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Workshop Descriptions

HAZWOPER Training Workshop
Saturday, March 24, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm & Sunday, March 25, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

We are excited to announce that the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) and the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) will be administering a HAZWOPER 24-hour training workshop for wildlife responders at the AZA Mid-Year Meeting! This two-day, FREE training will take place March 24-25, 2018. Please note, you do not need to be registered for the Mid-Year Meeting in order to attend. We are looking for motivated and dedicated professionals who want to be active and visible within the response community and will remain current with their annual 8 hour HAZWOPER refresher training (can be completed online). It is important to include life support/facilities personnel in these workshops; in the event of a real response, they would play vital roles. Space is limited.

If interested in attending, please click here for more details and registration. The registration deadline is March 8.  If you feel there is anyone else in the region that you could benefit from this workshop or if you have any questions, please contact Jamie Auletta.

Crane Fertility Workshop
Saturday, March 24, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This workshop is sponsored by the AZA Reproductive Management Center (RMC) in coordination with the Gruiformes TAG and ASAG. The goal of this workshop is to increase knowledge of crane reproduction and associated management tools to support population sustainability. This workshop will provide an overview of crane behavior and reproduction, describe useful tools/techniques for promoting or achieving successful reproduction in crane species and offer time for discussion of case studies. Topics include: crane behavior, reproductive biology, capture techniques, how to troubleshoot issues in crane pairs, artificial insemination and sperm binding assays for identifying fertilized eggs. The workshop powerpoints and any supporting materials will be distributed to workshop participants. Preference will be given to members of ASAG, the Gruiformes TAG, Crane SSP Program Leaders and Avian-related Program Managers and Keepers.

Please RSVP to Monica McDonald, Program Coordinator, Reproductive Management Center.

Diversity Summit
Sunday, March 25, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

AZA zoos and aquariums provide our communities with unique and valuable learning and recreation experiences not available anywhere else - it is essential that we are fully accessible to those communities. The Diversity Summit provides information and tools for understanding and advancing diversity and inclusion programs and practices to help ensure that our zoos and aquariums are representative of and accessible to the communities we serve.  Who should attend? Zoo and aquarium leaders, HR directors, hiring managers, volunteer managers, and those interested in shaping the future of zoos and aquariums. It is highly recommended that two colleagues from the same institution attend together.

As a result of participating in the AZA Diversity Summit you will:

  • Learn how to talk more effectively about diversity and inclusion within your organization
  • Increase your knowledge of leading practices in diversity and inclusion
  • Determine next steps to advance diversity and inclusion efforts at your zoo or aquarium
  • Leave with tools to help you progress through next steps

The summit will include a series of external speakers to discuss unconscious bias, cultural humility, youth engagement and best practices.  In addition, participants will be able to select the afternoon breakout session in which the specific needs of your facility can be addressed.
The Diversity Summit is included in your Mid-Year Meeting registration, but an RSVP is required.

North American Songbird Workshop - sponsored by the Avian SAG
Monday, March 26, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

8:30 am - 10:00 am
Introducing the North American Songbird Working Group - Moderated by Sara Hallager

  • Migratory Songbirds: A Call to Action and Collaboration - Gregory Butcher, Forest Service
  • North American Songbirds as Zoo Animals – A Historical Retrospective - Joseph Lindholm, Curator of Birds, Tulsa Zoo
  • MASH and C2S2 Initiatives - Sara Hallager , Smithsonian National Zoological Park
  • N.A. Songbird Survey Results - Nikki Smith, Asst Curator-North America and Polar Frontier, Columbus Zoo
  • Migratory Bird Transfers – Do I Need a Permit or Can I Use an Exemption? - Rachel Rogers, Zoo Registrar and Records Coordinator, Zoo Miami

10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Research with North American Songbirds - Moderated by Jason Fischer

  • Technological Advances and the Future of Wild Songbird Research at Zoos - Jason Fisher, Conservation Program Manager, Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment
  • 5 minute Lightening Round Talks on Examples of Zoos Partnering with In Situ Organizations - FGSP (Andrew Schuman, White Oak Conservation); KIWA (Tom Schneider, Detroit Zoo); FLSJ (Michelle Smurl, Brevard Zoo)
  • Wood Thrush Research and Animal Care Collaboration at the National Zoo - Sara Hallager, Curator of Birds, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
  • Harnessing the Power of Citizen Science for Local Songbird Conservation - Tim Brown, President/CEO, Tracy Aviary
  • Frontiers in Urban Bird Research - Susannah Lerman, Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service
  • The Motus Experience at the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds - Mike Kreger, Vice President of Conservation, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Engagement with North American Songbirds - Moderated by Kelly Vineyard

