Archive for the 'Girls in Science' Category

GIS: End of the Year!

Posted at 1:54 pm May 22, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 GIS at CuyamacaWow, what a year it’s been for our Girls In Science (GIS) program! In the span of one short school year, we met with 30 different presenters, covering topics from veterinary pathology to behavioral research to visual communication in primates to cytogenetics. (Read Cindy’s previous GIS blogs here.) We met sea lions, nearly extinct golden frogs, carnivorous plants, marsh birds, Mei Sheng the giant panda, Mexican gray wolves, and a black tarantula named Vivica. We dabbled in exotic animal nutrition, GPS mapping, and poop sampling. And we spent a glorious day at the La Brea Tar Pits learning about Southern California as it was during the last Ice Age!


GIS: Genetics Is Fun!

Posted at 3:05 pm May 17, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 GIS looking at genetic materialDuring our trip up to the old research labs at the San Diego Zoo, I tried to explain to the Girls In Science participants what exactly we would be seeing this week. The topic was fairly advanced science, and of all the things we’ve experienced this year, THIS was the area I was most concerned about. Would they be able to fully grasp the details of genetics and heredity? Would they care about sperm motility or ovum cryopreservation? Would they giggle through the entire lesson? Or would they settle in and take advantage of the information that was offered?


Pandas, Part II

Posted at 6:41 am May 11, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 GIS girls observe Mei ShengGirls In Science made a visit to the Panda Team earlier this semester to observe and learn about panda behavior (see Cindy’s blog, Of Pandas and Polars). In a special follow-up visit, we were lucky to meet with two special women””Staci Wong and Pamela Crowe””who introduced us to the finer points of data collection and panda research!


The Littlest Girl In Science!

Posted at 2:31 pm May 1, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 Cindy Spiva-Evans and daughter, ChloeApril 27 was ” Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work” day. I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that encourages its employees to bring their children on this day, providing a wonderful opportunity for me to spend some quality time with my daughter, Chloe.


GIS: This Is Where Stuff Happens!

Posted at 2:09 pm May 1, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 Mr. Sutherland-Smith demonstrates dart gunsWhen Girls In Science visit a new place in the Zoo, voices are usually animated and steps are full of spring. This week, though, the girls shuffled quietly into the Zoo’s veterinary hospital, voices hushed and full of awe. ” This is where stuff happens,” one of the girls whispered to another.


GIS: Monkey Biscuits!

Posted at 10:05 am April 21, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 Girls In Science taste folivore biscuitsThe latest Girls In Science Zoo expedition led us to Dr. Debra Schmidt, associate nutritionist for the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. We met up with her in a conference room and arrived to a table full of”¦ummm”¦INTERESTING-looking food items. The girls passed the items around to have a look and a sniff and were even encouraged to taste a few! Some of the things we were familiar with: dry cat food and alfalfa hay. But none of us had ever heard of folivore biscuits before! And who knew there were so many different kinds of dried grass with so many variations in protein content?!


GIS Visit the La Brea Tar Pits!

Posted at 11:55 am March 23, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

Despite rain, cold, and miserable weather predictions, the San Diego Zoo’s Girls In Science set out on their spring field trip on Saturday, March 18. Neither current participants nor alumni seemed to care that the weatherman predicted misery all around, for they were headed to Los Angeles and the La Brea Tar Pits!


Of Pandas and Polars…

Posted at 3:13 pm March 22, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 Mei Sheng during training session The San Diego Zoo’s Girls In Science (GIS) had the glorious good fortune to spend a couple of afternoons this past week with JoAnne Simerson””panda keeper and animal trainer extraordinaire!


For the Birds!

Posted at 9:51 am March 2, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 GIS with bird food The San Diego Zoo’s Girls In Science (GIS) participants spent two glorious afternoons in the company of some of the Zoo’s most amazing creatures””oh, and we met some pretty cool birds, too! We were fortunate to meet with keepers Anne Clayton and Amy Klotz and spent our time visiting open bird exhibits and enclosed aviaries.

Anne’s GIS group met her down at the African Marsh exhibit, where we learned about the lesser flamingos, African spoonbills, saddle-bill storks, and white-faced whistling ducks, among others. This exhibit houses loads of birds that don’t belong to the Zoo, too: mallards, herons, and egrets. Anne showed us how she tries to feed the storks and cormorants individually, because many of the ” locals” will steal their food. The girls were given the opportunity to feed the waterfowl by tossing handfuls of food into the marsh. The feeding frenzy was amazing!


Carnivorous Plants!

Posted at 12:54 pm February 21, 2006 by Cindy Spiva-Evans

 GIS with pitcher plant After a week off to catch up on journal work (see ” A Day in the Classroom”), the San Diego Zoo’s Girls In Science students wandered back into the Zoo and met with Paul Maschka, senior gardener, and Christy Powell, plant propagator for the Zoo’s Horticulture Department.

We met up with Paul and Christy at the Bog Garden, which is located in the Monkey Trails and Forest Tales exhibit near the clouded leopards. Paul designed this garden, and we thoroughly enjoyed learning about the different plant species that are found here and their very special needs.