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2018 American Association of Zookeepers National Conference - Individual Day Conference Registration

Rocky Mountain AAZK is hosting the 2018 conference for the American Association of Zoo Keepers. Through this professional conference we encourage our delegates to "Adjust their Altitude" by learning a variety of topics in the zoological field through paper presentations and workshops, as well as through being inspired by our key note speaker- Temple Grandin.

Professional certificate courses are available

  • Innovations in Small Primate Care
  • Elevating Your Impact: Leadership Process Improvement
  • Team Building and Advanced Behavioral Husbandry

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018

Conservation: One Small Step to Empower Your Own Journey

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical - Registration Required

Workshop Abstract:

Conservation is an extremely important part of the zoo industry. We use it in our daily keeper talks, education programs, take home actions for our guests and participate in field work. We have such a deep passion for our natural world and now more than ever, the environment is in need of all of our help. Dave Johnson is the Director of the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund and will discuss how he created this fund and the projects he has worked on both current, past and future.Stacy Johnson is an animal keeper at Denver Zoo and was able to use her passion to create conservation initiatives. This workshop will focus on creating and participating in conservation projects at zoos, nationally and internationally, and the ways in which people can create their own niche. Lectures and presentations will be given to "Adjust Your Altitude" toward a better tomorrow.

Creating a Movement: How to work together to save a species

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical -  Registration Required

Workshop Abstract:

Operation Twiga. Giraffe Plasma Bank. World Giraffe Day. Love for Longnecks.  Giraffe SAFE initiatives.

Whether you re watching posts on social media, nature documentaries on BBC, or hashtag symbols in zookeeper groups, you ve probably noticed that giraffe have popped up more in the last few years than they ever have before.  That s no accident; people who are passionate about these gentle giants decided to combine efforts on all fronts in order to push them into the limelight. These people all have a common goal: to save this species, both in-situ and ex-situ.

In order to help save the giraffe, this team started putting their skill sets to use on collaborative projects such as wild giraffe hoof studies, the Giraffe Care Workshop, and Operation Twiga 2. They started sharing everything they could on topics that they were skilled in, including but not limited to: veterinary care, research, conservation, training, enrichment, husbandry practices, education, and public awareness.

Each instructor has a unique path that lead to working with giraffe, but they also ended up also working with each other. This workshop will dive into how each one became infatuated with a long-legged, spotted creature, and what each person is personally doing to try to save them. It will also cover the steps they took to reach out to others in various platforms in order to create a movement that ensures the long-term survival of giraffe. The hope is that workshop attendees can replicate the processes with animals they have a similar connection with.

Hosting a Successful National Conference

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical - Registration Required

Workshop Abstract:

Each year one chapter from the American Association of Zookeepers volunteers their time, energy, and resources to host the national conference.  Most of the conference committee members come from animal care background and lack event planning knowledge.  While the National organization provides basic introduction for how to host a national conference, the ins and outs of planning an event as large as these can be difficult.  The steps that go into booking and planning the event space, hosting fundraisers, planning pre and post conference trips, and proper financial planning are mostly unknown to those who take on the challenge.  The National Capital Chapter held the National Conference in 2017, hosting over 250 animal care professionals from around the country.  While there were some road blocks, the conference is considered a success on many levels. 

This workshop will give future hosts the opportunity to discuss questions that may be unanswered from the national handbook.This will also be a great chance for chapters who are considering nominating themselves to gain a better understanding as to what it takes to host your own conference.

Koala Husbandry & Care

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical  - Registration required

Workshop Abstract:

The San Diego Zoo maintains the largest collection of Queensland Koalas outside of Australia. The SSP breeding program has resulted in over 140 joey births since the 1970 s. Through partnerships associated with the Koala Education and Conservation loan program, San Diego Zoo has completed 81 koala loans to other zoological institutions in 12 countries. The success of these programs have afforded SDZ keepers the knowledge and experience to develop best practices in koala care. 

The goal of this workshop to align koala husbandry and management practices among koala holding facilities in North America.

Topics covered will include:

  • Koala Natural history -  biology, habitats, threats & conservation status
  • Daily care - browse maintenance, prep and presentation; monitoring fecal output; body weights; behavior observations etc.
  • Handling - individual personalities, sitting positions, aggression
  • Breeding practices  - estrus indicators
  • Joey rearing - developmental milestones, hand rearing, weaning
  • Illness and geriatric animal management - indicators, supportive care, supplemental feeding, quality of life assessment
  • Facility design guidelines - optimal dimensions, perching, sunlight requirements, public viewing
  • Koala Loan Program
  • Conservation Programs

Managing Mixed-Species Aviaries

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical - Registration Required

Workshop Abstract:  

Denver Zoo has recently introduced a number of new techniques for better managing our mixed-species aviaries in the tropical Bird World exhibit. Management techniques include training birds for voluntary weights, medications and foot treatments, the construction and implementation of automatic trap cages, the use of camera systems for monitoring breeding birds, and the use of fledge cages and family cages in exhibits for small passerines to improve chick survivability. Our workshop would cover a wide variety of opportunities to improve avian management in mixed-species aviaries, including sources from Denver Zoo and information gathered from other institutions with innovative management techniques.

