Laura Hewitt: Internship

Laura Hewitt
Internship: The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN

What is your major?

Anthropology with a double minor in Communication and Cultural Studies.

Where was your internship placement? (What is the purpose of the organization?)

The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN. The specific internship I took part in was a behavioral study of the Zoo's Japanese Snow Monkeys. The zoo's goal is to understand the troop's structure and behavior through observation.

What did your general duties involve?

Daily observations which were both focal (watching one individual) and scan (observing all of the monkeys at a certain time). Also, once a week I analyzed the data I took with another intern. We worked with Microsoft Excel to draw tables and graphs and we wrote up reports about our findings.

What was your most memorable experience?

I was given the opportunity to shadow another area of the zoo during my internship, and I shadowed the bird show. I had no idea how much work goes into one little bird show at the zoo. It was amazing! I also just have so many wonderful memories of the monkeys and getting to know their individual personalities.

Has your internship influenced your career path?

Possibly. I would like to go into Primatology someday maybe, but in general it gave me a taste for field research and I enjoyed it a lot!