Osprey Wilds

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Staff Spotlight: Light

Environmental Education Fellow

Name: Light Love

Pronouns: He/him mostly, she/her is acceptable

What are your main responsibilities?

Our work ranges from being liaisons for visiting groups to helping with the barn, and of course, teaching. I like doing creative displays and materials for visitors and supporters to interact with. I’m also the primary trainer for Mob, our American Crow, and recently, for Onyx our Common Raven as well.

They both require lots of stimulation, including puzzles to keep them occupied as well as training goals to help make care easier and potentially make them ready for programming. As I enter into my second year, I’ll be helping facilitate training and dialogue on intercultural understanding and how we can best be responsive, respectful, and responsible when teaching about and encountering cultures and beliefs that may not be our own.

What are you most excited about in regards to your position? What are your favorite projects?

I hope to establish connections with local primary sources and experts in Ojibwe culture. Through this connection, Fellows can learn about their culture, and represent it correctly in our classes.

I also am working with Mob to stay on my arm while I present and go into her crate for transport, so maybe by the end of my time here, I can do programs with her.

What is your favorite part of your position? 

I love helping people access activities, settings, and organisms they might not have otherwise. We have great scholarship programs to help students who would not have been able to visit us come and experience the outdoors. I’ve spent time with teenagers who had never seen as many stars as we can see here. I’ve helped students get over fears of certain animals. I’ve seen students surprise themselves and discover new talents and interests. Growing up, I didn’t have access to things like rock climbing, canoeing, or even stretches of land that you can’t see a city at the end of. Now I get to show that to students like me.

What is your background in and how did you first get involved at OW? 

I was fresh out of college graduation when I started here and I double majored in religion and biology. I did a lot of interfaith relations work in the religion department. My biology focused largely on invertebrates. I also had experience working with children, developing lesson plans, and training animals. 

What is your favorite class to teach and why?

I have a few. I like our Wind Power Class because it encourages creativity and critical thinking as well as teamwork. Students are encouraged to create a machine that fits certain criteria using only a few office supplies. They never believe they can do it and yet they almost always succeed. This class was adapted for virtual learning, so you can watch it for yourself here

I also like our Creepy Crawly Creatures class. The second part of that class is an amphibian hunt in the woods and the wonder and fun of catching frogs span all ages and is always magical for the students.

Where is your favorite place to visit at Osprey Wilds?

The archery range! I competed in the sport in high school and like going out there after work to brush up on my skills.

What is the coolest thing you’ve seen at work?

I’ve already talked about the cool things I’ve seen in classes. There’s lots of cool wildlife here, too. Ospreys, woodchucks, wild porcupines, sandhill cranes, spotted salamanders are all things I’ve seen. I also really enjoy finding wood or trees with intricate galleries carved in them from bark beetle larvae.

What is your favorite animal?

Land snails. I never shut up about them. I think they’re adorable and fascinating as well as being very important to their ecosystems.

Light is the artist behind our animal coloring pages, which are inspired by our Education Ambassador Animals. You can download these pages here

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