Committees and Programs

Committees

Dedicated to professional animal care, the vision of AAZK is to provide resources for zookeepers and animal care professionals. AAZK seeks to cultivate quality animal care by making available the latest techniques and resources in animal husbandry and management and by recognizing the efforts of groups and individuals for excellence in advancing the animal keeping profession and promoting conservation efforts. Our committees are designed to further this vision.

If interested in a specific committee, its’ function, or to reach the Award Nominations, please log in to the Members Only Page and open the Committees and Program – Awards tab.

Awards Committee

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The Awards Committee recognizes excellence in the field of animal care through its awards. The Committee develops the awards’ criteria, nominating procedure, qualifications for nominees, selection procedure and recognizes award’s recipients each year at the National Conference.

Behavioral Husbandry Committee

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The Behavioral Husbandry Committee exists to serve our AAZK members by providing access to up to date resources relevant to Behavioral Husbandry topics including: training, enrichment and animal welfare. The committee strives to encourage, educate, share knowledge and share techniques typified in zoo and aquarium settings.

Communication Committee

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The Communication Committee serves the AAZK members by facilitating communication through Social Media resources, providing real-time information to the membership. The committee also provides internal communication strategies to assist the Board of Directors, membership and Chapters in facilitating communication.

Conservation Committee

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The Conservation Committees Mission is to connect AAZK members with opportunities to engage in habitat conservation and in situ wildlife initiatives and to provide educational resources about environmentally responsible practices.

Ethics Committee

This committee shall investigate any formal written complaints of violation of the Code of Professional Ethics, Bylaws, or Resolutions as are brought to its attention by the Board of Directors or the membership and make recommendations for action to the Board of Directors. The committee shall consist of four Professional members in addition to and chaired by the Immediate Past President of the Association. Appointments to the Committee shall occur every two years and are made by the Board of Directors.

Grants Committee

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The purpose of the AAZK Research Grants Committee is to encourage and support research conducted by members in zoological parks and aquariums. Through collaboration with scientists in other institutions, it is hoped that members will achieve continuing professional growth, and thereby increase the benefits to the zoological community.

International Outreach Committee

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The International Outreach Committee is dedicated to providing training and educational opportunities for international animal care professionals.  The committee’s goal is to offer resources and opportunities to improve animal well-being through networking with leaders in the field, while increasing knowledge of wildlife conservation efforts.  Currently, these efforts are being focused in Latin American countries.

The International Outreach Committee has developed the AAZK Conference Latin America Travel Grant.  This grant will be available to Latin American keepers. The AAZK Conference Latin America Travel Grant will aid Latin American keepers in financing their travel and expenses associated with the annual AAZK conference.

Deadline January 1

IOC Grant Instructions (English)
IOC Grant Instructions (Spanish)

IOC Grant Application (English)
IOC Grant Application (Spanish)

Professional Development Committee

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AAZK’s Professional Development Committee’s mission is to provide a resource for National AAZK members to explore continuing education opportunities. The goal of AAZK is to help advance professional development for animal keepers the annual AAZK National Conference Program Additional continuing educational opportunities in partnership with San Diego Zoo Global may be found at the San Diego Zoo Global Academy courses. Over 200 self-directed courses are offered.

Safety Committee

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To provide resources and opportunities for safety and health training with continuing education in keeper safety primarily through electronic resources available through AAZK Online, and though workshops and certification courses held during AAZK National Conferences.

Programs

Dedicated to professional animal care, the vision of AAZK is to provide resources through internal, national and international Programs. Our Programs are developed to further this vision. To learn about AAZK Programs please click on one of the links below.

Bylaws Program

The Program Manager annually reviews the Bylaws of the Association and shall recommend changes, if any, to the Board of Directors. When developing new Bylaws, the Program expands to a Member Committee consisting of five members, two of which shall be member of the Board of Directors. (If you would like a copy of the Association’s Bylaws please contact the Administrative Office.)

AAZK Resource Committee (ARC)

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A component of ARC Is the National Zoo Keeper Week program. As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats has increased, our role as educators and wildlife ambassadors has become essential. During the third week of July each year, celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week; both you and your animals deserve the recognition.

Trees for You and Me Program

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Trees for You & Me is an annual AAZK Chapter competition launched by former PBI Field Ambassadors as a financial campaign to fund tree-planting. Every year, the effort has a local focus.  AAZK believes drawing attention to the benefits of urban tree-planting and tropical reforestation and has partnered with Polar Bears International to develop the associated educational programming and awareness such events create.