Make your next the Master of Arts or Science in Zoo Science

Make your next the Master of Arts or Science in Zoo Science


Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Johanson
and I am a graduate student here at West Liberty University in the Zoo Science
master’s program so today we’re going to show you what it’s like to be a part of
this program as well as being a graduate assistant here on campus Now we are in one of our other lab
spaces here on campus it’s one of six and you’re gonna go work with our tegu so within the Zoo Sci master’s program we have two different tracks so
we have a Masters of Arts track and a Masters of Science track so Master of
Arts is non-thesis Master of Science you have to go ahead and complete a thesis
and because of those two different tracks all of the classes are 100%
online so you can complete the degree from pretty much anywhere and it allows
working zookeepers and other zoo professionals to be able to continue
their education while still working in their field Now we’re gonna go ahead and
head into the gecko lab where Dr. Loughman’s going to show us how to
correctly handle some of our gecko species These are leapers naturally so
if you give them a target and then you immediately give them another target
they’ll just keep going Our professors come from a really wide
variety of backgrounds and educational experiences Some of them are current zoo
directors while other ones have been past zoo keepers, educators, curators so
they understand what the life of a working zoo professional is and
balancing that with your course load This week all of the new graduate
students in our program have just arrived so they are currently learning
how to go ahead and take care of some of our animals on campus and next we’re
going to be showing one of our students how to work with our Madagascar Tenrecs So the jobs within the zoo world can be very competitive and even with many
months of internship experience it can still be very difficult to land a job so
for those people who have landed a job they can go ahead and do this program
while they’re working but then for people like me who haven’t quite found
that full-time position yet we do have a graduate assistant program but when you
apply for that assistantship and should you get it you would then go ahead and
be campus and so then you get to work with
the animal collection on campus You’re getting both hands on experience the
education aspect and then time to work on your thesis so the best way to go
ahead and hold these guys is you basically just want to give them support
See how he’s backing up like that so you just want to coddle them against your
body Since we are on campus as graduate assistants we help to care for the
roughly 200 animals that live on campus so you’re not only maintaining that
animal collection and getting that hands-on keeper and husbandry experience
but we also have an undergraduate major which is Zoo Science and Applied
Conservation so you’re working with those students and training them in on
how to go ahead and care for the animal collection as well so you’re getting
experience as a keeper you’re getting experience as a leader
and from a management perspective so you can really fulfill a wide variety of
different roles with this master’s degree than when you go on to get your
full-time position within the zoo field So a big part of our day as graduate
assistants is helping to care for our animal collection here on campus so
we’re gonna go ahead and get ready to clean some exhibits As a graduate
assistant we’re caring for the over 200 animals on campus but then we also have
a partnership with Oglebay Good Zoo which is located just five miles down
the road from campus so through their apprenticeship program you get to go
ahead and work with the 50 animal species that they have there and then
you’re working with full time keeper staff and getting a real feel of what
work in a zoo environment is like Now that we’re all done taking care of the animals
for today I’m gonna head into the lab and work on some homework Being a master student in the MS tract
means that I have to go ahead and complete a thesis and one thing that’s
really unique about this program is the willingness of the professor’s to work
with you and what your passions are to find a thesis topic that you are gonna
be really gung-ho and wanting to go ahead and do so my passion is zoo
education and so I’m going to be researching empathy and how that can
lead to conservation action among zoo guests when you’re doing educational
outreach programs so that’s one thing that I really enjoy about this program
is that it’s not where it’s dictated by your advisor it’s definitely a
partnership where you’re cultivating your passions with their advising and
expertise and your circumstances whether you’re on site or you’re off at a zoo
across the country to go ahead and come up with the topic that fits your needs
and what your career and professional goals are Thanks again for coming around
with me to see what it’s like to be a graduate assistant within the Zoo Sci
master program I highly recommend this program for anybody who’s interested in
becoming a zookeeper curator educator or even a zoo director someday Again this
program is online and I’m just on campus because I’m a graduate assistant
and if you’re looking for more information you can check us out on our
website or also our social media on Facebook and Instagram

Dereck Turner

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