Want to With Work Wildlife?

Search­ing for lizards in the Prairies and trav­el­ling along­side a pod of Hump­back Whales is just an av­er­age (yet amaz­ing!) day for Jody North. The host of Hin­ter­land Who’s Who has trav­elled all over Canada to see our coun­try’s amaz­ing wild species and shar

Wild - - INSIDE WILD - Jody North check out Jody in ac­tion on hww.ca! You can

W: What does a wildlife ed­u­ca­tor do?

JN: Wildlife ed­u­ca­tors con­stantly learn up-to-date in­for­ma­tion about wildlife from sci­en­tists and re­search stud­ies. Then we trans­late the sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion into facts or sto­ries that will be in­ter­est­ing or use­ful to other peo­ple. A wildlife ed­u­ca­tor is happy to teach any­one about wildlife, from tod­dlers to se­niors. We can teach in­doors or out­doors, us­ing nat­u­ral his­tory items like antlers or nests, and when we’re very lucky, we get the help of live wild an­i­mal species.

W: What’s the best thing about be­ing a wildlife ed­u­ca­tor? JN: The best part of be­ing a wildlife ed­u­ca­tor is dis­cov­er­ing new in­for­ma­tion that is ex­cit­ing or sur­pris­ing and then shar­ing that in­for­ma­tion with oth­ers so they are ex­cited too! Some­times the new in­for­ma­tion we share with some­one will help them to solve a mys­tery about a wild crea­ture in their life, like what crea­ture is liv­ing un­der their porch. Other times we can help some­one help wildlife, like en­cour­ag­ing a skunk to move out from un­der a porch peace­fully. The more we all learn about wildlife, the bet­ter we be­come as neigh­bours to those wild crea­tures.

W: Did you al­ways know you wanted to be a wildlife ed­u­ca­tor? What in­spired you to take this ca­reer path?

JN: I think I was a wildlife ed­u­ca­tor be­fore I even knew what that was! Right from the be­gin­ning of my life, I have al­ways been most com­fort­able out­doors. And each time I dis­cov­ered some­thing new about wildlife or na­ture, I had to tell any­one who would lis­ten. I was al­ways on a quest to find snakes, frogs, in­sects, worms, empty nests, tracks, dens... and I also al­ways had a lot of pets at home. I feel that hu­mans are part of na­ture too, even though some­times we live pretty far from it, and I think that the closer we all are to na­ture, the hap­pier we will nat­u­rally be.

W: As the host of Hin­ter­land Who’s Who, you’re a wild ed­u­ca­tor who is of­ten on screen. Have you al­ways been good with be­ing on cam­era? Do you have any tips on how to be more com­fort­able on screen?

JN: I have al­ways liked to talk to peo­ple, even very big groups! When I was in el­e­men­tary school, I loved tak­ing part in pub­lic speak­ing com­pe­ti­tions. When I talk to the cam­era, I don’t think of it as talk­ing to a lens or even no­tice the cam­er­ap­er­son hold­ing it. I just think of the peo­ple lis­ten­ing and how I would talk to them if they were right there. I do get a bit un­com­fort­able with hav­ing TV makeup put on me be­fore we film, though, be­cause I am not used to wear­ing makeup.

W: What’s the cra­zi­est ex­pe­ri­ence you’ve had on a Hin­ter­land Who’s Who shoot?

JN: I have had so many amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences since I started Hin­ter­land Who’s Who that it would be hard to pick just one favourite! My top three ex­pe­ri­ences were:

1) Help­ing a team of sci­en­tists track tiny lizards in the Prairies us­ing lizard-sniff­ing dogs

2) Trav­el­ling along­side a group of Hump­back Whales while in a small zo­diac boat on the way to an is­land cov­ered in thou­sands of breed­ing Puffins

3) Tast­ing raw fish and Cari­bou, while learn­ing from Inuit about life in the Arc­tic

W: Did you have any other jobs be­fore you be­came the host for Hin­ter­land Who’s Who? What was that like?

JN: Be­fore and dur­ing the time I have been host­ing Hin­ter­land Who’s Who, I have had other jobs too. I was a zookeeper, a sum­mer camp di­rec­tor and the cre­ator of a wildlife ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre. My other favourite job was def­i­nitely run­ning the wildlife cen­tre be­cause I got to work around over 70 res­cued wild an­i­mals like Moose, ea­gles, Wolver­ines, Por­cu­pines, beavers, opos­sums, wolves, owls, snakes and tur­tles every day! I also loved that over 40,000 peo­ple vis­ited us every year, and they all came to learn more about wildlife!

W: If any of our WILD read­ers wanted to be­come wildlife ed­u­ca­tors, what should they study in school?

JN: If you want to be a wildlife ed­u­ca­tor, you could study science in school, but most im­por­tantly, you should spend lots of time out­doors in na­ture! I learned the most about wildlife while camp­ing, hik­ing, ca­noe­ing, snow­shoe­ing... and on bad-weather days, by watch­ing na­ture doc­u­men­taries or read­ing books.

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