Friday, November 14, 2008

Fall Seasonal Naturalists

The fall seasonal naturalists arrived in September and have been busy with a variety of tasks at the Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center. As always, their primary task has been providing environmental interpretation and education to children visiting from local schools. We have been remiss by not making their introduction earlier in the season.

Richard Covey is from Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design, receiving a Bachelor's in Fine Arts for Computer Animation and 3-D modeling in 2007. He enjoys all kinds of art, including, pencil, painting, and computer media, and has dabbled in printmaking and sculpture. His love of nature and exploration, especially swamps, as well any kind of insect, reptile, or thing that goes bump, hiss or growl in the night, led him to Beidler Forest where we will take advantage of every ounce his creative and artistic abilities. Currently, we have him painting displays and creating computer-based interactive opportunities for visitors in the nature center.

Before working here as a Seasonal Naturalist, he has held a variety of complex and engaging jobs. These jobs included working for a snowcone shop (becoming the first human to possess kidneys made of pure, crystalized sugar), spending four years as a Shuffleboard Attendant in Lakeside, Ohio (sweeping 26 courts every day uphill both ways in ten feet of snow), and assisting St. Mary's mission in Jacksonville by creating any media required as well as assisting in financial records. His goals put him in California and a career in computer game design. Working at Beidler Forest has been a breath of fresh air (literally and figuratively), the beauty and wildness of this place has already been a great inspiration for his art and creativity.

Sarah Green is currently fighting the War on Terror as a CIA operative taking cover in the low-key seaonal naturalist position at the geographically-isolated Francis Beidler Forest. She was not able to share too many details (the whole, "...but now I have to kill you" knowledge-sharing philosophy), but an operative was able to gleen some information from a resume. Her secret-agent credentials include sanitizing hotel rooms; Jack Bowers-like electrical wiring and schematic reading; 007-training in an anthropology department, a funeral home, a medical examiner's office, and numerous covert capture operations in North Carolina; and finally degrees in forensic biology and criminal justice. Sarah states, "I love to travel and meet people." James Bond, Jack Ryan, Maxwell Smart and Bill Cosby have all said the same thing!

Along with the students who have visited this fall, we have benefited from the talents and enthusiasm that our seasonal naturalists have brought to the Francis Beidler Forest.

Artwork by Ricky Covey (modified by Mark Musselman); image by Mark Musselman

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