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Save our Sea Birds, Part II — Education for all ages

SHELDON AND JOYCE PALEY
Contributing Columnists
paley@lbknews.com

Save Our Sea Birds (SOS) is known for its program of saving injured birds, but the public should recognize that this group of staff and volunteers provides educational benefits for our community here and all over the nation. In the past 18 months Save our Seabirds has implemented a college internship program under CEO, David Pilston that has drawn Students from Cornell, University of Oregon, Wisconsin, New Hampshire., Illinois and UC Santa Barbara.  Here at home, there have been internships granted to New College and SCF attendees.

The intern program includes care of the sick and injured, nurturing the baby birds, handling wild birds, assisting with triage, and maintaining the hospital.  There are also feeding duties, and cleaning of cages, habitat, and public viewing areas.  Since Save Our Sea Birds is a nonprofit institution, the College Intern Program is unpaid.  Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited university or college as an undergraduate, recent college graduate, or graduate student.  The background or degree should be in Environmental Science/Conservation/Biology/Ecology/ and Veterinary or related fields, and at least a 3.0 grade average.  There are other requirements and duties not mentioned here.


A future internship begins in early education, and SOS provides that also. There are many opportunities granted by Save Our Seabirds to learn at every grade level.   They offer age-specific accredited Science Class field trips for years K through 12.   There is downloadable course information provided before the visit or upon arrival of a teacher or docent/guide. SOS has developed the accredited Science Class Field trips in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory.  The fees are nominal, but the education priceless.

A standout among the many Volunteer possibilities is the SOS Guide Program, which is available to individuals who want to share their love of birds with others.  You will learn about the inhabitants, the different species and the stories of individual avians. From that information, you may educate visitors about the permanent resident birds they see, and answer questions about those in temporary rehab where they are segregated while recuperating and waiting to return to the wild.  If interested, you can donate as little or as much time to SOS as you wish.  No experience as a guide or birder is necessary; you will be trained.

Save Our Seabirds has come a long way over the last 18 months.  They’ve moved ever forward under the tutelage of CEO David Pilston.  Due to new expert volunteers, Jim and Norma Solomon, SOS staff is learning to glove train and handle birds of prey.  Save Our Seabirds was rebranded by Ringling College of Art + Design students with a new logo and signage.  Visitors helped SOS win a 2013 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor; it signifies that Save Our Seabirds is among the top 10% of all attractions on their site; and to add to this eclectic mix, try Yoga sessions in the Bird Garden, surrounded by the picturesque landscape and sounds of music by the bird population.  In our opinion, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Sheldon Paley, a resident of Longboat Key for 20 years and a realtor for 13 years, is affiliated with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Prior to moving to Longboat Key, Paley attended Ohio State University; U of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry and Harvard Medical School for 18 months for a degree in Implantation.

Joyce Paley attended Miami University, Ohio State University and Capital University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a degree in Professional Writing.

 

 

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