Desert Museum: Week 3

Who’s ready for another fun week of animals? Probably me, I kind of signed up for this.

Over this week I really started planning out the structure of how the graphic novel will work. I decided the book will be divided into several sections of around eight pages each, just to make it convenient for printing. I was mainly writing this week, trying to plan out each section of the comic to be. I settled on these topics:

  • Sonoran Desert Overview: Basic facts and reasons why it is such a biodiverse desert
  • Saguaro Cactus: It’s role as a keystone species and how other species interact with it
  • Hibernation and Estivation: How cold blooded animals beat the heat and cold
  • Nocturnality: How animals avoid daylight to conserve water and stay cool
  • Desert Birds: The unique avians of the Sonoran desert

Each of these chapters are independent of the others, so if I ran out of time, I could simply cut one out without adverse effects on the final product.

Additionally, during this week I got to attend a meeting on working at the stingray touch tank, despite the fact I won’t be allowed to work there anytime soon. Still, it was informative to the behind-the-scenes planning that goes on in a zoo. The basic logistics composed most of the meeting, such as how many people to let in at a time, when to open up and close, what to do if there’s a thunderstorm, and so forth.

One thing that stood out to me were the procedures in case a ray jumped out of the pool. Apparently, rays do jump out of the water occasionally in the wild, but it’s a problem when it happens in an enclosure like this because the ray would be stranded on the concrete. The basic plan in such a event would be to immediately scoop the ray up with a net and place it back in the pool. In case any museum visitors started asking about the ray, museum staff , they are to acknowledge the fact that the ray jumped out, but to explain that this in an occurrence in the wild and that they will have a veterinarian later examine the animal.

Overall, this week mainly consisted of planning.  Next week I’ll start getting into the real nitty gritty of working out this project.

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