  • International Migratory Bird Day: Why Aren’t We All Celebrating? - Anne Tieber, Curator of Birds, Saint Louis Zoo
  • World Migratory Bird Day – Celebrating Bird Conservation at Your Zoo - Sue Bonfield, Director, Environment for the Americas
  • Engaging Guests in Migratory Bird Conservation - Danielle Ross, Vice President of Conservation Education and Engagement, Columbus Zoo
  • USFWS and AZA:  Building a Partnership for Migratory Bird Conservation - Jo Anna Lutmerding, Wildlife Biologist, USFWS
  • Inspiring Young Birders in Baltimore City - Erin Reed, Education Manager, Patterson Park Audubon Center (National Audubon Society)

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Conservation of North American Songbirds - Moderated by Anne Tieber

  • Partnering Locally for Bird Conservation - Tom Schneider, Curator of Birds, Detroit Zoo
  • ABC’s Approach to Songbird Conservation and Potential for Zoo Collaboration - Holly Robertson American Bird Conservancy
  • Lights Out Baltimore: Creating a Community-based Monitoring Program - Lindsay Jacks, Senior Aviculturist, National Aquarium and Director, Lights Out Baltimore
  • How Zoos can Contribute to Songbird Conservation at Every Level: Addressing Bird Collisions at the Detroit Zoo - Bonnie Van Dam, Asst Curator of Birds, Detroit Zoological Society
  • Domestic Cats and Bird Conservation: Tools for Zoo Messaging - Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs, American Bird Conservancy
  • Bird Friendly Buildings - Kathryn Slattery, Senior Associate, Quinn Evans Architects

Green Practices Workshop
Tuesday, March 27, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Are you getting started tracking your organizations utilities? Would you like some help designing and populating a spreadsheet to get started?  Do you have questions on conversions, what the units mean, how to read your bills or how to track down the information you need? The Green SAG is here to help!  Join us for a two-hour workshop on Tuesday, March 27 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm.  We will walk through the AZA Green Practices survey and a demonstrate  how to use a template we have created for you to track your utilities.  You can come and listen and or with questions!  You may bring your utility bills and the work that you have created to dive deeper into your materials – or just come, listen and ask questions!
To RSVP and/or for more information contact Liz Larsen.

Diversity and Inclusion - How can the Diversity Committee Help You?
Tuesday, March 27, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

This hands-on session will facilitate conversations to explore key dynamics, challenges, and opportunities for improving the state of diversity and inclusion within the zoo and aquarium community. Attendees will work together to identify key themes and explore the various dynamics that encourage and discourage positive outcomes for diversity and inclusion. We will identify challenges and, together, create experiments and discover opportunities to advance diversity and inclusion.

Avian SAG General Session
Wednesday, March 28, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Rally ‘round the Migratory Birds
Mike Kreger, VP of Conservation, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and What it Means for Zoos
Jo Anna Lutmerding, Wildlife Biologist, Branch of Conservation, Permits and Regulations

Culture and Conservation Can Co-exist: The Case of the Southern Ground-Hornbill
Dr. Lucy Kemp, Project Manager, Mabula Ground Hornbill Project  

Hand Rearing of Tanagers: Focusing on Techniques, Crucial Care, and Reintroduction to a Family Group
ASAG Mary Healy Grant recipient – Ashley Flagg Neafcy, Zookeeper, Woodland Park Zoo

Successful Rearing and Introduction Techniques Implemented to Build a Family Group of Southern Ground Hornbills through Double Clutching     
ASAG Mary Healy Grant recipient – Marcie Herry, Assistant Bird Supervisor, Dallas Zoo

Wingtips at Our Fingertips – Understanding the Complex Lives of Migratory Animals with the Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Stuart Mackenzie, Migration Program Manager, Bird Studies Canada

Captive Breeding, Rearing and Management of the Endangered Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the Calgary Zoo: Conservation Program Details, Challenges and Successes from 2014 – 2017
ASAG Mary Healy Grant recipient  - Michelle Benzen, Zookeeper, Calgary Zoo

ZAHP Update
Dr Yvonne Nadler, DVM, MPH, Program Manager ZAHP Fusion Center,  AZA and Steve Olson, Vice President of Federal Relations

The Successful Breeding of Wrinkled Hornbills at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Despite Unique Challenges
Tiffany Jones , Zookeeper - Indonesian Rainforest, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Mississippi Sandhill Crane Predator Aversion
Amanda Lewis, Avian Propagation Keeper III, Freeport McMoran Audubon Species Survival Center

Sustainability Index 5 Years Later: How Are We Doing?
Colleen Lynch, Curator of Birds, Riverbanks Zoo

Plume Awards
Steve Sarro, Curator, National Zoological Park

Challenges in Volunteer Engagement? Drop-in Brainstorming Session
Wednesday, March 28, anytime between 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Zoos and aquariums consistently face barriers to delivering high level community engagement and increasing their conservation impact. These hurdles can be overcome through high level, proactive engagement of volunteers and interns. Organizations are often resistant to new service initiatives because of the high potential for increased staffing and financial support. Additionally, volunteers themselves can bring unique challenges to a team.  

