Since its beginning, our Zoo has strived to provide a variety of opportunities to spark a child’s interest in conservation, science and the outdoors by growing a set of educational programs for students from preschool to high school. Now, our Zoo is expanding its educational offerings to college students as well!
We’ll be holding our first Undergraduate Conservation Summit on Friday, April 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students will be able to network with likeminded peers and conservation experts, and learn about diverse topics related to conservation, sustainability and One Health from Zoo experts. Participants can present their own research during a poster reception at the summit as well.
“It’s going to be a neat day for students to get a holistic look at how zoos improve the lives of animals here and in their natural range,” said Dr. Brian Ogle, our Zoo’s Human Dimensions Research & Evaluation Curator.
Summit speakers will include Zoo executive director Keith Winsten, Zoo staff, and Donayle Whitmore, Director of Outreach Programs from the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation.
This event builds off the success from our Youth Environmental Summit, a workshop for teens ages 12-18 to share their passion for conservation with likeminded peers. By expanding into college-level educational opportunities, our Zoo hopes to help give students the experience, skills and connections necessary for careers in areas like animal wellness or conservation.
Beacon College is already bringing their zoo management course students to the Zoo for more real-world experience. Our zoo team is also working on expanding our internship program to find additional opportunities to give college students more career readiness skills.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries have long lacked in gender, racial and ethnic diversity. Forefront in our education team’s minds is making current and future college programs more accessible to all. They’re working with local colleges to learn how to better serve their student populations.
Our team is also looking into how to make their high school programs more accessible and inclusive as well.
“We want to start connecting with students in high school and see them all the way through to their career,” Ogle said.
To sign up for the Summit, students should visit BrevardZoo.org/education/college-student-programs to register. Tickets are $30.
Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.