Animal Conservation Work is New Dream
Emporia State University student Doris Laws of Hartford has altered her career path a bit, after completing a summer internship at the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia.
Laws, a senior majoring in zoology, knew she would enjoy the hands-on work with the animals, but it was planning educational events and teaching the public the importance of sustaining the animals and their environment that caught her attention.
“I wasn’t thinking about going into a conservation education field until after my internship this summer,” Laws said. “It just felt really good to see so many people get excited about helping animals and the environment. ... I definitely would love to go into a career that allows me to continue to educate others about conservation.”
Knowledge and research skills gained through classes at Emporia State had prepared her well for the internship. The experiences at the zoo added another layer of skills and interests to her effectiveness, as she helped organize and operate numerous events — the annual zoo open house, the grand opening of Mission Madagascar and Zoo Camp for children.
“I also traveled to local libraries to help with the summer reading programs, and I worked on developing a new project for the zoo,” she added. “... It was exciting to be able to teach the kids about different animals and listen to their ideas about conservation.”
Laws said the internship helped prepare her for a career by giving her opportunities to mingle and talk with the public. She enjoyed the experience so much that now that the internship is over, she has signed on to be a docent at the Emporia zoo.
“Now I can continue to work on my public speaking along with building my animal handling skills and my conservation knowledge,” Laws said.