Joanna Helen Schinner

July 2013 - September 2013

I came to the WSC as I have a great passion for wildlife, especially canids. It has always been my intention to work with such animals in their natural habitat or to research the relationship between these fantastic creatures and us. This possibility is provided at the WSC, making it a wonderful place to explore early research experiences.

The wolves that I have come to like the most are the young Una and the white Kenai due to their unique personalities, although the beauty, expressiveness and intelligence of Yukon and Geronimo have impressed me very much as well.

I enjoy the work with all the animals at the WSC and do not want to miss the opportunity to work with any of them. Hence one shouldn’t overlook the dogs – Bora, Asali, Zuri and co. -  that also play an important role here at the WSC.

I am here for an internship as part of my university course. It is up to the student to find an appropriate placement and I couldn’t be more happy to have had the chance to come here. Part of my work is touristic; doing various things from choosing pictures for our next calendar (2014), writing in our online diary, or sending updates about our wolves to their patrons. I guide children and adults along our wolf learning path or accompany guests on one of our walks with a wolf and a trainer. With this I hope to give them a better understanding of these wonderful animals.

Many scientific projects can be observed or even worked on as a student here, hence I had the opportunity to help out with the Caching Experiment (in which observational spatial memory was tested), the Learning Set or the Food Choice Task (a test for food preferences).

Being surrounded by fantastic researchers, PHD students and other interested students gives you a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and it is a perfect base for discussions, creating a great learning environment.

I have very much enjoyed my internship here at WSC with its fantastic wolves, dogs and of course its people, who are driven and interested in the same field. I hope to get further involved with the animals and the team in the future, but for now I am just very greatful for this wonderful opportunity!