This week we meet Maggie Reinbold, the Conservation Program Manager at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.
Describe your job: I act as the liaison between San Diego Zoo researchers and the community, focusing the majority of my efforts on the development and implementation of relevant, hands-on activities for students and teachers in wildlife conservation science for use in the Conservation Education Laboratory at the Beckman Center.
How long have you been in the position? Six years
What in your background helped you get the job? My academic background is science-based (BS in Zoology and MS in Evolutionary Biology), but I always coupled my academics with science outreach. I was an NSF science fellow for six years and worked with elementary teachers in my area to team to encourage science learning in a hands-on, inquiry-based way.
What’s your favorite thing about job? My job is always different. I get to work with students from kindergarten to graduate school, with teachers at the middle school and high school levels, and with members of the community from pre-schoolers to seniors. I am most fulfilled by helping people see the value of biodiversity and inspiring them to conserve species.
Describe a favorite memory/experience in your current position: I have the same fond memory happen to me each and every summer. Each summer, we have high school and middle school life science teachers from all over the country come work with us for three days and two nights for workshops in conservation science and after each workshop I receive e-mails and cards from them all about how the experience was the best they’ve had in decades of teaching and that they are reinvigorated to teach and engage with their students about wildlife conservation. It always makes me feel so proud of what I do and the difference that I’m making.
Do you have a favorite animal? Why is it your favorite? My favorite animal is a dragonfly. I have an affinity for the “little things that run the world,” as my hero EO Wilson puts it. I have a healthy respect for all creatures, despite their size or importance to humans, and I find dragonflies especially interesting, graceful, and amazing to watch!