For the first volunteering opportunity, I worked with the Red River Zoo here in Fargo, ND. The event I worked at was Dr. Doolittle Day at the zoo, and I served as security and garbage pick up. In addition, I sat a booth that weighed whole families to see if the entire family weighed more than some of the animals in residence at the zoo. It was a fun and interesting experience that I am thankful I got to partake in. The second opportunity was helping operate the registration table and evaluation forms for the 3rd Annual Food For Health Conference in Fargo. This conference brings in researchers/scientists, farmers, and community members from the local area to discuss topics around food for health. In addition, researchers showcase the work that they are conducting and the potential of this research for future public health implications.
The reason I chose to volunteer at the Red River Zoo is due to seeing a posting while attending the zoo as a guest and hearing from the Director of my Graduate Program that it is a fun and exciting opportunity. For me, this was a good learning lesson about the overall impact this zoo has had on the global biodiversity issues and current efforts they are engaged in with research. They are a true pillar in the Commonwealth of Fargo and the world. They have bred over a 1/4 of the captive population of red pandas currently in the United States which is an astounding accomplishment that has long term benefits. The second volunteering opportunity was chosen because of an opportune moment, my advisor of my Ph.D. is the primary person who is responsible for putting the conference together and suggested that I help volunteer with the conference. This has proven to be a vital asset to me as it is a unique networking opportunity to engage local community members, as well as researchers from around the globe. Gaining new ideas and perspectives on current issues facing humanity, and gaining an understanding of what research is being conducted in the conservation world on a national level.