KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 8/8/10, 10:30 AM; & KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 8/15/10, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Craig Ivanyi, Executive Director, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden. Ivanyi was named Executive Director July 1, 2010, following a 25-year career with the organization. 

Ivanyi says during that time, the mission of the ASDM hasn’t changed: “the mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.”  He says the mission is carried out largely through the Center for Sonoran Desert Studies, which conducts the educational and scientific functions of the Museum and is a hub for research, education and conservation of the Sonoran Desert Region.  He says the Center's activities range from on-grounds and outreach education programs for school children and adults, to conducting ecological research in the Sonoran Desert region and advising museum staff, other conservation organizations, and the public on scientific and educational matters.  He says the Museum is a natural “classroom” for teaching ecology, natural history, geology, zoology, botany, mathematics, art, and many other disciplines.  

Ivanyi says in addition to paid curators and other staff members, the Museum relies on Docents, trained volunteers whose major responsibility is to help people on the Museum grounds and in the community better understand and appreciate the Sonoran Desert region. He says Docents are adults of all ages, walks of life and educational backgrounds.  He says there are currently nearly 200 docents volunteering once per week or more at the Museum.