We just received our kit yesterday while I was at a local environmental educators conference.
I'm a full time educator at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News VA, this is my 20th year here. I have a B.S. in Animal Science, M.S. in Zoology, another M.S. without thesis in Biology. I fell into teaching by accident by doing science demonstrations at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago to feed myself as a grad student. Once I got a job teaching for a year at the Bronx Zoo in NYC, I was hooked.
I've been tagging monarchs for the museum & myself since 1996. I began a personal butterfly garden in 1991 and certified both my home garden and the museum's gardens as Monarch Waystations last year.
Working here means teaching many different natural sciences to K through adult and being part of many different projects and exhibits over the years. The education staff rotate through all the programs, I've done most but not all of them. Check out the new website "www.thevlm.org" once it is up and running. [We are just upgrading it as I write this].
We exhibit the monarch caterpillars when we can during September, and I do the tagging demonstrations on the days we have monarchs to release. One of our volunteers, Tede Johnson, is inspiration since she was tagging when Fred Urquhart was sending out the tags that had to be glued on! She's in her 70's, an awesome butterfly sister and we never tire of watching the Monarch life cycle. I've always enjoyed the feeling that we're contributing to science by doing this, maybe because I couldn't finish my PhD.
The VLM is honored that it is the only Beta Testing site in Virginia!
Education and Horticulture staff will now decide where to put the logger [we have several milkweed patches to choose from] while I get the logger ready on Monday. We are having E mail issues because of our web site update and I thank Jim for helping me log back in to the forum to get messages & instructions!
Looking forward to learning a whole new thing!