POSITION FILLED – Job Opening at Reptiles Alive LLC

Job Opening at Reptiles Alive LLC

POSITION NOW CLOSED

Wildlife Educator / Reptile Show Presenter

We are looking for a reliable, responsible, and energetic person who loves reptiles, kids, and public speaking.

PART TIME, FLEXIBLE schedule:

5-10 (more or less) hours per week (primarily weekends and evenings, with weekday work available in June/July/August)

Pay: $75 – $125 per program performed

Location: Our facility is located in Annandale, VA. Educator will perform programs throughout the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area.

Duties: The educator will present educational live animal shows for a variety of audiences including: childrens’ birthday parties, preschool & school programs, camps, special events, and more. The educator will safely handle a variety of live amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles (including non-venomous snakes.)

Requirements:

-Must be extremely responsible, reliable, safety conscious and able to work unsupervised

-Comfortable speaking confidently and enthusiastically while entertaining large audiences of all ages, especially young children

-Comfortable handling live snakes, large lizards, and other exotic animals in a safe and professional manner

-Pass a national background check

-High school diploma

-Valid driver’s license with clean driving record

-Ability to lift 50 pounds

-A reliable car, van, or covered truck that will be used to drive with live animals to show locations

Preferred applicants will have experience:

-Developing and presenting animal/environmental education programs

-Working with reptiles and amphibians 

-Driving in the Washington DC Metro area

-College courses in biology, natural history, public speaking or communication

Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to:

Caroline Seitz

reptilesalive@gmail.com

Website: www.reptilesalive.com

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Fun With Kids & Nature: Vernal Pools!

Fun With Kids & Nature: Vernal Pools!

Are the kids antsy for winter to be over? Are you looking for a fun idea for the family to get outside and welcome the change to spring?

Head out one evening to a vernal pool near you and introduce your children to an epic annual event. The massing of millions of amphibians to mate and lay eggs only occurs once a year. In the Washington DC area, this would be during mid to late February through March on a warm evening (55 F or above) during or after rain.

Vernal pools are special habitats that fill with rainwater in the fall, winter, and spring and typically dry up in the summer.  Because these pools are not permanent, fish are not able to survive. Without fish to eat their eggs or larvae, amphibians such as spring peeper, wood frogs, and spotted salamanders are able to utilize vernal pools to lay their eggs.

A vernal pool is probably closer to your home than you think.

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Wetlands area behind ballfields – perfect for Spring Peepers or Chorus Frogs

 

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Spring Peeper

 

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Vernal Pool in ditch filled with Wood Frog eggs

 

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Wood Frog Eggs

 

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Wood Frog

 

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Vernal Pool with emerging Skunk Cabbage behind an office building next to the Beltway in Fairfax VA

A great way to find a vernal pool is to listen for the loud, piercing “PEEP!” of Spring Peepers peeping, usually in the evening, but occasionally during the day as well. Follow the frog chorus and it will lead you to an area where there is probably a vernal pool or at least a wetland of some sort.

 

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Spring Peeper Peeping

If it is close to dark, give everyone a flashlight or headlamp and head out. Once you arrive at the vernal pool, let your family know to keep their eyes and ears open.  You may see see the tiny Spring Peeper frogs, but you are more likely to hear them. Larger and easier to see are Wood Frogs which make a call similar to the quacking of ducks. Spotted Salamanders are silent, however they are spectacular!  They grow up to 8 inches in length, are shiny black and usually have rows of bright yellow spots on their back.

Kids may want to catch or handle the frogs and their eggs. Teach how to be respectful of animals while encouraging excitement about the natural world. Be sure hands are wet and chemical-free when handling amphibians or eggs. Be gentle and return any captured animals or eggs to the spot they were found. To stop the spread of disease among amphibian populations, when you get home be sure to wash hands with soap and water after touching any animals and disinfect shoes and any nets, buckets, or other materials that came into contact with animals, eggs, or the habitat with a 10% bleach/water solution.

The awesomeness of an up-close experience in the wild with amazing animals that only appear once per year is an activity your family will never forget.