For Release: May 4, 2007
Matt Olear (202) 633-4085
Pamela Baker-Masson (202) 633-3055
Smithsonian’s National Zoo Announces New Fujifilm Curatorial Resident
Residency Program Will Train and Build New Generation of Zoo Leaders
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is proud to announce the selection of Erika Bauer, Ph.D., as the 2007-2009 Fujifilm Curatorial Resident in Animal Care.
Made possible by a generous grant from Fujifilm, the National Zoo’s partner in conservation education, this new, postdoctoral residency program builds on the Zoo’s tradition of training students in a variety of disciplines and inspiring them to pursue careers in animal care, conservation science and science education.
Bauer will spend two years working with a mentor at the National Zoo, developing and honing skills in animal collection research and management, exhibit design, animal-care staff management and budgeting. Also as part of the residency, she will complete a research project that will contribute to the understanding and improved management of Zoo collections. The National Zoo has a long history of training young scientists in resident programs, most of whom have advanced to significant leadership and scientific positions. The program had been halted for several years due to lack of funding.
“The timing of this training opportunity couldn’t have been better for me as I’m at a critical juncture in my career where I can turn my focus toward applied work and use my knowledge and experience in animal behavior research to contribute substantively to the field and ultimately benefit the animals I study,” said Bauer. “I’m grateful for Fujifilm’s support in reinstating the resident program.”
In 2005, Bauer received her doctorate in psychology and biopsychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she studied the social interactions of mammals and developed methods for analyzing play-fighting behavior in domestic dogs. Eventually, she expanded the scope of her dissertation work to include chimpanzees and bonobos. The results of some of her recent research can be found in the March 2007 issue of Animal Behaviour, the scientific journal of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour and the Animal Behavior Society.
Her appreciation of animals and science developed at a young age, and upon leaving her hometown of Pittsburgh, she focused on behavioral, evolutionary and ecological studies. She has studied animal behavior in a variety of settings, including zoos, primate centers, animal shelters and veterinary clinics, and her research has taken her as far away as Chile and Zambia. Most recently, Bauer was a National Academies Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow, a program that introduced her to science education and public policy.
“Dr. Bauer is an excellent choice for the first Fujifilm curatorial resident,” said National Zoo Director John Berry. “I commend Fujifilm for recognizing the importance of training the next generation of conservation leaders.”
“Fujifilm is proud to revitalize the National Zoo’s curatorial program,” said Celia Spence, Vice President, Environmental and Safety Affairs, FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation. “Caring for and preserving the environment is at the core of all Fujifilm’s activities, and our sponsorship of the curatorial residency at the National Zoo is a symbol of that commitment to the next generation of conservation leaders.”
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