Centre College launches partnership with Louisville Zoo
DANVILLE, KY-Centre College and the Louisville Zoo have signed a partnership agreement that will give Centre students greater access to internships and applied experiences. The Zoo stands to benefit from increased opportunities for research, as well as the time and support provided by intern workers.
The partnership agreement was finalized last month when Centre President John Roush and Zoo Director William Foster signed a working agreement. The agreement provides for regular placement of Centre students as Zoo interns, with joint supervision by Centre faculty members and Zoo personnel.
The Zoo interns may work in fields including animal care and behavior as well as management, publicity and fiscal affairs.
The new agreement expands and formalizes a close working relationship that began 15 years ago when Centre psychology professor Brent White took a student with him to study the behavior of woolly monkeys at the Zoo. White has particular expertise in physiological psychology and animal behavior, and he has a long-standing interest in woolly monkeys. The Louisville Zoo has the most successful captive breeding program for woolly monkeys in North America.
The Zoo welcomed White's research on the monkeys, and White returned every year with more students. The resulting studies of animals ranging from Cuban crocodiles to black and white ruffed lemurs have provided useful information for Zoo officials, who must constantly monitor the health and well-being of their animals. Centre students have benefitted from the opportunities for field research and applied experience.
More recently, White and his students have conducted research to help the Zoo evaluate its new Islands Exhibit, one of the first in the country to provide for frequent rotation of animals among several exhibit areas. White also helped place a student with the Zoo's conservation project devoted to the black-footed ferret, a species on the brink of extinction. The Louisville Zoo is one of six in the nation chosen to help conserve and breed black-footed ferrets for reintroduction in the wild.
White describes the new partnership agreement between the college and the Zoo as a logical step for two institutions that have worked together for years. "The Louisville Zoo has a strong educational mission and so does Centre College. This agreement focuses on the ways we can support each other's activities in areas where we overlap."
Roush says the agreement will strengthen Centre's ability to prepare students for employment and advanced study. "The college has appreciated the many opportunities provided to our students and faculty by the Louisville Zoo, and we are pleased to have an even stronger working relationship with the Zoo. The real winners will be the students who intellectually stretch themselves as they engage in field research and get hands-on experience."
Foster commented: "This partnership with Centre College provides additional credence to the Zoo's mission 'to better the bond between people and the planet.' This long-standing relationship also enables the Zoo staff to better care for the animal collection and to encourage innovative advances in the exhibitry of the Louisville Zoo collection to the visiting community. From this we continue to share our documented successes with our professional colleagues, making the Louisville Zoo a rising star among zoos."
The Zoo, which is the official state zoo of Kentucky, features more than 1,300 animals in a variety of habitats. The newest section, the Islands Exhibit, encompasses three outdoor habitats and one indoor habitat. Sumatran tigers, orangutans, tapirs, babirusa and siamangs rotate through the habitats, providing variety for the animals and Zoo visitors.
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Louisville Zoo - Deborah Sebree at 502-459-2181
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422