This open, drop in style brainstorming session, will partner participants with members of the Volunteer Management Committee to rethink their strategies for overcoming their biggest volunteer engagement challenges. Participants will learn steps on how to integrate new strategies into their current volunteer structure and procedures for proactive resource management. Participants will gather tools and resources; including mentors among the Volunteer Management Committee, to leverage after leaving the Mid-Year Meeting.
ZAHP Fusion Center/Ungulate TAGs FAD Workshop
Wednesday, March 28, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

How ‘Secure’ is your Zoo?  What would your facility do if Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) was diagnosed in the country?  In your state?  In your facility? This workshop will introduce participants  to Secure Zoo Strategy, a business continuity planning tool designed to help facilities develop plans to prevent Foreign Animal Diseases (FADs), and mitigate effects should they occur . While focused on FMD, one of the most infectious animal diseases known to man, the steps you will hear about are applicable to virtually all FADs and will help you meet the needs of your facility and regulatory requirements that may be imposed by officials during an outbreak.  The workshop will culminate in a mini tabletop exercise, where participants can consider their own collections and ask questions of our experts. 

The workshop will be facilitated by:
Dr. Yvonne Nadler - ZAHP Fusion Center
Dr. Jimmy Tickel - North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Emergency Programs
Sharron Stewart - Independent Consultant
Ashley Zielinski - ZAHP Fusion Center

Reflecting on Practice: An Introduction to the Community
Wednesday, March 28, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Do you and your team want to learn about the latest research on learning, but not quite sure where to begin? Are you curious about how to build a sense of community among your colleagues, with common language and understanding on learning? Do you wonder how reflective practice is advancing our field? And in what ways it can improve your programs and learning materials? Have you heard of Reflecting on Practice and wondered what it’s about and how it can work for your team? Here’s your chance. We offer a half-day workshop of hands-on activities and focused research discussion from the program that may push you to new ways of thinking. We will share stories of how engaging in reflective practice builds community and capacity.

RSVP required to Lynn Tran.

Zoo-Park Partnerships for America’s Keystone Wildlife Workshop
Wednesday, March 28, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm (Executive Session 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm for ZPP Pilots)

Come join this interactive discussion about what it means to be part of a Zoo-Park Partnership for America’s Keystone Wildlife™ (AKW). The AKW Project formally partners AZA member zoos and aquariums with National Parks, Wildlife Refuges and Forests (“parks”) on the recovery of wildlife populations lost enmasse in America during the Fur Trade and Westward Expansion and those species that still struggle today. Zoo-Park Partnerships (ZPPs) are facilitated relationships equipped by project tools to deliver sustained results from partnering. ZPPs are characterized by three essential elements: (1) collaborative field conservation; (2) reciprocated AKW interpretations; and (3) opportunities for inspired visitors to participate in “citizen stewardship” activities. If you’re interested in building upon your zoo’s existing relationship with a park, refuge or forest, or finding a new park partner, please participate in this workshop.

To RSVP and/or for more information contact Julie Anton Randall.

Animal Care at the End of Life - A Workshop for Staff Training and Program Development
Thursday, March 29, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Additional $25 registration fee

Disney's Animals Science and Environment Workshop Facilitators: Elizabeth C. Nolan, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM, Department of Animal Health, Shana R. Lavin, MS, PhD, Science Operations Team, Michael D. Thompson, Animal Husbandry, Lori S. Bruckheim, MS, Animal Husbandry

This workshop will present Disney’s “Animal Care at the End of Life” staff training course, followed by a discussion period on end of life care program development.  The course includes topics such as communication philosophy/processes for end of life decision-making, quality of life assessment toolkits, geriatric animal care considerations (medical, nutritional, husbandry), guidance for staff stress/grief management, and communication strategies for guests on end of life topics.  End of life care can be a challenging and sensitive subject to address; this workshop is designed to provide participants ideas to further develop end of life care programs at their facilities.

Bird Transport Workshop
Thursday, March 29, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Pre-workshop Avian Transportation Survey Results
Deb Dial, National Aquarium

Safe Transport of Penguins Near and Far
Tom Schneider, Detroit Zoo
Shipping penguins present additional challenges due to the temperature requirements, especially for the colder weather species.  Special crates are utilized so they can maintain proper temperatures, even for short trips by vehicles.  It is particularly challenging sending penguins across the country, and this presentation will discuss the different shipping methods that have been used for successful transfers of both temperate and the colder weather penguin species.

