Elaina Wahl has cleaned up goat poop as a teen volunteer and represented the Columbus Zoo as a seasonal interpreter to Canada. Currently enrolled at Miami University with a dual major in Zoology and Mass Communications, she has just launched a project on FundaGeek.com to crowdfund a semester in Tasmania to study and video the wildlife.
Tasmania is an island south of Australia and she will study at the University of Tasmania in the capital city of Hobart. Elaina plans to expand her skills and experience by bringing the wildlife she encounters in the field to life in her own nature videos. She wants to make a positive impact in the growing field of environmental media.
Because Steve Irwin, Jeff Corwin, and David Attenborough are her childhood heroes, she has an enthusiasm and passion for learning about animals and the natural world. She feels the scientific community is lacking the public education aspect started by people like them, which means lots of great zoological research is going unnoticed.
Elaina wants to bring the same excitement to her audience that her heroes brought to her. Tasmania is an amazing environment, and it is her goal to create a fun, educational video series on the wildlife and research she encounters in the country. Because it is an island, Tasmania is home to many endemic species; meaning species only found in that one place on Earth. She will take advantage of being in such a unique zoological atmosphere, and use her media production skills to share her experiences.
Several species of note are the Tasmanian Devil, the Thylacine, and the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle. The beloved Tasmanian Devil is the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. The Thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, is believed to be extinct but no hard evidence exists to prove this with certainty, making it an intriguing mystery of the island. The Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle, a massive and beautiful bird known only to inhabit the island of Tasmania and smaller nearby islands, is listed as endangered with less than 1,000 left in the wild.
This young college student works two jobs on campus and another at the Columbus Zoo during vacations. Her entire tuition for the University of Tasmania will be paid for with hard won scholarships. She has her own video equipment, including a camera, lavalier microphone, tripod, and iMovie. Her FundaGeek project will help her purchase the $2,700 airline tickets, pay the meal and transportation costs while in Tasmania, and, if possible, purchase Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere for optimal editing capability.
You can see about her project, watch her video and perhaps be charmed by her rewards