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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Maggie M.

In this week’s Volunteer Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Maggie M:

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I have been volunteering as an Animal Ambassador since the beginning of the summer in 2016. I try to volunteer as much as I can, which normally amounts to at least a couple of shifts per month.

I love working with people and getting to do that around animals and science are two of my favorite things. It is also really rewarding to give back to the community and to a place where so many childhood memories were made.

My most meaningful memories at the Science Center are the ones when I feel like I have made someone’s day or taught them something that they will remember.

I always laugh or smile when I hear a kid say “Wow!” or “Cool” or when I can blow their mind by saying the smallest thing, but it makes a big impact on them. Volunteering is always fun because I get to meet new people and learn new things as well. It makes me feel like I am always having a good time and helping others to do the same!

*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. Maggie is one of 18 students to participate in the School Year Animal Ambassador Program!

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Lydia G

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.

Meet Lydia G. Lydia has been volunteering with us the past three summers:

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I’ve volunteered the past three summers as a Teacher’s Assistant and began working as a Docent in the aquarium earlier this year. I remember coming to the Science Center as a young child when it was much smaller and different than it is today. I was fascinated by the variety of animals and exhibits they had. When I learned about the Volunteer Program, I realized that it would give me the opportunity to learn even more while also giving me the chance to teach others about the Center.

As a Docent, I get to help answer visitor’s questions, teach them about the animals, and make their experience at the Science Center more enriching. I especially enjoy helping to educate people about all of the endangered species in the aquarium and raise awareness about how it’s our job to protect the Earth and everything living on it. As a Teacher’s Assistant, I get to work more closely with children and use all the resources the Science Center has to offer to help the kids further explore a field of science that they’re interested in. I look forward to continuing to grow along with the Science Center.

Volunteer Spotlight: Betty B.

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.

Meet Betty B. Betty has been volunteering with us for about nine years now:

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I have been a volunteer since the Animal Discovery Zoo opened in 2007. After my retirement from a healthcare career, I have been on a rotating schedule between the Zoo and the SciQuarium for my shift each week.

I began visiting the Science Center with my children in the late 70’s and early 80’s and have seen the transformation since the arrival of the Zoo in 2007.  I stopped by one day in January 2007 on a lark just to check things out and decided to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Marion, our previous Volunteer Coordinator, was available and I went right down to chat with her and ended up enrolling in the first docent class. We met each week for 1 ½ hours in the evening for 4-5 weeks to learn what our duties would be, how to greet the public and demonstrate animal handling. It was dark the night of our zoo tour, so the Zoo Curator, Peggy, walked us around to give everyone a feel for how things would be laid out once the zoo was completed.

I feel fortunate that I have been able to meet so many different people from all over the country and the world, as well as new visitors from Greensboro making their first visit to the Science Center.

In 2009-2010, I became a Board Member and was able to contribute from the perspective of a docent, and could share visitor experiences and suggestions. It’s exciting to help visitors appreciate the variety of animals we have, how we care for them, and teaching them the value of our endangered species breeding program. The WOW factor reaction from visitors when they hear about our programs, camps and volunteer opportunities is truly impactful.

My most memorable experience has been when I was selected to be a Tier 2 Docent. As part of that program, I have had the opportunity to shadow Rachael, a senior keeper, as she cares for both the tigers and fishing cats. During the same shift, I was able to assist Rachael and Dr. Sam in the hospital with a minor procedure on one of our animals. It’s an experience that I will never forget and I am extremely grateful for having that opportunity.