Thursday, August 23, 2007
Or Why a Teen Would Enjoy Volunteering at an Aquarium
Hi everyone! My name is Brittany and I am a volunteer in the Education Department at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Education staff/volunteers are the people who primarily have the most interactions with the guests. We are regularly at the touch labs, the ray pool, shark lagoon…basically anywhere where we can be helpful in answering questions and reminding people to use the “two-finger-touch.” I’m so used to enforcing this rule that when I went to Sea World a few months ago, I was touching the dolphins with two fingers out of habit.
Now, you might be wondering, “Why in the world would this girl want to work at an aquarium…for free?” Well, the answer is quite simple really: I just can’t get enough of anything that has to do with the ocean. I figured this out when I was quite young. The ocean is just so majestic and mysterious. I love it for reasons I can’t even explain, and I believe that volunteering at the Aquarium is a good way to harness my enthusiasm and share it with others.
Another reason that I volunteer at the Aquarium is because I eventually would like to work at Sea World in San Diego as a killer whale trainer. I have dreamed (literally-I often have dreams about orcas/training orcas) of doing this ever since I was around seven. After doing some research, I noticed many resources emphasized that experience working in zoos, aquariums, or shelters is very important. Being an Education Volunteer, I do not yet have the privilege to work with mammals such as the seals, sea lions, otters, or pademelons. However, by just being at the Aquarium, I am getting my foot in the door and have had so many benefits from it. I have been given the opportunity to target feed the bat rays from time to time, and have had a special encounter (thanks to the Husbandry staff) with an otter named Summer, which included feeding and performing a behavior with her. Small steps, but steps nevertheless in the direction of my desired career.
I cannot stress enough how much I love volunteering at the Aquarium of the Pacific. I mean, I’m a teenager and I am at the Aquarium every other Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. It’s pretty much the only thing I will get out of bed (without complaint) on a Saturday for. So, in my blog, I will generally be writing about my volunteering experiences at the Aquarium. Sometimes I will talk about what I did during my day, if I got any interesting questions, how great my fellow co-volunteers are, if I learned anything new (which happens just about every time I step foot in the Aquarium), and maybe a few other things I’ll think up randomly.
I am really looking forward to hearing what you all have to say about my blog and reading your comments. I truly hope that I help in answering any questions you may have, and giving you good insight on what it’s like to volunteer at the Aquarium. Take care, and I hope you enjoy!
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