Using a Passion for Animals to Promote Awareness With Ellen Weatherford of Just the Zoo of Us Podcast
Joining us on the show today, we have Ellen Weatherford, the creator of Just the Zoo of Us Podcast. Along with her husband, Christian, Ellen’s focus is to educate people on topics relating to wildlife, threats to endangered species and biodiversity, threats posed by invasive species, and what we can do to help.
Ellen starts by recounting the story of how the amazing name for her podcast came about. From there she explains the layout of her creative show. Ellen and Christian research a different animal for each show and give them a rating out of 10 in each of the following categories: effectiveness, ingenuity, and aesthetics.
The topic of her podcast seemed like a natural choice. Ellen’s love for animals is deeply ingrained, from her first job working at a pet store, studying to be a zoologist in college, to exploring her talents as a nature and animal photographer and artist.
Ellen goes on to explain that in every episode, she and Christian includes each animal’s conservation status, factors threatening their numbers as a species, and what we can do to help. The discussion shifts a bit to explain how having a passion for environmental causes and wanting to encourage others to make changes in their lifestyle was a large reason for exploring this topic.
We then talk about Ellen’s love for educational podcasts beginning at a very young age and how they have had an influence on her life. After attending a lecture by Griffen McElroy and venturing out on Jonathan Coulton’s JoCo Cruise, Ellen and her husband were inspired to finally take the plunge and start recording their podcast.
Ellen then shares the biggest lessons she learned in community building and networking during the process of launching a podcast.
We wrap up by discussing Ellen’s advice for someone who may be on the fence with starting their own podcast.
· Ellen talks about how they came up with the name Just the Zoo of Us (0:22)
· Ellen discusses the format of Just the Zoo of Us and how the structure for each episode is made (01:08)
· The reason Ellen chose this topic as her cause (01:46)
· Do the animals get upset about low ratings? (02:46)
· How Ellen digs into the education of endangered species and different types of threats that are out there and how her audience has received that information (04:01)
· Why Ellen and her husband decided to start a podcast on wildlife and how it’s impacted their lives (07:27)
· The types of guests Ellen has on her show and the insights they’ve received from them (09:55)
· Why Ellen wanted to start a podcast in the first place (10:49)
· Challenges and lessons learned from getting her podcast off the ground (14:00)
· The most rewarding part of having a podcast (19:44)
· Ellen’s advice to start your own podcast and enjoy the process (20:58)