Apr 1

Liana Vitali, ARKive Science, Education and Outreach OfficerI joined the Wildscreen and ARKive team a year and a half ago as the second member of the US office. It’s been a great opportunity to explore the world of wildlife conservation through a camera lens! As the ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer I meet filmmakers, photographers, scientists, conservationists and educators across the US and work on new and fun activities for ARKive Education.

What are you currently working on?

A new educational activity that, for the moment, we’re calling the Continent Map. Through the activity students learn about different plants and animals found around the world, including interesting facts about their conservation status, what they eat and the biggest threats to their survival. We’re still working out the kinks but we’re hoping this activity will be fully downloadable on ARKive Education soon!

What animal skill would you most like to have?

Definitely camouflage! Everyone’s had a moment where they wish they could be a fly on the wall or just disappear for a bit. Although I imagine it would be challenging to blend into the surroundings here in Washington, DC!

Which three people would you invite to the ultimate dinner party?

You need good food, good tunes and good conversation. For me, that brings the chefs of the San Franciscan restaurant “The Stinking Rose – A Garlic Restaurant” since garlic is a basic food group for me. Then Dave Matthews and his dreamy guitar would arrive followed by Jon Stewart and his insane ability to discuss everything that’s happening in the world focused through a snarky comedic lens.

Where in the world would you most like to go?

Oh my, I don’t think it’s possible to narrow this down to one place. How about one goal? I’m trying to set foot on every continent before I hit the big 3-0. I only have two down so there’s LOTS to go and time just keeps flying by. That reminds me, I do have some frequent flyer miles racking up …

Which celebrity do you most look like?

Hmmm, I’ve never really had anyone make a connection between me and a celebrity besides my sister who says whenever she watches one of her (and my) favorite shows, Chuck, his sister Ellie played by Sarah Lancaster always reminds her of me. She’s a lovely lady so I’ll take it!

What’s the best wildlife encounter you’ve ever had?

I was probably 4 years old and we took a big family outing to a zoo in California. One of the exhibits was a giant walrus pool and if I stood on my tippy toes I could look over and see a ginormous walrus eating little fish tossed to him by the zookeeper. He kept catching one after the other without missing a beat. I leaned over further and saw the walrus starting to make a funny face and twitch his whiskers. I leaned over even further just in time for him to raise his head straight up towards me and sneeze a giant mouthful of fish right into my face! Instead of being scared, I actually burst out laughing and we talked about it all day long (and still to this day).

What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?

I’ve created a whole scrapbook for myself on MyARKive to keep track of all the images and film that really move me and remind me how amazing the plant and animal kingdom is. For example, the bristlecone pine is the gnarliest looking tree on the planet and it also happens to be the world’s oldest living organism. I love to practice yoga so this Verreaux’s sifaka in the lotus position just speaks to me and says “I’m chilled”. Finally, the look on the researcher’s face in this picture with the golden-mantled tree kangaroo is exploding with love and care for this Critically Endangered critter and reminds me every time how important the work that we do is.

Tell us an animal related joke.

Why don’t anteaters get sick?

They’re full of anty-bodies.

  • ARKive blog - ARKive on the Road: Schooldocs at Silverdocs (July 3rd, 2011 at 11:02 am):

    [...] Liana Vitali, ARKive‘s Science, Education and Outreach Officer in the USA, was joined by two other panelists: Donelle Blubaugh, Director of Education at PBS and William McDonald, Director of Curriculum Development, Science and Mathematics at Discovery Education. Liana Vitali, ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer at Wildscreen USA, responding to a question from Kelly Denson, Discovery Education, at Schooldocs [...]

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