By Varun Bajaj 

On the second day of the diversity workshop, the staff of The Chronicle recorded a field-safety workshop for handling rattlesnakes. 

The training session became the subject of video projects by the staff as they learned how to produce video journalism projects. Cecil Schwalbe, a herpetologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, led the demonstration of techniques on safely handling and removing rattlesnakes. 

“I started doing these [safety presentations] when I was with Arizona Game and Fish from 1984 to ’90,” Schwalbe said. “By about 1986, I began teaching people to safely move rattlesnakes out of their camp.” 

Keith Perfetti, The Chronicle's web master and a mentor for the workshop, participated with the safety training. 

“[Schwalbe] showed us the proper way to… pick up [a rattlesnake] mid-body and put it in a giant trashcan,” Perfetti said. “The Dow Jones High School Journalism students were learning videography, so they were recording the lifting up of snakes and putting the snakes down.” 

Rogelio Garcia, an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, prepared the students for the videography practice. Garcia, who also trains scientists on videography, prepped the students on videojournalism. 

“[Garcia] worked with us on the angles, high and low, and the zooming,” Kenzie Hawley said. “The video project is about the snake demonstration we did this morning. I’m editing and revising it until it’s prim and proper.” 

Watch for the video piece of the workshop produced by the students coming later this week. 

You can see the picture here.


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