B.A., Anthropology, UMass Boston, 2012
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2019
Program Coordinator, Center for Shelter Dogs
What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I was working as an Environmental Educator at a nature center in Norwell, MA for the past 4 years. I taught kids of all ages natural science topics ranging from freshwater macroinvertebrates to animal engineers. I was also one of the educators responsible for the daily care of the center’s animal ambassadors. Our animal ambassadors included several species of native reptiles and amphibians, two lizards, a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl, and a flock of chickens.
What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I first discovered the MAPP program as a senior in college. Even though I was pleasantly surprised that there were other ways to have a career helping animals that didn’t involve veterinary medicine, I was actually intimidated by the word “policy” and didn’t think that the program would be a good fit for me at the time. After I worked with the animals at the nature center for a couple of years, I realized that there were opportunities for change in the way that the animal ambassadors were cared for and used as educational animals. Having this realization shifted my viewpoint of the word “policy” from something I was hesitant about to a catalyst for positive change for many creatures. I’m so glad that I rediscovered this program last year because I believe that the wide range of animal-related issues that are covered in this program will provide me with the information that I need to make a positive impact in the animal welfare world.
In what ways do you use your MAPP in your current position?
I use what I learned in Research Methods all the time! In addition to the hard and fast skills you learn such as interviewing techniques and critically thinking about the data you’re aiming to collect, MAPP taught me just how vital data is in creating positive change for animals. Policies and ideas are backed by sound data so having that appreciation for the power of data motivates me and the project participants I speak with every day.
Tell us about your MAPP project or preceptorship. In what ways did it help you form your career goals?
My research project examined the impact of a pond life educational program for children entering 1st-3rd grades by measuring changes in knowledge and attitude when using either traditional live animal observations, handling realistic animal models, or interacting with animals in their natural habitat. This project helped me realize that research is the avenue I wanted to take in helping animals of all sorts… I basically caught the research bug 🙂
What did you like most about the MAPP program?
I loved how the MAPP program covered a wide-array of animal-related issues and made me aware of many philosophies, challenges, and successes in the field that I had never known before.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective MAPP students?
Have an open mind! It’s great to have an idea of the direction you might want to go into when entering the program, but also take advantage of the opportunity to try different things because it might just lead you on a path that fits you even better.
Final Project Research Summary 2018: Alternatives for Learning About Wildlife in Captive Settings
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