Interacting with the Community

I started off this week by going to a summer kickoff reading event at the local library, where I helped staff tables. The subject of my table was skins and skulls. I had the fur and skulls of various types of mammals, some local and some not, for kids to touch and me to teach them about it. It’s always great working with kids given their unpredictability. A common question I received was “Did you kill them?” (The skins were collected from road-killed animals for educational purposes like this event.) I challenged the kids and helped them name the furs, and explained the differences between each animal and their behavior. The picture above is of me and Park Ranger Miguel at the event. Also this week, thanks to a great webinar explaining the topic, I got started on planning for my event for Latino Conservation week. I’m hoping to have it be a service-learning type of event where you have volunteers and then they can also learn about the impact of the work they’re doing. Many times people volunteer to help in various ways, but I also believe it’s important to understand the reasons behind the issues that exist and what can be done to address them. I made contact with a community partner, and the event is well on its way to becoming a reality. Outside of work this past weekend, I got out for a 20-mile road bike ride around the area. This region is very green and vegetated, especially noticeable to me being used to the desert environment in Utah. There are also a lot of birds, frogs (one lives in a pond just outside my apartment building), insects, and mammals. It’s great to experience so much wildlife in one place, but I’ll have to get used to the bug bites. Also the town is beginning to enter its festival season. I attended a tasting festival this week, where every restaurant in the city was there giving samples of their food. It’s been a great week and there will be plenty of other exciting things to talk about for next week due to many scheduled events.

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