Season 2, Episode 6: Molly Frank; Image of Research Contest Part 2

Season 2, Episode 6 Transcript

Season 2, Episode 6: Image of Research Contest – “Relaxing the Reds” with guest Molly Frank.

Summary: Courtney and Kara have a lovely conversation with undergraduate conservation biology and zoology major, Molly Frank. Molly submitted her photo, “Relaxing the Reds” to the Illinois State University Image of Research Contest and received the People’s Choice award in the undergraduate category. In our interview, we talk about her internship and research experience at Miller Park Zoo, as well has her interest in animal conservation and sea level rise.

Narrative, written by Molly Frank: This is Cashmere; she is a female red panda at Miller Park Zoo, where I worked as an animal care intern. My project was to socialize the pandas and get them comfortable with zookeeper interactions. Zoos need the animals to be comfortable and not under stress when keepers clean, feed, or even provide medical care. I worked on socialization by spending time in the exhibit, attempting to hand feed, and even talking to the pandas to get them comfortable with our voices and presence. It was an amazing opportunity and rewarding experience to see the animals relax around me and ultimately take food from me (even stepping on my hand in the process a few times). This photograph shows Cashmere comfortable, close to me, and still as I take her portrait.


Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Molly’s Undergraduate Journey [2:06]
  • Molly’s Internship at Miller Park Zoo [5:16]
  • Socializing Red Pandas, Volunteering at the Zoo, and Conservation [7:21]
  • Molly’s entry to the Illinois State University Image of Research Contest [20:51]
  • Sea level rise, swimming with sharks, conservation biology; a discussion of now and the future [26:56]
  • Advise for fellow students getting involved with research [27:59]
  • Conservation interest and media Influences – Shark Week, Apocalyptic Sci Fi and documentaries on sea level rise [30:10]
  • Student Organization for Survivors and Allies: Student’s Ending Rape Culture [SERC] [34:22]

Biographies of Guest:

Molly is an undergraduate student in the School of Biological Sciences and Illinois State University studying Zoology and Conservation Biology. She graduated Spring 2021. She has research experience at the Miller Park Zoo and upcoming summer research experiences working with turtles at Illinois State University.

Resources mentioned in this Episode:


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