“Can I catch it?”: On Handling Wildlife

We’ve all been there. A boy in your care looks earnestly into your eyes, rabid with excitement; he’s found a critter and he wants to catch it. What do you do? Eric Heil, Lower School Natural History teacher, offers his thoughts on how to guide our sons to both handle and appreciate the creatures they encounter in the wild.

Eric Heil

About the guest:

Eric Heil


Eric Heil is originally from the Napa Valley in northern California. He studied Spanish language and culture for one year at the University of Navarre, in Spain, and then he completed his B.A. in biology at the University of Dallas. In 2001, he joined Teach for America and taught middle-school math and science in the Bronx for two years. He was the Robert G. Engel Mammalogy Fellow at the Bronx Zoo before moving to Washington DC to work for the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. At the National Zoo, Eric investigated the nutritional ecology of the California sea otter. He taught in the lower school for eight years before taking a sabbatical year. He returned to the Valley having attained an AMI diploma in Elementary Montessori education. Eric also received his M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland.

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