Conference Format

AAZK is moving to a more dynamic format for our annual conferences.  In an effort to move toward standardized workshops with an emphasis on continuing education, the conference layout will be divided into two major components: morning paper presentations and afternoon workshops.  While this may mean fewer paper presentations, it will emphasize the acquisition of skills beneficial to the zoo keeping profession. 

In addition, the afternoon program will include an interactive paper presentation.  These paper presentations will differ from the morning sessions in both format and focus.  While the morning papers will remain fifteen minutes in length with five minutes for questions, the afternoon interactive sessions will incorporate a teaching approach to the paper presentation.   This instructive component will be a minimum of one hour in duration and will involve a discussion panel or moderator team to help facilitate a greater learning experience for all.  

The Professional Development Committee will select these special papers from the list of conference presentations prior to the conference.  The papers selected will be those which embody the most complex and innovative advances in, but not limited to, any of the following categories:

  • Husbandry
  • Training
  • Enrichment
  • Problem-solving
  • Health care
  • Conservation
  • Professional development

The Professional Development Committee will work with the presenter, transforming the paper into a workshop format.  This layout will help develop deeper discussions about the general applications of the paper and will encourage participation from conference attendees.  The final goal will be to create a greater learning experience from the best of the conference’s outstanding papers.

The Professional Develoment Committee is also incorporating workshops into the conference that tie directly with keepers needs in today’s zoo keeping profession. The following is a TENTATIVE list of workshops that may be offered.

Koala Workshop: 4 hours lecture, 4 hours practice to take place on Zoo Day
Polar Bear Workshop: 4 to 8 hour lecture
Fertile Egg Incubation Workshop: 2-3 day, 5 hour workshop at the Safari Park
Red Panda Workshop: 4 hours lecture
Venomous Reptile Workshop: 4 hours lecture, 4 hours practice to take place on Zoo Day

PROFESSIONAL GROWTH. These workshops vary from 2 to 4 hours.
Leadership Training Workshop: 2 hour lecture
Team Decision Making Workshop: 2 hour lecture
Polar Bear International Leadership Workshop: 4 hour lecture

VETERINARY CARE. Each workshop will last 2 hours.
Tamer Workshop: a hands-on experience on Zoo Day. Limited to 20 people. This two hour workshop will give participates an overview of the working components of the drop-floor-chute system used at the San Diego Zoo both with and without live animals. Each person will be able to work the Tamer and get to know how to use it for different species by making the needed adjustments. This class will be limited to 20 people to ensure that each person has time to work the system. Live animal work will depend on availability of animals at the time of the workshop.
Hoof Care & Trimming Workshop: a hands-on experience on Zoo Day Limited to 20 people. This two hour workshop will provide an overview of hoof growth and anatomy through the use of video and specimen models. Each person will have the opportunity to work with and trim cow cadaver feet with available instruction. A variety of comparison species cadaver feet will also be available for review.
Neonatal Care, Primates Set-Up Workshop.

Neonatal Care Hoofstock Set-Up Workshop.
Nesting Building Workshop:
a hands-on workshop teaching nest building techniques.

Crisis Management and Safety:
1 hour.

On-Line Resources Workshop:
1 hour.
PR and Media Training Workshop: 1 hour.

Ungulate Nutrition:
1 hour.
Carnivore Nutrition: 1 hour.
Primate Nutrition: 1 hour.
Browse Care and Use: 1 hour.

Behavioral Husbandry Committee. Enrichment.
 2 hours.
Behavioral Husbandry Committee. Enrichment. 2 hours.
Behavioral Husbandry Committee. Training. 2 hours.
Behavioral Husbandry Committee. Training. 2 hours.