Presentation Messaging: A Conversation About the Balance of Education and Entertainment

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical - Registration Required

Workshop Abstract:  

Animals in zoos and aquariums serve as ambassadors for their species, as well as the habitats in which they are found. Positive experiences with these individuals often spark a passion for saving both the species and conservation efforts. One often hear that you can t save what you don t love, and you can t love what you don t know. But how are facilities introducing the general public to what they don t currently know? The goal of presentations is to encourage people to learn about the importance of wildlife, and there are many different styles in which messages are presented.

Animal keepers are the group responsible for most of these interactions, and how they represent the individual animal can sometimes spark passion in a guest about an issue. There is a spectrum of presentation styles, which can range from scripted performances that follow a specific storyline to more casual  meet a zoo keeper  talks. Some may have more anthropomorphic messaging and animal presentation style, while others are strictly delivering natural history facts. The goal is generally the same- to educate the visitors about an animal, but the delivery of the message is sometimes very different depending on the type of demonstration. This workshop will be an extension of 2017 s  Creating an Ethics Discussion Forum at Your Institution,  in which attendees will have the opportunity to debate the many types of educational presentations that zoos and aquariums develop.

Professional Certificate Course: Advanced Behavioral Husbandry

*If registering for this 12 hour workshop, you cannot register for any other afteroon workshops on these 3 days.

Advanced Behavioral Husbandry

Course Abstract

This 12-hour workshop is designed for keepers who work with any species or taxa and are interested in a middle to advanced level of behavioral husbandry coursework.  The course will concentrate on topics associated with training and behavioral husbandry and will move beyond basic skills.  Topics will include choice & control, motivational operators, advanced training challenges, and behavior program management.  Participants will learn how to implement choice and control into their husbandry routines, how to handle aggression and incorrect responses, and visual management techniques.  Team consistency and communication strategies, as well as problem-solving tools will also be covered.

 

Professional Certificate Course: Innovation in Small Primate Care

*If registering for this 12 hour workshop, you cannot register for any other afteroon workshops on these 3 days.

Innovation in Small Primate Care

Course Abstract

This 12-hour workshop is designed for keepers interested in small primate husbandry, with a focus on callitrichids, small cebids, and small prosimians.  The course will concentrate on innovations in small primate care from medical management techniques to managing large social groups and breeding.Topics such as health and nutrition, behavioral management, exhibit management, and mixed species exhibits will be covered. Techniques learned may be transferable between primate species.

Professional Certificate Course: Leadership, Process Improvement, and Teambuiding

*If registering for this 12 hour workshop, you cannot register for any other afteroon workshops on these 3 days.

Elevating Your Impact: Leadership, Process Improvement, and Teambuilding

Course Abstract

This 12 hour workshop is designed for keepers who are interested in developing their leadership skills; either within their team, their institution, or in the zoo-keeping field.The course will concentrate on leadership skills that are applicable across many aspects of the job.Topics will include Process improvement, coaching and feedback, interdepartmental relationships, teambuilding, and professional development.The goal of this course is to equip staff with problem-solving skills that identify & reduce  waste , innovate, and increase efficiency and effectiveness, by providing the tools to solve challenges in their daily jobs.The course will culminate with a Leadership Panel Q & A.

Small Primate Professional Certificate Course Pull- Out: Managing Social Groups of Small Primates

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical -  Registration Needed

Workshop Abstract:

Participants will learn techniques in managing and problem solving with social groups of small primates.  Topics will include: husbandry management in social groups, behavioral management and observations, training in social settings, managing singly housed primates, and mixed species exhibits. 

