Photos: Summer Student Experiences With BZS

October 20, 2022

Over the summer the Bermuda Zoological Society [BZS] provided a multitude of student summer positions at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo [BAMZ], through internship programme placements and volunteer opportunities.

A spokesperson said, “Within these roles the students were able to gain industry experience, explore the different areas of the facility, gain volunteer hours for their academic year, and acquire mentorships for their future within the industry of environmental studies and conservation.”

“As an organization that is focused on educating students to become future stewards of the environment, the BZS are delighted to offer such a wide array of opportunities for students of all ages to gain experience over the summer,” said Colin Brown, BZS President. “Our Aqua Camp summer programme teaches conservation and environmental awareness to the younger children of Bermuda, so being able to provide experiential learning methods to older students fulfills our mission to inspire appreciation and care through education.”

Ernest E. Stempel Foundation Summer Internship Programme

The spokesperson said, “The Stempel Internship is for students interested in pursuing careers in the life sciences [biology, zoology, veterinary medicine, wildlife management, etc.]. Students are given the opportunity to learn all aspects of the daily care of exotic animals through practical involvement and leave with a better understanding of the important role of aquariums, museums and zoos in promoting conservation and education.

“Jayden Parker, a student currently studying Biomedical Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, was selected as one of the recipients of the Stempel internship programme this year. Abigail Brewer, a student studying at Queens University, and Maya Richardson, a student studying at Surrey University, were also selected as Stempel Interns.

“All three interns were placed with the BAMZ Animal Care and Quarantine Officer, Roma Hayward, where they assisted with rehabilitating wild animals that were brought to the facility, cared for resident animals at BAMZ that were placed in quarantine, and assisted with veterinary checks on the animals – including their annual check-ups.

“The final Stempel intern, Hayley Dill, finished her summer working with the BAMZ Aquarists. Hayley, a student currently studying at St. Francis Xavier in Canada, spent her 4-week tenure at BAMZ developing enrichment activities for the green sea turtles, working with the seals and octopi, and assisting with aquarium fish feeds.

The John L. and Karen C. Pye Memorial Internship

“Established in 2001, the Pye Internship provides a Canadian science or biology university student the opportunity to participate in education and research opportunities at BAMZ. This summer Brandon Lee, from Ottawa Canada, travelled to Bermuda as this year’s Pye Intern. He is currently studying Health and Science at the University of Ottawa, with hopes to further his education in Veterinary School.

“During his time at BAMZ, he was stationed in the Zoo, working closely with the zookeepers; he assisted with all the daily responsibilities of running the zoo, including cleaning and maintaining animal holdings and exhibits, preparing animal diets, providing animal enrichment, as well as observing both the animals and veterinarian procedures.

Titus Family Fund

“The Titus Family Fund was established in 2019, on behalf of the Titus family, for the purpose of funding student experiences within the Bermuda Zoological Society’s environmental and educational programmes. Since its inception, there have been three beneficiaries of this fund; Egypt Ingham, Selina Whitter and Maya Richardson.

“During her time as a recipient of the Titus fund, Egypt worked with the BAMZ Aquarists – assisting with seal feedings, preparing food for the aquarium fish and participating in tank cleanings. Egypt is now working at BAMZ as a Junior Aquarist.

“With an interest in becoming a Veterinary Technician, Selina was placed with the BAMZ Animal Care and Quarantine Officer, Roma Hayward and during that time her duties included helping to maintain quarantine procedures with both zoo and marine specimens, daily husbandry of both aquatic and terrestrial species, animal diet preparation, and assisting with the BAMZ wildlife rehabilitation programme. Selina went on to become a Stempel intern and is now studying under the Veterinary Technician programme at Guelph University in Canada

“The most recent Titus fund recipient is Maya Richardson, who was also selected to be one of this year’s Stempel Interns during the summer. Through the support of the Titus Family Fund, Maya will be able to continue to work at BAMZ and other veterinary practices, so that she may gain valuable clinical experience for a future in veterinary medicine.

