When you think of a zoo as a learning environment you probably think about the self-guided lessons of animal signage at exhibits. Today, zoos including Buttonwood Park Zoo, are developing educational programming that spans ages, abilities and meets state education standards.
Our education team consists of three full-time educators and lots of volunteers and interns. Their goal is to create meaningful learning opportunities that connect the audience with the natural world and inspire a lifelong respect for wildlife and the environment.
Left to right: Hannah Hamilton, Jennifer Collier, Carrie Hawthorne
MEET THE ZOO’S EDUCATORS
CARRIE HAWTHORNE, Curator of Education: Carrie graduated Otterbein College with a BS in Life Sciences and Ecology, and the University of New Mexico with an MA in Environmental Education. Carrie has been in the environmental education field for over 16 years and previously worked as the Manager of School Programs at the Roger Williams Park Zoo; she joined the Buttonwood Park team in 2014.
JENNIFER COLLIER, Conservation Education Specialist : Jen holds a Bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College in biology with a concentration in marine science and a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. Prior to joining the Zoo in 2011, she was employed as a marine educator at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
HANNAH HAMILTON, Conservation Education Specialist : Hannah completed her BS in Natural Resources Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Hannah joined the Zoo’s education team in 2015. She previously worked as an environmental educator with Nature’s Classroom Inc.
YOUR VIEW: Buttonwood Park Zoo is one of the finest small zoos in US
I met Bernardo following his big move into his new habitat. I’ve been a Buttonwood Park Zoo Member for years, however, this was my first visit to the new Rainforests, Rivers & Reefs building. Bernardo joins our old friends, the beloved Emily, Ruth, Max, Mayzie, and all the other animals who call the zoo home.
Supporting the zoo is enjoying and intensely personal, vitally important to me. My father Norman Cordeiro of Dartmouth died of pancreatic cancer on March 30, 2014. The Buttonwood Park Zoo was where I soon found peace. Instead of being in that room at St. Luke’s Hospital during the final days, I had an intense desire to go to the zoo. The zoo is a special spiritual place because it is a refuge where animals thrive, people are happy, and life is enjoyed in abundance.
New World Primates focus of lecture at Buttonwood Park Zoo
Conservation of New World Primates is the topic of the Buttonwood Park Zoo’s February Wildlife Education Series. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 13 beginning at 6 p.m. Keith Lovett, Zoo Director is the keynote speaker.
Lovett, the Buttonwood Park Zoo’s director, has been involved in zoological operations for the last two decades. In his various roles as a zookeeper, curator, and director, Lovett has developed and implemented national recognized programs in the areas of zoo animal management, zoo exhibit design, small population management, and zoo emergency protocols. He is an international leader maintaining studbooks and chairing Taxon Advisory Groups and Species Survival Plans for New World monkeys, waterfowl, bush dogs, and jaguars.