Primary Workshop Instructor and Institution: TBD, Abby Peterson, Denver Zoo

The Personal Touch: Using Animals to Create an Individual Connection to Conservation

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical -  Registration Required

Workshop Abstract:

The use of program animals in zoological collections as a means of connecting guests with the natural world has grown in popularity throughout recent years. Directly engaging with an animal not only offers guests a memorable experience, but also allows for the opportunity to deliver educational and conservation messages in a highly personalized manner, thus strengthening their overall effect. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall into the routine of  line up, touch with two fingers, and don't forget your hand sanitizer! . We can all remember a moment in our lives that changed the way we looked at the world, and it probably wasn't while standing in one of these lines  This workshop will focus on how to bring out the best in your guests by showing off the best your animals can offer. We will cover topics such as guest husbandry participation, defining moments, storytelling, and more. After a guided opening lecture, participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm their own ideas for program animal interpretation and put them into practice with visiting program animals. Instructors will also cover tips and techniques for incorporating these ideas into traditional zoological collections with non-outreach animals.

Ungulates Unleashed: Thinking outside the herd with Ungulate management

You may only register for a MAXIMUM of two workshops. If Registering for a Professional Certificate Course, you may not register for any other afternoon workshops.

Limited Topical -  Registration Required

Workshop Abstract:

The Denver Zoological Foundation has a large and diverse ungulate collection.  Over the past couple of years it has been a priority for our entire hoofstock team to go above and beyond what is considered  normal  ungulate management.  Come see how we have taken hoofstock management to a whole new level:

Training

o   Utilizing training crates for blood draw and injections

o   Free contact and working walls for acupuncture and massage therapy

Enrichment

o   Debunking the myth that enrichment may scare ungulates or go unused

Social

o   Mixed species

o   Innovative approaches to managing singly housed animals

Making Ungulates sexy

o   Tapping into marketing and social media

o   Keeper talks and tours

o   Engaging your own staff

Quality Of Life/Observational tactics

o   Creating lifelong wellness trackers and end of life parameters

o   Behavioral observations through volunteers, ethograms, and surveillance

 

Rocky Mountain AAZK - Denver Zoo Day

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018

Rocky Mountain AAZK Post Conference Trip - Denver Experience

Experience Denver is a fun post conference trip where you get to see a bit of what Colorado has to offer! You will get go on a hike of Mt. Falcon, explore the world renowned Red Rocks amphitheater, and tour a local brewery.

Mt. Falcon is a 2.3 mile loop where you can take in several historic sites as well as breathtaking views of Denver. If you think of Red Rocks Park as just a beautiful place to see a concert, think again! Around you are 738 total acres of deer, dinosaurs, pines and prairie, geological wonders and spectacular vistas. Red Rocks Amphitheater is a geological phenomenon – the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. From Sting and The Beatles, to opera stars and U2, every artist aspires to play on this magical, spiritual and emotional stage., and the Front Range. After a day of hiking and exploring, you'll get to relax and enjoy a tour of one of our very own local Colorado breweries!

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018

Rocky Mountain AAZK Post Conference Trip - Pueblo Zoo

Complete your conference experience with a post conference trip to the Pueblo Zoo. Home to more than 400 animals and 120 species including guest favorites –lions, playful otters and penguins. The Pueblo Zoo is an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited facility that covers twenty-five acres in the southwest quadrant of Pueblo City Park. Under the direction of the non-profit Pueblo Zoological Society, the Zoo is a place where animals are exhibited in natural settings, where the interdependence of earth's life (plants and animals - including human beings) is made clear for everyone to see, understand, and appreciate.

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018   September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018

Rocky Mountain AAZK Post Conference Trip - Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge

Located just northeast of Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,000-acre expanse of prairie, wetland and woodland habitat. The land has a unique story - it has survived the test of time and transitioned from farmland, to war-time manufacturing site, to wildlife sanctuary. It may be one of the finest conservation success stories in history and a place where wildlife thrives.

National Wildlife Property Repository

The National Wildlife Property Repository is responsible for receiving wildlife items that have been forfeited or abandoned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In accordance with the law, these items are stored in a secure environment, and many of the items are donated to educational facilities, nonprofit organizations, and conservation agencies to aid in teaching about endangered species and other wildlife. Others items are sent to scientific institutions to be used in research to develop better identification methods to protect wildlife.

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018

Rocky Mountain AAZK Pre Conference Trip - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Join us on our preconference trip to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is about sharing the wonders of the natural world with kids of all ages and providing memories for a lifetime. Here, you do more than just look. Explore newly renovated and award-winning exhibits. Discover more than 30 species of endangered animals. Interact with our giraffes and don’t miss the chance to hand-feed them! Soar over your favorite animal exhibits and take in breathtaking views of the city below on the Mountaineer Sky Ride. We look forward to providing you an experience of a lifetime with your visit to America’s only mountain zoo!

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018

2018 American Association of Zookeepers National Conference - Banquet

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018

2018 American Association of Zookeepers National Conference - Icebreaker

Registration Return/ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until August 1, 2018
  • 75% refund from August 16, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • 50% refund after October 1, 2018
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