Jonathan Miot, BS, is currently serving as Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Zoo Animal Technology Program at Santa Fe College and Director of the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo. Jonathan’s undergraduate research in hippopotamus vocalizations and acoustics under the mentorship of Dr. William Barklow at Framingham State College in Massachusetts set him down the path to scientific investigation and the world of zookeeping.
His first job at Busch Gardens gave him the opportunity to coordinate and participate in the marriage between scientific research and animal care at a zoological park. This formative research solidified his admiration for scientific investigation and it’s impact on animal care. Jonathan took that inspiration with him in his jobs at Zoo Atlanta, Lincoln Park zoo and finally to the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo.
Jonathan’s focus is the education of the complete zookeeper. The field of zookeeping has changed dramatically in the last 30 years alone – from unskilled workers who needed only to understand which end of the animal accepted food and which end excreted it out, to the modern zookeeper who needs to understand the intricacy’s of animal nutrition, genetics, zoonotic disease transmission, exhibit construction, guest interaction, training and animal behavior. To this end, Jonathan has taught classes in Animal Nutrition, Animal Breeding and Professional Development and topics in Operant Conditioning, Animal Behavior, Zoo History, Restraint and Handling.
Ultimately Jonathan’s passion is to create a connection between people and animals. Creating this connection begins with understanding animal behavior. Whether it is teaching zookeepers the fundamentals of animal communication or explaining food acquisition behaviors to guests visiting the Teaching Zoo in a way that captivates their interest, inspiring people to care about animals starts with an understanding of how they function in the world.