativity and lack of support from their communities. In light of this, these institutions are now

As the public becomes increasingly aware of the morality of wildlife institutions like zoos and aquariums, these places are now having to face possible negativity and lack of support from their communities. In light of this, these institutions are now focusing their goals and efforts towards conservation education and outreach programs in order to continue contributing to biodiversity conservation. Research has proven that wildlife institutions like zoos and aquariums are effective ways to teach the community about wildlife and conservation. To measure how effective aquariums are at educating their patrons on conservation, a short survey was administered to 100 patrons of the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. The object of the survey was to assess which type of conservation messaging was preferred by the general public and if patrons of the aquarium were likely to engage in pro-conservation behaviors after their visit. It was found that the majority of respondents preferred interactive exhibits as their choice to learn about conservation and wildlife. In addition, almost all respondents agreed that they would continue practicing behaviors that supported pro-conservation actions after their visit to the aquarium. My results also showed that patrons of the aquarium were well educated about plastic pollution and the rehabilitation that OdySea accomplishes for the sea turtles due to their overexpression of mentioning plastic in their open-ended questions. My findings indicate that this aquarium is succeeding in promoting conservation and wildlife education as well as supporting cultivation within their patrons that will benefit the future health of this planet.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Addressing Childhood Trauma in the Classroom

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Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of

Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of maltreated children, the one sure sanctuary is school. However, this idea requires teachers to be actively involved in identifying and caring for the children who need it most. Traumatic childhood experiences leave lasting scars on its victims, so it is helpful if teachers learn how to identify and support children who have lived through them. It is unfortunate that teachers will most likely encounter children throughout their career who have experienced horrendous things, but it is a reality. With this being said, teachers need to develop an understanding of what traumatized children live with, and learn how to address these issues with skilled sensitivity. Schools are not just a place where children learn how to read and write; they build the foundation for a successful life. This project was designed to provide teachers with a necessary resource for helping children who have suffered traumatic experiences. The methodology of this project began with interviews with organizations specializing in working with traumatized children such as Arizonans for Children, Free Arts for Abused Children, The Sojourner Center, and UMOM. The next step was a review of the current literature on the subject of childhood trauma. The findings have all been compiled into one, convenient document for teacher use and distribution. Upon completion of this document, an interactive video presentation will be made available through an online education website, so that distribution will be made simpler. Hopefully, teachers will share the information with people in their networks and create a chain reaction. The goal is to make it available to as many teachers as possible, so that more children will receive the support they need.

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Date Created
2016-05

Educational Workshops to Bring Awareness of Animal Related Careers in the Framework of Animal Welfare and Conservation

Description

American youth are not well exposed to animal- and nature-related careers. This is especially important to consider due to the recent push to be more environmentally conscious. In addition, youth are spending less time outside and more time in front

American youth are not well exposed to animal- and nature-related careers. This is especially important to consider due to the recent push to be more environmentally conscious. In addition, youth are spending less time outside and more time in front of screens. This is driving down biophilia strength. The combination of a weaker connection with nature and more screen time has been connected to a new condition named Nature-Deficit Disorder. In order to expose youth to animal- and nature-related careers while attempting to combat the growing presence of Nature-Deficit Disorder, a three day teaching program named Wild Careers was created. This program was presented to teens in December 2015 through a partnership with the education department of Arizona Animal Welfare League. The curriculum was centered on highlighting relevant careers and background information. Topics such as animal welfare and conservation were taught as cornerstones during the program due to their encompassing importance to the career fields in question. It was felt to be important to inform participants about the context of these fields through specially planned activities and guest speakers. Participants were challenged to conduct online research, think critically, and get hands-on during this program. Wild Careers also exposed the participants to animals and the relevant species management stories. The surveys given before and after the presentation of the created curriculum provided evidence that supported an increased understanding of careers and enjoyment of participants. I propose that other non-formal teaching environments should be created that target exposing youth to animals, nature, and related careers.

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Date Created
2016-05

Animation: Appeal and Empathy

Description

The purpose of this project was prove that animated characters have a unique appeal to the empathy of viewers, and to then create assets that could be used in an effective way to spread awareness about endangered species. I sought

The purpose of this project was prove that animated characters have a unique appeal to the empathy of viewers, and to then create assets that could be used in an effective way to spread awareness about endangered species. I sought to explore in what ways animation connects to individuals, and how those connections can be used to create empathy towards endangered animal species. I created two surveys as a way of measuring the connections between participants and the elements of two videos about wildlife conservation; one animated and one live-action. After surveying over 130 people, I found that the video with animated animal characters evoked strong emotions from 82.5% of participants. This, combined with participant interest in other elements such as color and animated style, prompted me to create two animal characters that could be used for educational animated short films. I created character designs for a Galapagos penguin and a black-horned rhinoceros, 3D modeled environments, a storyboard and script for a short video featuring the rhinoceros, and a 3D model and animated walk-cycle for the penguin. These elements were created with the idea that they could be used in order to create educational animated videos about endangered species. The biggest takeaway from this project is that while the aesthetics and characters of animation are important to viewers, it is also important that they are able to learn not only about the endangered species, but how they can contribute to wildlife conservation.

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Date Created
2020-05