Initiated in November 2014, this revolving programme is designed to create unique opportunities for collaboration with experts in their fields who have strong individual commitments to making contributions to conservation in concert with the work of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
In so doing, each individual Resident extends our audience outreach in new directions, creates new and exciting avenues for sharing our conservation work through different mediums, and enhances our educational initiatives at Edinburgh Zoo, the Highland Wildlife Park and on the road through our Wild About Scotland bus.
Working in concert with us in meaningful ways, RZSS Residents assist us to (1) add value to our visitors’ experiences, (2) add new dimensions to our Membership benefits, (3) enhance our profile as a leading conservation organisation, (4) generate press coverage where appropriate, and (5) gain valuable behind-the-scenes experience pertinent to their work and otherwise unavailable to them.
Each two-way engagement is individually tailored to fit the ongoing professional endeavours of the Resident, while making the most creative use of their expertise. Appointments are made for one year, with the opportunity to renew if a programme is ongoing and is expected to evolve and grow.
Collaborations can take the form of Members’ lectures and debates, while enhancing our visitors’ experiences through on-site workshops, festivals, exhibitions, short-courses for adults and children, summer school and science festival participation, policy papers, advisory services, or contributions in kind.
Since its inception 15 RZSS Residents have been appointed under the broad categories of Thinking, Creating and Doing, and managed under the wing of the Thinker in Residence, including: Beekeeper, Silversmith, Environmental Scientist, Wildlife Artist, Nature Photographer, Palaeontologist, Explorer, Storyteller, Organic Chef, Illustrator, Cartoonist, Cold Coral Ecologist and a Sustainability Artist. The Art Curator and Sculptor residencies have come to completion.
The Residency Steering Group meets quarterly to raise and consider new Residency appointments. Under discussion are an Economist, Landscape Architect, Composer, Videographer, Comedian, Scottish Musician and Poet, amongst others.