"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflecs it.”
I hope that by connecting the public to nature, we can help shape a generation of environmentally conscious citizens. Let's get out to the public, involve them with what we do as scientists, learn about issues that matter to them, and above all, inspire!
Cubihatcha Kids 2012 &2013
In October, every 3rd grader in Henry County comes to the Cubihatcha Nature Center for a day of outdoor education. I teach wildlife adaptations and conservation using live animals and examples to over 500 students over the course of one week.
Day on the Lawn 2012
This annual event was a huge success, we had hundreds of visitors throughout the day. Doris the Gopher Tortoise made an appearance from Sandy Creek Nature Center. Overall we had a great time teaching the public about amphibians and reptiles!
Clarke County Science FairThis annual science fair showcases projects of stud
ents ages K-5 while also providing a venue for the community to teach students about science. I helped lead two demonstrations. One was all about magnets. We taught the students about magnetic poles and then let them race the magnets through a maze. The second demonstration consisted of us teaching students how to build a hovercraft. Yes, a hovercraft! We then gave them rides on the hovercrafts. The students had fantastic projects and really enjoyed the whole day!
Claxton Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival. March 9-11, 2012
This year the Claxton Rattlesnake Roundup decided to discontinue the annual rounding-up of wild rattlesnakes, opting to turn the event into a wildlife-friendly festival. Instead of annually harvesting up to 300+ wild snakes that are ultimately slaughtered, Claxton will be provided (by DNR) with a captive source of rattlesnakes each year to maintain the "wow" effect, but these animals will only be displayed. These snakes and their captive-produced offspring will be used every year. We are thrilled about this change and as such, members of the Maerz lab and the University of Georgia Herpetological Society (UGHS) attended the festival to show our support. I helped UGHS run a booth where we taught the public about amphibian and reptiles.
Sandy Creek Nature Center 2011-2013
I volunteer as a trail guide for children in grades pre-k- H.S.