Crates Are Not One Size Fits All
Sydney Oliveira and Amanda Hausman, St. Louis Zoo
In the avian world, birds are not one size fits all. Due to the diversity between species, care must be taken when selecting how and what to ship each bird in.  We try to ensure that each bird is looked at not only within their species but also as an individual. There are many different styles of crates that can be used for avian shipments and how does one decide which crate is best? There are several factors that staff at the Saint Louis Zoo take into consideration when deciding which crate to use for a shipment and how to prep that crate. The items staff evaluate are: how is the bird being shipped, what type of crate, what size crate, how much ventilation does the crate have, what sort of padding is needed, is the shipment a single bird or multiple birds, and what are the airline guidelines and behavioral guidelines for the individual. Once these items have been addressed, we are hoping attendees will have a baseline knowledge about how to prepare an avian crate for transport and which crates work well for which species.  

Egg-cellent Transport
Rachel Ritchason, Santa Barbara Zoo
Transporting birds as eggs can have challenges but can also be a good alternative to shipping certain avian species and can minimize the risk to adult birds during transport.  Several long-legged species may especially benefit from transport in the shell.  Transporting eggs can also be a creative management solution for fostering or hand-rearing needs.  There are a few extra steps such as TSA approvals, contacting airlines, and dealing with staff on the plane.  In my case, it was pretty fun to have my own personal TSA agent escort me through the Atlanta airport with hatching Chilean flamingo eggs from Zoo Atlanta!  I’ll share this experience, as well as some tips, tricks and stories from some seasoned egg transporters.

Packaging your Parrot: The Safe Way to Send Polly as a Parcel!
Scott Newland, Sedgwick County Zoo
I will present a few safe and reliable methods to prepare Psittacines for transport via air or land.

Ratite Shipping
Carolyn Atherton, Audubon Zoo
Moving large, kicky birds without being pummeled to death. What are my options? What are some examples of things that work, and things that don’t work?  

Shipping from a Registrar Point of View
Ashley Arimborgo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
As a registrar at a small/medium sized zoo, I often AM the one who not only handles the transaction paperwork and permitting requirements, but also the logistics of the shipment itself. From scheduling flights, to driving the bird all the way to its final destination, to crate design, I have had experience with a variety of species throughout this entire process.  Ducks, budgies, cranes, storks, vultures; each one is different, and I have had shipments go smoothly, and also almost anything that could go wrong did (including being turned away at the airport due to misunderstandings that occurred during booking that I was unaware of!). Working with different entities along the way, from state authorities, TSA, airlines staff, and other zoo personnel, I have picked up tips and tricks along the way and have learned a lot that I would love to share with the group.

Investigating Mortality in the Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) SSP Following Transfer Events
John Andrews, AZA Population Management Center at Lincoln Park Zoo
Managing avian populations in a sustainable manner is a continuous challenge. Small numbers and low or declining growth rates suggest that breeding individuals, rearing young and keeping them alive after transfers is still quite challenging for many species. We used data from the AZA North American Regional Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) Studbook, to investigate mortality rates following transfer events specifically. We assumed that specific periods of time following a transfer event correlated to a standard sequence of events birds experience at a new facility (e.g. transfer, quarantine, introduction to new exhibits). We hypothesized that mortality trends in a specific time period following transfer may reflect a need for more focused management efforts in an effort to increase survival. We will discuss our results as well as discuss some future directions of our research.

Not on the Wings of a Goose: Transporting Hummingbirds Cross Country  
Amy Flanagan, San Diego Zoo 
Transporting delicate avian species such as hummingbirds across country can be successful with detailed planning.  San Diego Zoo has transported hummingbirds successfully from Miami to San Diego by air. Our steps for shipment planning, including species specific crate design, sending crates, feeders and food ahead of the shipment, building a relationship with the quarantine facility and acclimating the birds for shipment will be discussed.  The importance of having an advocate for the birds during shipment, and where having an attendant is worth their weight in gold will also be discussed.    Our experiences with transporting hummingbirds by air, and what we learned along the way will be the focus of this presentation.  

Enhancing Animal Exhibits Utilizing Behavior Driven Enrichment Workshop
Thursday, March 29, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Additional $25 registration fee

Workshop Leaders: Angela Miller, Behavioral Husbandry Zoological Manager, Michelle Skurski, Behavioral Husbandry Zoological Manager, Christina Alligood, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Behavior Scientist and Marina Joseph, Behavioral Husbandry Associate, Disney’s Animal Kingdom®

This workshop will present elements of Disney’s enrichment program sharing how utilizing a small, skilled team to create, develop, implement and evaluate innovative enrichment has elevated the enrichment program to an all new level. This course includes topics such as behavior driven enrichment, rethinking enrichment brainstorming, turning ideas into reality, and strategies for evaluating effectiveness. The design principles and techniques that we utilize to blend enrichment seamlessly into animal habitats will be highlighted in interactive activities so participants can practice the concepts that are discussed. Participants will be able to take the concepts and further develop them back at their facilities.


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