Buttonwood Park Zoo: A Living Classroom

New Bedford, Beaver Kids Education ZooWhen 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 programs

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.


Zoo education staff

Left to right: Hannah Hamilton, Jennifer Collier, Carrie Hawthorne


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.

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.

 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.