Sarah O’Riley works with Brookfield Zoo in redesigning and writing their website
by Macy Hepokoski
Brookfield Zoo has started to rewrite the content on their King Conservation Science Scholars page on the Brookfield Zoo Website. Done by updating and replacing several logos in order to make volunteering a smoother process, Sarah O’Riley ’22 said.
O’Riley is part of a volunteer group called The King Conservation Science Scholars, she said. The King Conservation Science Scholars is a program through Brookfield Zoo available for teenagers ages 13-17, according to the Brookfield Zoo website. Students have to fulfill the program’s 100 volunteer hours annually through workshops and other opportunities. Most of the time, students are talking to visitors about the animals in front of their exhibits; however students also get to participate in conventions with other zoos as well as the Shedd Aquarium. O’Riley has been working through the program since her freshman year.
“The Brookfield Zoo has been such a great place to me and my friends,” O’Riley said.
Many people have been helping with this project by making sure to brand the zoo both formally and positively. O’Riley’s group is in charge of designing the website to teach people how to become a volunteer and how to join the program, going over volunteer requirements and experiences, and designing the sign up process. King Conservation Science Scholars members can apply for college scholarships and paid positions at the Brookfield Zoo after one or more years of successful participation, according to the Brookfield Zoo website.
The King Conservation Science Scholars ended up with about 9-12 high-schoolers working on the website, O’Riley said.
The new website page is not yet up and running due to different groups working on different parts of the page. Each group has separate assignments to work on that have to be finished before the marketing team reviews them, O’Riley said. Social distancing and miscommunication have caused some challenges and slowed down the process, O’Riley said.
Rewriting the website has been an opportunity for students to meet and work with professionals, including interpretive program coordinator and writer Jamie Zite-Stumbris and senior graphic designer Darrel Reese.
O’Riley has never had any experience in rewriting and designing websites; however she has had some technology experience through programming lights and running live streams for theater shows.
While they have faced challenges, the new website will be well thought out and easier to navigate once finished, O’Riley said.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far it’s about all of the consideration that goes into branding and into writing. We spent several weeks just focusing on how to word our articles so that they have the correct pathos, logos and ethos, and ways to brand the zoo in a very formal and very positive light,” O’Riley said.