Wildlife Careers 101
I can honestly say that I do not believe there is one correct path to becoming the host or presenter of a wildlife show. Although I dreamed to become a host since I first saw wildlife programs as a young girl, I had no idea it would actually happen. I remember googling “how to become a wildlife host,” when I was in college with little results. My best advice would be to read the steps below; some I failed at and others I found new strengths. Thankfully my perseverance paid off and when the opportunity to become the host of Wild Kingdom presented itself, I went for it! I still had to work VERY hard to win the contest, but it eventually worked out for me. You will have to create your own path and know that it won’t be easy or just given to you.
I would also look into the diversity of career paths or biographies of Joan Embry, Lucy Cooke, Julie Scardina, Danni Washington, Michele Hall, Howard Hall, Chris Morgan, Casey Anderson, Bertie Gregory, Bob Poole, Steve Irwin, Marlin Perkins, Jim Fowler, Peter Gros, Coyote Peterson & Rick Schwartz. Just keep swimming!
1. Study the specific interests you have or interests in a related field. Join programs like Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, 4-H, Girl and Boy Scouts, Museum and zoo camps, and Ranger Rick.
2. Get experience as early and as often as possible. Get dirty and be willing to do it for free. You can volunteer at a zoo, museum, discovery center, aquarium, state or national park, Humane Society, sanctuary, farm, ranch, or even join organizations that restore habitats and do beach clean-ups.
3. Practice public speaking. Every person I interview for Wild Kingdom tells me that public speaking helped increase their confidence and opened doors to new opportunities in their field as consultants, keynote speakers, and much more.
4. Apply for anything related to what you are interested in. Remember that you may have to put in your time and work your way up the ladder. I also recommend trying you may not think you will like to gain experience and perhaps even discover a new interest you would never have discovered otherwise.
5. To hear more advice check out my new group: Women in the Wild
Colleges and University Programs Moorpark Teaching Zoo http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/teaching-zoo Project Dragonfly https://projectdragonfly.miamioh.edu/ Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo https://www.sfcollege.edu/zoo/index Top Universities for Zoology https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/biological-biomedical-sciences/zoology/rankings/top-ranked/
Internships/Career Boards Association of Zoos and Aquariums: https://www.aza.org/jobs Zoological Association of America: http://zaa.org/job-board World Association of Zoos and Aquariums: http://www.waza.org/en/site/get-involved/job-postings International Union for the Conservation of Nature: https://hrms.iucn.org/iresy/index.cfm?event=vac.showOpenList National Park Services: https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/workwithus.htm