Delia Lister, Director of PSU’s Nature Reach to speak at first Sperry-Galliger Audubon meeting in 18 months

4-minute interview is transcribed below

FRED FLETCHER-FIERRO, HOST: It’s Morning Edition; I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. Later this week, the Sperry-Galliar Audubon Society in Pittsburg will be holding it’s first in-person meeting since early last year. The event will be held here on the campus of Pittsburg State, inside of Yates Hall, this Thursday (September 30) starting at 7 pm. Joining me this morning is Delia Lister, the Director of PSU’s Nature Reach program. She is also a member of the Biology department. Hi Delia, thank you for your time this morning.

4-minute edited for radio interview with Delia
6-minute interview with Delia
Delia Lister

DELIA LISTER : Hi, great to be here.

FRED : I first want to ask about PSU’s Nature Reach program, that you’re the Director of. For somebody that’s not heard of it before Could you just talk about the program and how long it’s been in existence.

DELIA : Sure, Nature Reach has been around since 1985. Sort of the bread and butter of what I do is go to a lot of schools in the local area, giving programs about various topics to animal adaptation to birds of prey. We, for the most part take live animals and I think they are probably the best tool for helping kids really remember the information that they’re getting, it’s a little more hands on than just reading about it in a book or something like that.

The other things that we do, are a teacher workshop. If a school calls and request a particular topic or program I can sometimes tailor it to that topic. Of course I teach on campus as well. So I have a pretty diverse job. And of course taking care of the animals and managing the students that take are of the animals. So every day is different and I’m never bored.”

FRED : So the Sperry-Galliger program on Thursday evening here at Pittsburg State. This could be the perfect time for a big lover or a first time visitor to a Sperry-Galliger program to show being that it’s the first in-person meeting in about a year and half. Could you give a preview of what your presentation will include?

DELIA : Yea, so I think, a lot of people wondered what I did? What does this little nature center do during a global pandemic whose bread and butter is going out to schools and can’t do that. We had to make a switch very quickly to doing online programs. We already had a project in the works with the biology department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. We did an extreme makeover of our bird of prey enclosures, so I’m going to mention that.

The thing that I will probably focus on the most is some of the new training that I was able to get. I tried to make the most of the time that I couldn’t do programming, and did a lot of professional development myself and learned a lot about positive reinforcement training with our birds and in particular and things over the past 15-years things have really changed, and so I was really to get the opportunity to learn all of these new training techniques and I was going to share a little bit about that journey.

And a few sort of funny videos thrown in there and talk about the journey. And some of the benefits overall of everything I’ve been able to work on over the course of the pandemic and hopefully people will enjoy learning about some of the things that I enjoy learning about. Who knows, they maybe able to take some of this home to their own pets and apply some of the things they’ll learn hopefully.

FRED : And they’ll be able to meet you and see your presentation at the Sperry-Galligar Audubon meeting, this Thursday. It’s at Yates Hall here on the campus of Pittsburg State University You can find out more about the Audubon at their Facebook page, Sperry-Galligar Audubon.

Delia Lister, Director of Pittsburg States Nature Reach program and a member of the Biology department at PSU, I want to thank you for joining me this morning.

DELIA – Thanks, this was fun.

FRED : Delia also wanted me to remind nature lovers that Nature Reach is not fully financially supported by PSU, and they are looking for the public’s support to maintain the program. If you’re interested in donating towards Nature Reach, click this link.

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