Flagler College Students

“In 2013, Flagler College in Florida launched their Coastal Environmental Science programme designed to give students hands-on research experience, including opportunities overseas. Working with the Atlantic Conservation Partnership, the US-based charity linked to the BZS, the school began a yearly visit to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. While in Bermuda, the students would spend a full week working around the facility, attending lectures and exploring the island through a number of field experiences – including snorkeling, scuba diving excursions, visits to Nonsuch Island and Trunk Island, the BZS “Living Classroom”.

“This year, Amanda Gattshall and Rory McElduff were the Flagler students selected to visit Bermuda. In addition to the standard responsibilities within the Aquarist department, Rory, who is studying Coastal Environmental Science and Biology, spent much of his time assisting with the feeding and cleaning of the North Rock exhibit; this due to his experience being the President of the Dive Club at Flagler College.

Chubb Charitable Foundation

“This summer, the Chubb charitable Foundation shared two young adult volunteers with the BZS to assist with both BZS and BAMZ projects.

“Shia Smith spent 6 weeks assisting the Volunteer Engagement Officer by managing the summer youth volunteers as they manned a free craft table in the Aquarium Hall and assisted with Lemur Watch in the Madagascar exhibit in the zoo. He instructed the youth volunteers to engage with our visitors as they wandered the Aquarium Hall and he also managed the Summer Student volunteers as they performed “Lemur Watch” over the new BAMZ Red Ruff Lemurs in the Madagascar exhibit; this task involved watching the lemurs’ interactions with each other and other inhabitants of the exhibit. During his last two weeks, Shia was given the opportunity to see the inner workings of our museum and assisted with data entry.

“Emily Dunstan spent two weeks with the BAMZ staff. She spent her time in the zoo assisting with animal husbandry, animal enrichment, lemur training and preparing diets for all our zoo animals.

Summer Student Volunteer Programme

“Each summer, the Volunteer Engagement Officer, Joanne Chisnall, recruits’ students ages 14 years and older to volunteer at BAMZ, with 20 students cycling through the programme this year. During their time, their responsibilities were to manage a free craft table in the Aquarium Hall and to conduct “Lemur Watch” in the Madagascar exhibit.

Additional Summer Volunteers

“In addition to the numerous opportunities and programmes afforded to students over the summer, sometimes former recipients return to the facility to volunteer in the departments in which they are familiar; one such student this summer was Daelen Simons. Daelen is currently studying Zoo Wildlife and Biology at Malone University in Ohio. He started his career with BZS in 2016 when he was chosen to be a Junior Volunteer and was then selected to be a Stempel intern in 2019 and 2021. During his time as a Stempel intern, he was placed with the Aquarists and his responsibilities included assisting with seal feedings, preparing food for the aquarium fish and participating in tank cleanings. This summer Daelen volunteered to work with the BAMZ Aquarists to gain further experience towards his studies.

“The shared mission of BZS and BAMZ is to inspire appreciation and care of island environments, and as the support charity for BAMZ, the BZS is an example of a highly successful non-profit/public partnership. Each year the BZS provide more than 8,000 free educational experiences through our Stempel Foundation BZS Schools Programme in addition to popular community programmes for all ages, development of BAMZ exhibits, and conservation and research programmes. Each year, BZS Volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours of valuable husbandry support to the Aquarium and Zoo with all programmes being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”

Jayden Parker Bermuda October 2022

Jayden Parker and Abby Brewer Bermuda October 2022

Hayley Dill Bermuda October 2022

Brandon Lee Bermuda October 2022

Daelen Simons Bermuda October 2022

Egpyt Ingham Bermuda October 2022

Emily Dustan Bermuda October 2022

Lennox Pantry Bermuda October 2022

Rory McElduff Bermuda October 2022

Selina Whitter Bermuda October 2022

Shia Smith and Amiyah Lake Bermuda October 2022

Shia Smith Bermuda October 2022

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Category: All, Environment, Environment, News, Photos