Rebecca (Riediger) Jahns – Class of 2014 – Biology
Husbandry assistant-LTE at the Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo, in Green Bay Wisconsin.
What you do:
I currently work as a swing keeper taking care of various species of animals at our facility, from reptiles to birds to mammals and everything in between! I completed two avian internships at the Minnesota Zoo and the International
Crane Foundation, and worked for a year on the Avian staff at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere before moving to my position here. I spend my day cleaning and feeding, training, interacting with the public, working with the vet staff, and finding ways to keep my animals happy and engaged. Many of the species I work/have worked with are endangered, and are part of regulated breeding programs and other efforts in place to protect the species as a whole and contribute to conservation efforts.
What inspires you:
I am constantly amazed by God’s creation and how it all works so seamlessly together to make up the world we live on. I also realize that we have not always done the best job and being good stewards of the world we’ve been given, and I love that I get to not only help protect the creatures God created, but share them and how amazing they are with the guests that come to our zoo each day. Every day teaches me something new, and theres no feeling like creating bonds with animals that most people have never seen or heard of!
How you want to make a difference:
I am a huge believer that people want to protect what they love. I thoroughly enjoy connecting people with the animals I care for, as well as working to secure healthy populations of the animals under my care through progressive husbandry, breeding programs, and training.
How Bethany prepared you:
The electives in the biology program were very helpful and informative! The small class sizes also allowed the instructors to tailor the information to you- particularly in my behavioral psychology course where they allowed me to dive into animal behavior while the rest of the class focused more on child development. The information gleaned there has been hugely beneficial. Not to mention all the zoology courses. Having a Christian course on evolution was also wonderful to have in such a liberal field, and I wouldn’t trade that opportunity for the world. Professor Heins in particular was amazing at getting us out into the field as well and doing hands-on studies which I feel made my resume stand out when applying for internships, and his HawkWatch programs and trips are amazing resources as well!
What you remember most about Bethany:
I love the Christian atmosphere. It may sound cliche, but it is truly an amazing gift to have four years of higher education given from a Christian viewpoint. All the instructors truly want the best for you, and will go out of their way to help you if you need it!
Advice for current students:
Work hard and take advantage of all the experience and advice your instructors can give you! And start internships early! Networking and knowing people in the field you’re trying to get into is huge!