Sciensational Sssnakes!!

Conservation Through Education

Monday, July 24, 2006

Staff Profile: Sean Espinola

Sean has volunteered with us for about 4 years now, and this is his first year on staff. We've been telling him for a year now to get started on learning to drive so we could hire him, but we've got so many programs booked for this summer that we simply couldn't wait! I suspect he'll be well on his way to his driver's license by the end of the summer, though!

Sean lives in Burlington, and attends high school there where he is going into Grade 11. He is bright, considerate, and always helpful. He is also very knowledgeable about reptiles- recently he's gone to a couple of programs with Graham and Amanda, and he's answered most of the questions from the public at the end of the show!

Here's a picture of Sean-

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 6:26 PM | Comments (0)  

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Update from Pukaskwa National Park

What a busy time! I'm north of Lake Superior, at Pukaskwa National Park today, and Jenny and crew are doing lots of programs in central Ontario as well. Last week turned out to be much busier than anticipated- good thing we've hired Sean to help out. I'll try to get a profile up for him soon!

Don't forget to check out our Reptiles at Risk on the Road Prairie Tour blog at for regular updates from Crystal, Megan, and I as we head west!

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)  

Friday, July 14, 2006

Staff Profile: Amanda Thibodeau

Amanda also joins us this summer from the Maritimes on a Young Canada Works grant. She hails from Fredericton, New Brunswick, where she is studying law at UNB. Her friends say they never would have expected her to get a job teaching people about snakes, but she's been doing fabulously so far! Amanda's adventurous spirit is up for any challenge, which I'm sure is a great attribute for a future lawyer! You can see a photo of Amanda at

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)  

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Day 4 in Sudbury

We're doing a show right now at the Copper Cliff branch of the Sudbury library system- actually Graham, Amanda and Megan are doing it without me while I'm writing this update! After rotating through various portions of the program, today they have started to take on the challenge of performing the entire program. The afternoon show went very well, and I'm sure this one will, too!

In between shows today we stopped in at Home Depot to get some plywood cut for shelving in the back of the van. We continue to customize things here and there to improve it for our trip out to Saskatchewan. We also created a ceiling-mounted fishing rod rack!

Amanda took yesterday off to visit a life-long friend who has moved to Sudbury, so Graham, Megan and I did the two library shows and then headed up to Halfway Lake Provincial Park for the evening program. Good thing we got there in time to have a swim before the show, since it has been very hot for the last few days.

Tomorrow should be interesting. In addition to the two library shows (which should be big ones, last year nearly 300 people showed up for the Valley East branch), we will be picking up a new snake from the local OSPCA shelter. We did a reptile training workshop for their staff last year, so when the snake came in this week, they decided to contact us to see if we could adopt it. Handily enough, they discovered that I was already in town!

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 6:34 PM | Comments (1)  

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Staff Profile: Graham Dixon-MacCallum

Graham has joined us this summer from Halifax, Nova Scotia, under a Young Canada Works grant. We're happy to have him aboard, and will certainly make good use of his bilingual skills while we're up here in northern Ontario, and in Ottawa later this summer. Graham is a biology student at Acadia University, and has previously worked in Gros Morne National Park and the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. At 6' 3", he's a tall guy; good thing he knows how to get down to the kids' level! You can see a picture of Graham on our Flickr gallery at

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 2:32 PM | Comments (1)  

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

On the road again!

We're back in Sudbury! This is Day 2 of 5 days here doing programs at the Sudbury public libraries. I meant to get a post up last week but we had way too much to do to get ready to go, since this is only the first week of 7 for me to be on the road! From here, we go to Foleyet and Timmins, and then out towards Lake Superior. After that, we'll head out to northwestern Ontario, and on to Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Hopefully I'll be able to put frequent updates on the site!

Staff members Graham, Amanda, and Megan are with me right now, and Crystal and Sean are still in Orillia with Jenny- they've still got lots of bookings to keep up with! Next week we rotate the animals and the staff; Crystal and Megan will be with me after that.

It should be a busy but fun trip- no doubt lots of stories to tell! Today has been great, 2 shows so far and one more in about a half hour. After the second show, one family that has seen the program several times brought us home-made chocolate chip peanut butter cookies- how cool is that!!!

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 5:49 PM | Comments (1)