Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Proud to work at the Nature Center.

There are many reasons why I enjoy working at the Austin Nature and Science Center.  I get to spend time identifying mystery bugs and plants, kids bring me cool things to trade, I get to work with fun people who are interested in science, and I'm always learning new things.  But, the most rewarding part of my job is seeing kids get excited about nature.  It is fun to see a kid go from being unaware of the environment around them to being experts on rocks, bugs, or another subjects.  Getting to see projects kids have created for school, for a scout badge, or just for fun is one way I can see that progress, and seeing that progress makes me proud to work in the Trade Counter!  

Jack is a regular trader who started trading last summer while attending camp.  He is a fun kid with a great attitude.  Last weekend, Jack came to the trade counter with his grandparents.  We traded some minerals, cow bones, a shark tooth, and a few other objects.  We tested the minerals and compared Jack's shark tooth to fossil shark teeth, but my favorite part was hearing a story about finding a dead goose.  Jack found the goose and noticed it had a metal band on its leg.  With the help of his grandparents, he reported the finding to the Bird Banding Laboratory.  He learned the age, and location of the goose's first capture.  Jack was just as excited to tell the story as I was to hear it.  The credit for Jack's enthusiasm goes to his family.  They encourage him to be curious, and help him succeed.  I am happy to provide a place for kids like Jack to make their start as a naturalist.  I am proud to see young naturalists in the making!

Jack with his Bone project.  Way to Go, Jack!