MOORHEAD — The Integrated Science Center, ISC, houses a diverse range of activities and organizations. Among them is the Exotic Animal Care and Husbandry Club, known as EACH.
EACH plays a vital role in the care of over 40 unique critters while managing corridor displays featuring prominent species like Gödel, the “unofficial Concordia College mascot.”
Gödel, a red footed tortoise, has achieved superstar status on campus attracting admiration from students like Greta Duren, an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major. Duren frequently takes Gödel on strolls around ISC and introduces Roxy, a Boa Constrictor, to the campus community.
“She (Roxy) is one of the most common snakes we have out and about. I took her out to Olin Hill the other day. She had a wonderful time,” Duren said.
Professor Krys Strand, EACH’s advisor, asserts that forming connections with reptiles can have a positive impact on students’ mental well-being.
“I’ll walk down the hall, and somebody will just be sitting in front of the displays. It might seem like a small thing, but just taking a few moments to watch nature within the building and having those interactions with critters is important.” Strand said.
The ISC’s greenhouse offers open hours during the harsh winter months, providing students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of plants and wildlife year-round, Strand said.
Members of EACH extend their responsibilities beyond animal care, focusing on educating students about the significance of preserving animals in their natural habitats.
Peter Weinzierl, a sophomore biology major, emphasizes the global ecological importance of animals, “It’s not just how these animals benefit us here, but how we can benefit the animals in their natural habitats. We can teach people why animals are worth keeping around, and why we need snakes like Roxy in the world.”
Weinzierl also underscores the transformative impact of personal encounters with animals. Both Duren and Weinzierl agree that interacting with the animals in EACH can be extremely beneficial to witnessing the impact on wildlife within our community.
“We can talk about animals all we want, but actually seeing the animal and having that experience with the animal right in front of you or even just touching the animal. I think that goes worlds further than just talking about them,” Duren said.
Strand emphasizes the significance of community outreach within Concordia and beyond. “Once you understand something and you have an appreciation for it, then you’re less likely to be frightened of them. You fear them less because you understand them.”
EACH has welcomed various organizations and events to increase awareness of their animals, including the upcoming Fargo Exotic Pet Expo on October 28th.
Those interested in getting involved with EACH can visit their office in ISC 232 or check out their page on Cobber Connect, where they regularly post updates about upcoming events within their organization.