Background Information

Resources & Links

Research Project Back to overview

On this page Books Videos Articles & Links Expert list

We provide these resources to help you start your Project research, but do not limit yourselves to the list below.  Remember that your library, school, local government, museum, park district, or activity center may have a lot of information to share about learning. Contacting professionals is also a good way to learn about the topic.

Some of these resources were designed for adults. Do not be afraid to ask a Coach or Mentor for help if some of the material does not make sense or some vocabulary is too difficult. Discussing the work of others can help everyone understand the topic better – team members and Coaches alike.

Title Author /Publisher Content
Wild Animal Neighbors: Sharing Our Urban World  Ann Downer, Twenty-First Century Books (2014) Learn about the conflicts between seven different animals and the people they encounter in cities around the world.
Working Like a Dog

Gena K. Gorrell, Tundra Books (2003)

The Story of Working dogs through history. Provides many examples of the ways that humans have interacted with dogs throughout history.

The Frog Scientist (2011)
The Hive Detectives (2010)
The Octopus Scientists (2015)
Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks (2011)
Wild Horse Scientists (2012)

This series from the publisher Houghton Mifflin contains many books about scientists and other professionals who work with animals  

Guide dog training: Find out what it means to train and work with a guide dog. 

Making peace with lions: Richard Tuere describes his invention to help people and lions live more peacefully together in Kenya.

Texts & Articles

Animal Kingdom: See what scientists include in the animal kingdom and find links to more information about specific categories of animals. 


Animal swap: Have you ever thought about what a puffin costs?  Find out why many zoos and aquariums trade animals rather than buying them.


Biomimicry: What is biomimicry and how can it help you solve problems?


Crittercam: Learn about how National Geographic’s Crittercam makes studying animals both more productive and less disruptive for the animals.

Delving into Dung: You can learn a lot about animals by studying their poop. 


Earth Rangers: The Earth Rangers blog posts articles about interesting animals and the problems they face.


Meet a zoo animal:  The Association of Zoos and Aquariums would like to show you how zoos and aquariums work with all sorts of animals.

Expert list

Ask an expert

Talking with professionals (people who work in the field of this year’s Challenge theme) is a great way for your team to:

  • Learn more about this season’s theme.
  • Find ideas for your ANIMAL ALLIESSM
  • Discover resources that might help with your research.
  • Get feedback on your innovative solution.

Examples of Professionals

Consider contacting people who work in the following professions. See if your team can brainstorm any other jobs to add to the list. Many company, professional association, government, and university websites include contact information for professionals.


What they do

Where they may work

animal curator

Manages a collection of animals.  May involve planning for animal care, display, enrichment, and acquiring or trading.

Aquariums, zoos, animal refuges


Cares for aquatic (water) animals through feeding, training, and generally caring for their wellbeing.

Aquariums, marine research labs, government natural resources departments, theme parks, pet stores

farm manager

Runs a farm that produces crops, livestock, or dairy products.

Farms, universities

game warden

Enforces laws related to fishing, hunting, and owning of wild animals.

Local or national government agencies


Cares for livestock in places where these animals wander through pasture lands.

Farms, ranches, traditional communities, wilderness areas


Uses knowledge about food science to suggest diet options and adjustments for animals.

Zoos, aquariums, pet food companies


Owns or works on a ranch where livestock are raised.



Trains animals for obedience, performance, riding, or assisting people.

Obedience schools, stables, theme parks, service animal organizations


Provides medical treatment to animals.

Veterinarian’s office, farms, aquariums, zoos, stables, pet stores, animal product companies, universities

veterinary technician or veterinary nurse

Works with veterinarians to treat or study animals.

Veterinarian’s office, laboratory, university, farm

wildlife rehabilitator

Cares for ill, injured, or orphaned animals until they can be released into the wild.  Wildlife rehabilitators require an official license.

Wildlife centers, aquariums, zoos, animal shelters

wildlife biologist

Studies animals and how they interact with their ecosystems.

Universities, government agencies, medical research laboratories, museums, zoos, Wildlife centers


Cares for captive animals through feeding, training, and generally caring for their wellbeing.

Zoos, aquariums, animal refuges, theme parks


Studies animals and how they interact  with their ecosystems.

Universities, government agencies, medical research laboratories, museums, zoos