Date of Award

4-6-2018

Semester of Degree

May

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology

Department

Environmental and Forest Biology

Major Professor

Elizabeth Folta

CO-MP

Melissa Fierke

Steering Committee Member

Andrea Feldpausch-Parker

Steering Committee Member

Diane Kuehn

Abstract

There are many gaps in research within the field of zoo education. One of those gaps is the experience of young educators onsite. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s ZooGuides program hires 20 high school students each year to educate guests onsite throughout the summer. This study evaluated whether Zoo Guides increased wildlife knowledge, interest in wildlife, interest in wildlife careers, ability to educate guests, and gained relevant workplace skills as a result of the program. This evaluation found most Zoo Guides did increase knowledge, interest in wildlife, interest in related careers, ability to educate guests, and gained workplace skills as a result of the program. However, working on exhibit did not always have higher impacts than training alone.

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