Assistant Director, Guest Engagement
John G Shedd Aquarium
With her passion for aquatic life, Renee Birk made an early connection to Shedd Aquarium during regular family visits. When she was a teen, she participated in the High School Marine Biology program, an experience that amplified her interest in the marine sciences. Birk went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in secondary teaching with an emphasis in biology from Purdue University. During these undergraduate years, she returned to Shedd for a summer internship to assist with the summer camp program and did contractual teaching as well.
Upon graduation in 2000, Birk was hired full-time in the Learning department and has been at Shedd ever since. Before her current role, she worked with youth, family and adult audiences, facilitating, coordinating and managing programs like summer camps, weekend and evening programming, overnights, off-site field experiences and college courses. Now as assistant director of guest engagement, she works with a team that creates meaningful learner-centered experiences for teens, pre-professionals and volunteers, such as the teen work-study program, assistantships and interpretive volunteers. These experiences allow learners to take on leadership roles and fulfill Shedd’s mission by sparking compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world.
Wanting to further her own learning, while still working full-time at Shedd, Birk went back to school and received her Masters of Arts in zoology from Miami University of Ohio.
Tuesday, May 21
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM