Sara's placement with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, a CAZA-certified zoo and home to the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre.
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy is a CAZA-certified zoo and home to the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre. Their conservation initiatives are focused in three areas: Arctic and subarctic species conservation, Manitoba species conservation and the conservation of international species at risk.
Sara was involved in 3 major projects during her placements:
- Planning and execution of Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s first annual shoreline cleanup
- Helping to assess and develop sustainable operations for the Zoo
- Beluga Bits – creation of educational programing and interpretive materials geared towards high school level students, by using information collected by the Conservation team about the beluga who gather within the Churchill River Estuary, Manitoba
In particular, the Beluga Bits project was created to be integrated into the Manitoba curriculum to help students learn about the magnificent belugas that are found in the ocean bordering Northern Manitoba. This is so important because many children and youth in Manitoba don’t even realize there is ocean bordering the province, let alone belugas!
One of the larger projects turned out to be more involved than expected – it helped to have support from others and to have access to all of the great materials Direct Action offers.
Seeing firsthand how research, education and outreach go hand in hand. It was incredible for Sara to see the research going on at the zoo behind the scenes, and also seeing visitors get to learn about it!