Emma Hazel '12, has a unique group of colleagues at the Lincoln Children's Zoo in Lincoln, Nebraska.
As the supervisor of the domestic animals, including the pony rides, goats, and camels, the Hive, which has over twenty species of insects, reptiles and amphibians, and the Critter Outpost, which allows for personal experiences with smaller mammals and birds, Emma draws on her liberal arts training to truly build connections and to facilitate educational encounters between the animals and the young people visiting the zoo. Within these three areas of supervision (i.e., domestics, the Hive, and the Critter Outpost), Emma also manages a staff of about 12 people who lead with Zoo Crew, a program for young people between the ages of 11 to 16 who come to the zoo to volunteer and to apprentice in the role of zoo keeper.
In February, Emma moved from the Columbus Zoo to the Lincoln Children's Zoo to accept the position of Animal Programs Manager. In addition to her responsibilities within the zoo, Emma travels around the community to do animal shows. She is also recognized for her abilities to train prehensile tailed porcupines and the Goffin's cockatoo. In the photo, Emma and Scout (an Eastern Screech Owl ) are presenting to families about the traits and characteristics of owls.
Emma's new position allows her to be the kind of educator she has wanted to be. She writes, “It's an amazing job and something I've been working toward since I knew I wanted to do something with education [beyond schools] . I just needed to open myself up to new possibilities and locations. “