There is a strong commitment to outreach at all levels of our department. All members of staff are encouraged to actively disseminate their research to the public. This is most commonly done via press releases for important papers, in collaboration with the school press office. We run specific training courses and seminars on dissemination.
A large number of staff engage in outreach activities with local schools and childrens’ groups. These include helping in the classroom, seminars, taking children into the field, and vacation placements within laboratories. This large degree of interaction is facilitated by the fact that our research topics (Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Adaptation, Birds etc) attract much interest from children and can be linked to the national curricula. If you are a local school interested in such activities, then contact us. Little Changes is a children's book written by a Zoology graduate student on Evolution.
We have a unique partnership with the Food Animal Initiative (FAI) at the Oxford University Farm, which runs outreach via family activity days, and classes / visits to the farm ‘Outdoor Classroom’ for schools, which are closely linked to the national curriculum (farm visit videos). The Outdoor Classroom is jointly funded by the Department of Zoology, the Friends of FAI and the Farm Animal Care Trust (FACT).
We have a close relationship with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. This museum runs a superb collection of courses and activities for children, which several Zoology staff help on. In addition, the museum provides an excellent resource for materials (bones, fossils etc), which Zoology staff can borrow and take to local schools.