Hannah Rupert ’12 Will Travel to Africa to Help with Cheetah Conservation
Mar 26, 2018
Hannah Rupert ’12, a Delaware Valley University conservation and wildlife management alumna, will travel to Africa in July 2018 to be a part of cheetah conservation efforts. She will work alongside the Cheetah Conservation Fund doing hands-on fieldwork and community-based environmental education.
“African animals have always been a passion of mine, and I am excited to get the chance to see animals that I educate people about daily in their wild habitat,” said Rupert.
Rupert is currently the education manager of public programs at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore where she runs tours and events to educate the public about wildlife. Her newest project is a partnership with the Greater Maryland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association that provides a guided zoo experience for patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s. Rupert is also a member of the zoo’s Sustainability Committee and serves as the staff advisor for volunteers.
While working in her field, she is completing a master’s degree through Miami University’s Global Field Program. Rupert will be traveling to Namibia through her graduate program to work with other students and conservation professionals in the field. The graduate program takes students to different countries to participate in hands-on learning every summer. Rupert has studied field methods, desert ecology, whale sharks, eco-leadership and youth programs and visited locations all over the world through her graduate program.
“I worked alongside a local community in Paraguay to create a biodiversity day at a local park and got the chance to teach and learn from many different kids and adults who participated,” said Rupert, of her past experiences with the program.
Rupert said her hands-on experiences at DelVal as an undergraduate helped prepare her for success in her career and graduate school.
“I knew that DelVal was my first choice after touring the campus for the first time,” said Rupert. “I really enjoyed the one-on-one, hands-on learning environment. It was nice to be able to build connections with classmates and faculty.”
Rupert said the conservation and wildlife management program at DelVal helped her discover and achieve her career goals.
“I am very thankful for the wildlife program for opening up so many life-changing opportunities for me,” said Rupert. “The hands-on experience helped to grow my interest in my field and provided me with many first-time opportunities that I might not have had anywhere else.”
Through Animals in the Public Eye, a DelVal course, Rupert had her first experience doing wildlife education for the public. She said she still uses lessons from DelVal in her wildlife education programs today.
Outside of the classroom, Rupert built up her resume by interning. She worked as a general education intern with the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore between her junior and senior years of college. As an intern, Rupert assisted with school programs at the zoo.
“I found my dream job at a wonderful organization,” said Rupert, of interning.
As an education manager, she now guides interns from DelVal and provides them with real-world, hands-on experience.
“I have worked with at least three DelVal interns and several started out with me as teen volunteers,” said Rupert. “I have also encouraged many teen volunteers interested in zoo and animal science to consider DelVal.”