Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dr. Ryder and the Frozen Zoo

A few months ago Dylan was invited to tour the Beckman Center for Conservation Research and meet Dr. Oliver Ryder to learn about his extensive genetics and DNA work with the Northern White Rhinos. The anticipation and excitement for this visit was nothing compared to the feeling we both had when we walked through the front doors of the Institute on January 8, 2014.

Knowing that we both walked away from this amazing experience with our own highlights and favorite moments, I thought it would be nice for each of us to share our own stories. 

This is Dylan's story.

Visiting the Beckman Center for Conservation Research was the best time of my life. When I got there the first thing I could say was, "Wow, I'm really at the Beckman Center." - Then when I got inside I saw stuff like pictures of animals that were extinct like the quagga. A fun lady named Maggie met us and gave us the tour. We got to talk to a really cool guy named Dr. Oliver Ryder (or Ollie if he's your friend). Dr. Ryder is a world renowned scientist who first discovered through genetic research that northern and southern white rhinos are different. I also saw many different types of DNA from different animals such as southern white rhinos, gorillas, condors and much much more. 

My favorite part of my tour was when I got to go in the Frozen Zoo. In the Frozen Zoo Dr. Ryder showed me all the frozen cells. The frozen cells are frozen by liquid nitrogen and I couldn't touch them because it was so cold that it would cause severe tissue damage. Dr. Ryder had to use a special thermal glove to pick the cells up.

Then we went to Dr. Ryder's office and I learned a lot about northern white rhinos. It turns out that Dr. Ryder has seen all of the remaining 7 northern white rhinos! He also told me that he had a conservation plan to help save northern white rhinos. I thought his plan was very interesting.

We got to see all the labs too. In one of the labs I saw Mountain yellow-legged frogs. They are critically endangered and I got to see them as tadpoles, polliwogs, and adults. Another part I really liked was when I walked by a scientist they would say, "Hey, you're Dylan!" In the Beckman Center I also got to go in a really cool library that only had animal books in it. 

All in all, my experience at the Frozen Zoo and Beckman Center for Conservation Research was totally awesome!

Part 2 (my story) will be published tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Such a cool and life-changing experience! Nicely written, Dylan! Feels like I was right there standing next to you, being ignored by everyone who was talking to you.

    I hope this was only the first of many times you will go visit your new friend, Ollie.