Volunteer Spotlight: Trey T.

At the Greensboro Science Center, we are honored to welcome approximately 750 volunteers each year, giving a cumulative 36,000+ hours of their time. With a friendly greeting and a warm smile, our volunteers help us carry out our mission each day, educating our visitors about our animals and exhibits and inspiring them to learn more.

Today we would like to introduce you to Trey T., check out his story below!

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“My name is Trey Thurman and I am a high school freshman. I have been volunteering at the GSC since June 2016 and I absolutely love it. There are 4 rotations in a typical volunteer shift: the Herpetarium Cart, the Friendly Farm, the Aquarium Cart, and the Touch Tank. The Herpetarium Cart is one of my favorite stations because I love reptiles and amphibians. I enjoy sharing new facts that the visitors didn’t know before or answering any questions they may have. Also, since I have a Russian Tortoise, a Blue tongue skink, and a chubby frog at my house, I can give them firsthand experience on what it’s like to have these animals as pets as well as helpful tips for keeping one at home.

The Friendly Farm is the only station that is outside and I enjoy seeing families interact with the goats and sheep. The aquarium cart is fun because the people can touch the shark and the stingray teeth. I end my day with the Touch Tank and would like to share a tip for when you visit:  if you leave your hand still and calm in the water the stingrays are more likely to come up to you rather than if you were to poke your hand in whenever a stingray is coming!

During the time that I have been a part of the Animal Ambassador Program, I have learned so many different things. I love how organized the program is and how fun it is working with the volunteer staff. I enjoy interacting and talking with different people during my shift. Every conversation is different; one person might be a five-year-old  while the other one may be an adult, but either way I am still able to share different facts with them and that is something I truly enjoy.”

Volunteer Spotlight: Tom and Linda A.

At the Greensboro Science Center, we are honored to welcome approximately 750 volunteers each year, giving a cumulative 36,000+ hours of their time. With a friendly greeting and a warm smile, our volunteers help us carry out our mission each day, educating our visitors about our animals and exhibits and inspiring them to learn more.

Today we would like to introduce you to Tom and Linda A.

 

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We moved to Greensboro a little over a year ago. Once we had mostly moved in, we began thinking about where to volunteer. We both love animals and nature so we thought of the Greensboro Science Center and the NC Zoo. We started in the wildlife rehabilitation center at the Zoo.

In February, we started working as Zoo Docents at the Greensboro Science Center. Tom has also been working as a Docent in the Aquarium since August. We both enjoy the hands-on approach, especially in the Herp Lab. Linda has also fallen in love with the goats.  

A special memory for Linda happened while watching the Gibbons last spring. “I asked whether they Gibbons were apes or monkeys and got the kids to figure out that monkeys had tails and apes didn’t. One little girl looked up at me and said ‘Oh, that means we are apes!’”

At both the GSC, we hope to inspire visitors with our love of animals and instill in them a desire to work toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

Tom and Linda are currently our only couple that participate in the Volunteer Program at the Greensboro Science Center.

Tom and Linda are currently our only couple that participate in the Volunteer Program at the Greensboro Science Center.

Volunteer Spotlight: Bernie G.

We’d like to introduce you to Bernie G. , for this week’s volunteer spotlight. Check out his story below!

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I have been volunteering at the Greensboro Science Center for over 12 years.  I work in many areas including the Aquarium, Zoo and Special Events. As a Tier 2, I help to prepare diets for the Aquarium and usually volunteer 2-3 times a week. 

I chose the Greensboro Science Center for many reasons.  I wanted to use my experience in science and enjoyment working with children and animals, as well as the flexible schedule. 

Some of my favorite memories come from meeting all the visitors both young and old, especially those from other states or around the world.  When I finish volunteering (not too soon I hope), these memories will last forever.  

 
What I find most rewarding is when a child is hesitant to touch an animal (ray, goat, reptile) for the first time. After I tell them about the animal and assure them that it won’t bite, I enjoy seeing the smile on their face while the parents take pictures. Another thing that’s rewarding is knowing that I am helping Greensboro and all of North Carolina by volunteering in such a great facility, and getting greater, as the Greensboro Science Center.

Bernie currently has the most hours served of any active volunteer at the Greensboro Science Center.  His hourly total since 2004 is 3,293 hours!!!

Volunteer Spotlight: Parker E.

In this week’s Volunteer Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Parker E. , check out his volunteer story below!

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I have been volunteering for just over a year as a Zoo Docent.  If possible, I try to volunteer once a week, sometimes more during the summertime. The Greensboro Science Center has always been a place that I loved coming to and seeing the animals, so that’s what drew me to apply for the program.

