Scholars Zoo Trip: Behind the Scenes at Manatee Coast

In late September I had the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” at the Manatee Coast of the Columbus Zoo with other Bio Sci Scholars. We were able to spend the majority of day exploring the zoo until it was time to go see the manatees. At Manatee Coast, we were able to go into the back rooms where zoo staff perform all their tasks in order to take care of the manatees. This included the kitchen where the food is prepared and the area where the quarantine tank is located which is mostly used for medical check ups and manatee transportation. We also went out on the dock above the manatees’ aquarium and fed them heads of lettuce. It was interesting to learn about the circumstances in which the manatees come into the care of the Columbus Zoo (for rehabilitation reasons) and all of the work that goes into caring for these animals. Going into this trip, I was unaware that the manatees arrive at the zoo to be rehabilitated and then released back into the wild in Florida, so when I discovered that this was the case, it made the whole experience even more fascinating to me because wildlife rehabilitation is a career that I would like to pursue.

Year in Review

This semester has been super busy but fun! I’ve joined three clubs at OSU, Zoology Club, Buckeyes for Canines Club, and Animal Welfare and Behavior Club. I have also been involved with volunteer work whether it is through OSU, like the OWL program, through the Biological Sciences Scholars, like Adopt-A-Family, a club, like Buckeye for Canines’ work with the Franklin County Dog Shelter, or on my own at the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue. I’ve also been focused on school work a lot. Initially it was a shock to me to have so much homework and studying to do all the time, but now I am getting into a routine and balancing my time well to be able to get everything done and to still have time for other activities.


G- Global Awareness:

Traveling and experiencing different cultures has always been important in my family, so I have been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places. I hope to continue to travel a lot throughout college and the rest of my life. I would like to volunteer, study, and maybe even intern abroad through programs here at OSU and outside organizations during the spring and summer time. I am especially interested in volunteering at wildlife orphanages and rehabilitation facilities in Africa and elephant sanctuaries in Asia in order to learn how to handle and properly care for wildlife. I am also interested in educating the public in these foreign places about the importance of conserving the flora and fauna that may surround where they live.

O- Original Inquiry:

In March of 2016, I had the opportunity to study sustainable energy in Iceland, and as I mentioned above, studying abroad is something that I would like to pursue during my time in college. I’m also hoping to be involved in undergraduate research sometime during my four years here. I am interested in research about animal psychology and conservation of habitats and wildlife.

A- Academic Enrichment:

Along with undergraduate research and education abroad, Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory at Lake Erie is another opportunity to learn outside of the classroom that I find appealing. I am considering taking at least one course here sometime in the future. If I could, I would take every opportunity I could to work hands-on with animals and to learn about them in real-life situations rather than sitting at a desk in a classroom. Other than at Stone Laboratory, this kind of learning can be done through my volunteer work with animals. In high school I volunteered at CHA Animal Shelter and I would like to volunteer at the Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital over the summer.

L- Leadership Development:

My ability to be a leader can be demonstrated through my time volunteering. I take the initiative to get tasks done and to resolve any issues that may arise. I may also take on a leadership role in a club when I’m an upperclassmen. Currently, I am involved with Zoology Club, Buckeyes for Canines, and Animal Welfare and Behavior Club.

S- Service Engagement:

Besides volunteering at CHA Animal Shelter in high school, I went on a mission trip to Tecate, Mexico in April of 2014 in order to build homes for impoverished families. As of right now, I am in the process of becoming a certified volunteer at the Franklin County Dog Shelter with the Buckeyes for Canines Club. I hope to alternate between volunteering here and at CHA. I also plan on volunteering at the Butternut Farm Wildcat Sanctuary with the Zoology Club on some weekends. I also socialize rabbits at the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue. Also, as I stated above, I would like to volunteer with wildlife in different countries and at the Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital.



I constructed my research essay, Nonhuman Animal Emotions and Human Morals in Animal Testing, during the second half of my senior year in high school for my senior project known as “Capstone.” This essay synthesizes multiple areas of study ranging from psychology to philosophy in order to support my argument that animal testing should be eliminated altogether. For about nine weeks, I compiled over 190 pages of research from various sources and organized points into one cohesive essay.

I chose to upload this essay for my artifact because it illustrates how much work I put into research when it is a topic I feel strongly about and it shows that animal welfare is one of those topics. While producing this essay, it made me even more passionate about my future working with animals because the research that I found amplified my belief that animals are entitled to the same moral consideration as humans.

About Me

My name is Alex Meyer and I am a freshman involved with the Biological Sciences Scholars Program at The Ohio State University. I’m currently majoring in Zoology and would like to someday attend graduate school. I am unsure of what exactly I will end up doing with animals, but my current goal is to someday rehabilitate injured and orphaned animals. I have always loved animals and I have dreamt about pursuing a career involving animals ever since I was very young. In high school I volunteered at a no-kill animal shelter and heavily researched animal-related topics for speeches and essays. For my senior project, also known as “Capstone,” I shadowed a veterinarian and wrote a research essay, Nonhuman Animal Emotions and Human Morals in Animal Research, which focused on proving that a large range of nonhuman animals are sentient beings and it is therefore immoral to knowingly inflict pain onto them. My project was runner-up for the Matt McCoy Capstone Award for my entire class.

I was born and raised in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and it was never a question whether or not OSU would be the college for me. My older sister and both of my parents graduated from Ohio State, and both of my grandparents were professors here at OSU. I have two older siblings and two precious dogs at home.