While wandering the miles of trails and learning all about our animals here at the Minnesota Zoo, have you ever wondered who is behind the scene-setting art, sculptures, and informational graphics? How about the really cool interactive touch screens along our Tropics Trail and Discovery Bay? Who writes a lot of the animal information on our website? Meet Jessica Madole, the Interpretive Program Developer here at the Zoo. Jessica works with all areas of the Zoo to help make sure that you, our guests, can access all of the exciting information we want to share with you.
In a “typical” week, Jessica can be found walking all across the Zoo, checking out the various interpretive signs at all of the exhibits, writing and editing text for new exhibits and helping to plan themes for new Zoo campaigns and initiatives. For example, recently she has been researching anti-poaching efforts in Sumatra and the Russian Far East while also designing a tiger donation station, working with our Education staff on math problems and play prompts for their programs, and writing content for the Zoo’s upcoming dinosaur exhibit, opening in Summer 2016.
With Jessica’s “office” being the entire zoo campus, she puts on a lot of miles. In the summer she might cover the Northern Trail twice in one day and make a trip to the farm to check in on the Pony Program. In the winter, she’s happy to have lots of ongoing projects in the Tropics Building.
If you had to know one thing about Jessica’s role here at the Zoo, she would want to make sure you know that we can all help save wildlife in our own unique ways. Conservation efforts rely on research, field efforts, fundraising and political support, but educators are always needed to inspire communities to join in. The next time you’re visiting the Minnesota Zoo be sure to keep an eye out for Jessica – you never know where she’ll be.