As we continue to recognize Women’s History Month and the achievements of women throughout Penn State Outreach, we are sharing an interview with Paige Sutherland from Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center about her unique role.
Tell me about your role with Penn State Outreach/Shaver’s Creek.
As program director of wildlife education at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, I am responsible for more than 40 wildlife residents housed within the Litzinger Herpetarium and Klingsberg Aviary. I strive to ensure a high standard of care while preparing them for their roles as ambassadors for their species to promote conservation action without our community.
How does your work impact the communities within Penn State Outreach?
Educating with and about native Pennsylvania wildlife at Shaver’s Creek helps our communities connect with the natural world around them and feel a sense of empowerment in its stewardship. I aim to promote conservation actions individualized to the members of these communities through identifying unique interests of impact.
How do you hope to see your position grow during your time with Penn State?
I hope to continue training the next generation of conservationists for fulfilling careers in wildlife care and conservation. It is my goal to continue developing accessible public programming for our communities.
What about your work makes you most proud?
Seeing our wildlife create life-changing moments of impact for members of our community bring me the greatest joy. Their allure and charisma invite even the most uninterested to approach wildlife with greater empathy and curiosity and prove that we can always seek greater understanding of the natural world around us and how we operate as a part of it.
What advice would you offer to individuals who are interested in making a greater impact in their respective fields?
Never stop discovering! (Inspired by the gate sign upon departure from our Center.)