I love working with the public and the other volunteers at GSC. It’s exciting when people tell me that they have learned something or they enjoyed me telling them about the animals. The other volunteers are always great to work with and it makes my time here even better.

One of the funniest moments that happens at least once a shift is when you run into the same group of visitors at every point in our Zoo rotation and someone will make the comment, “are you following us”?
I’ve made many friends in the Volunteer Program and they can make my day when I see that I’m working in the Zoo with them.  

Volunteer Spotlight: Ken H.

In this week’s Volunteer Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Ken H. , check out his volunteer story below!
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I have been volunteering at the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) as a part of Shark Reef since the Aquarium dive program began in 2013.  I became aware of, and interested in, this opportunity when my young granddaughter informed me that her favorite place to visit and explore in Greensboro (GSC, of course) was in the process of implementing a new aquarium addition.  She was so excited at the prospect and I definitely wanted to learn more about it myself.

 The GSC aquarium dive certification process is very thorough and in depth, similar to the requirements for scuba open water certification. The type of diving that we do at GSC is considered commercial diving because we use surface supplied air, umbilical cords, full face masks, audio, tender, etc..  Not all of these components are included in the training required for basic scuba diving.  We have a very comprehensive dive operations manual, Diving Standards for Underwater Operations, which is based on strict OSHA Standard 29 requirements.  For every dive that occurs at the GSC aquarium, there is both an Active Diver and a Stand-By Diver (Tender) in place, as well as a DPIC (Designated Person In Charge).  Only the actual diver is in the water (wet side), while the Stand-By Diver and the DPIC are present and available as back-up (dry side) in case of the need, emergency or otherwise.  Additionally, all members of the aquarium staff have their radios tuned to our own GSC channel for each daily dive.   

 Being a volunteer diver at GSC has given me the opportunity to share my love of Mother, Mother Ocean, and our undersea world with many visitors over the past three years.   However, as most of the divers in our program would probably agree, I have received so much more from the dive program than I could ever give back in return.  After volunteering at Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key, Florida, for the past ten years, I am so appreciative of the opportunity the GSC dive program has given me to participate in a wonderful and similarly rewarding capacity right here in my hometown of Greensboro.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Eric and Susan Wiseman for making this wonderful educational facility possible for one and all to enjoy.  Their vision and support for the GSC is without equal.  I am certain it will only get better as we await their participation and contribution in bringing about the new 2500 square foot addition onto the existing aquarium facility.

 So as my good friend Mike Nelson of Sea Hunt says, ” Join us again soon for another underwater adventure.“.   I look forward to seeing you soon on the “Dry Side” from me on the “Wet Side”!

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Nico G

In this week’s Volunteer Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Nico G. , check out his volunteer story below!

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I have been volunteering since June as an Animal Ambassador. If possible, I try to volunteer once a week during the school year. I have always wanted to be a volunteer at the Greensboro Science Center and come here often because I have a SKYWILD membership.

Volunteering is fun and I meet so many amazing people. You are able to interact with them and inform the visitors about the animals and the artifacts that we have on our carts. It’s rewarding to talk to people and see their reaction when they learn something new.

One of the benefits that volunteers receive for their service is the opportunity to do SKYWILD whenever there is an opening.  It’s incredibly fun to be able to go whenever I want.

 

*The Animal Ambassador Program used to be an opportunity for students ages 13-17 that was offered only during the summer. We have now expanded the program to allow students that successfully completed the summer program to continue on as a volunteer through the school year. Nico is one of 18 students to participate in the School Year Animal Ambassador Program!

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Paige A.

In this week’s Volunteer Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Paige A.

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I have been volunteering as an Exhibit Guide since the beginning of this summer 2016. My favorite place to volunteer is Health Quest, as I hope to pursue a career in medicine. I try to volunteer as often as I can, though my big family makes it fairly difficult. Ever since I was a little kid, I remember wanting to help at the Science Center. The first thing I wanted to do was help with the animals, because I really wanted to hold the hedgehog. After that I put volunteering on my bucket list, and when I heard about the teen program, I signed up immediately. Bucket list item complete!
When I was a little kid, I went to the Science Center all the time, and I practically know the place by heart. I remember running around the museum, saying, “I remember that! I remember that!” By the end of the day, I’d be carrying a picture of a dinosaur, tired and happy. When I walk into the Science Center now, I find myself hearing the balls dropping in the atrium, wanting to run around the place like I did then, and feeling a sense of happiness that I don’t get from anywhere else. It makes me truly happy to bring that kind of joy to little kids so that one day, they can have a special place like I do here at the Greensboro Science Center.