The ASU EPICS program has been approached by Rich Sartor, the Director of Living Collections at the Phoenix Zoo (“the Zoo”), with the request for the development of new behavioral enrichment devices to be implemented at the Zoo for the benefit of their animals, keepers, and guests. We have selected the specific project that called for the designing of an environmentally-responsive misting system for the native reptile collection housed at the Zoo. Native reptile species are highly responsive to the desert’s monsoons and the accompanying pressure changes and increases in moisture, relying on them for physiological stimulation and reproduction. Currently, the keepers will mist the reptiles by hand with spray bottles if it rains while they are working, but these reptiles are not experiencing this increase in moisture in correlation to pressure changes if it rains in the morning or evening because the keepers are not present. This device will allow for the reptiles to experience weather patterns that more closely follow the natural pressure changes that accompany monsoons.

Team Members:

  • Ana Acosta, Freshman, Biomedical Engineering
  • Kelly Anderson, Senior, Electrical Engineering
  • Robert Michael Loh, Senior, Material Science Engineering

Community Partner: Rich Sartor and the Phoenix Zoo