Grant D. Spickelmier

MS Thesis Title

The New Zoo?: Construction and Validation of a Scale Measuring Zoo Visitor Beliefs about the Function of Zoos.


Current position

Assistant Director of Education, Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, MN

Current job description

I manage an education staff of naturalists at the Minnesota Zoo that present conservation education programming to over 100,000 students each year. Along with the traditional camps, overnights and classes, I have become increasingly involved with using video games and the Internet as tools for education and in 2006 received a National Science Foundation grant to develop “WolfQuest”, an interactive 3D role-playing game where kids play and interact as wolves living in Yellowstone National Park. WolfQuest to date has been downloaded and played by over 630,000 people and now hosts an online community of over 225,000 players who use the online forum to discuss the game, wolves and wolf conservation efforts. Another growing interest of mine have been around the issue of sustainable seafood. I have been the sustainable seafood coordinator at the Minnesota Zoo since 2003 which has led to offering a series of workshops, trainings and events focused around raising consumer awareness about sustainability issues with seafood. Recently this has switched into an increasing focus on training those in the Seafood industry in the Twin Cities (chefs, retailers, purveyors and aquaculturists).