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Schedule At A Glance

All meetings, program sessions, General Sessions, and Exhibit Hall events will take place at the Indiana Convention Center. Schedule is subject to change.  Click here for a more detailed schedule of meetings and sessions.

Symbol Key: This program track key will help you identify the primary professional interest for each concurrent session. 
Attendees are encouraged to review all sessions for specific interests and additional learning opportunities.

 Animal Management, Health & Welfare  Conservation Public Relations & Marketing
 Aquarium Affairs  Development & Membership Volunteer & Docent Management
 Business Operations  Education Trends & More


Friday, September 8
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Accreditation Hearings (closed)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Executive Leadership Development Program (invite only)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee
8:00 am to 6:00 pm Pre-Conference Tour - Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium ($75 per person)


Saturday, September 9
7:00 am to 5:30 pm Registration Open
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Committee and Animal Program Meetings
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Accreditation Hearings (closed)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pre-Conference Animal Training Workshop (additional $50 fee)
9:00 am to 4:00 pm Pre-Conference Workshop: Growing Leaders that Rock! Learn the Building Blocks of Successful Leadership (additional $50 fee)
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Pre-Conference Workshop: Animal Care at the End of Life (additional $25 fee)


Sunday, September 10
7:00 am to 6:15 pm Registration Open
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Committee and Animal Program Meetings
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Accreditation Hearings (closed)
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm Icebreaker at the Indiana State Museum


Monday, September 11
7:00 am to 5:30 pm Registration Open
7:30 am to 8:00 am Light Continental Breakfast
8:00 am to 9:30 am Opening General Session
9:30 am to 6:30 pm Exhibit Hall Open
Grand Opening - 9:30 am-10:30 am
10:30 am to 12:00 pm Concurrent Sessions
Advancing Animal Welfare Through Behavioral Management Programs
Gauging Value of Zoo and Aquarium Dive Programs
Diverse Audience = Diverse Revenue Offerings
SAFE 2.0: The Evolution of AZA's Collaborative Conservation Program
Big Date, Fundraising, and Unicorns
Engaging Youth and Advancing Conservation: Lessons Learned from Ten Experimental Efforts!
Building Public Trust in a Post-Truth World
Conservation Ninjas: Adaptation and Experimentation in Training and Delivering Impactful Conservation Messages
What Keeps an Animal Lawyer up at Night? A Survey of Current Legal Issues, Trends and Best Practices for Zoos and Aquariums
The Future of Wildlife Depends on the Connections we Make Today and the "Nature of Americans"
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm Exhibit Hall Lunch
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
Welfare-Tech: Using Technology to Monitor and Assess Animal Well-Being
Aquatic Animal Welfare
Staying Competitive in Zoos and Aquariums
Why Save A Species
Giving Back - How Zoos and Aquariums Reciprocate Support with Their Communities
Revisiting the AZA Framework for Zoo and Aquarium Social Science Research: Progress, Strategies, and Opportunities
Alternative Fax - Messages Not Getting Through? Get Creative with Your Communication
Effectively Resolving Conflict with Volunteers
Regs, Regs, Regs
Directors' Meeting
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Directors' Meeting
Open to directors of accredited and certified institutions only
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm Break in the Exhibit Hall
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
Choice and Control: Beyond the Jargon
From Producing Sustainable Seafood to Conserving Species and Ecosystems: Marine Aquaculture as an Ocean Conservation Tool
Innovative Strategies in Sustainable Business Operations for Best Animal Welfare
Public Perceptions of Zoos and Aquariums in a Changing World
Increasing Your Board's Engagement with Fundraising
Outputs, Outcomes, Effects, and Impacts: Evaluating our Programs to Help Set the Record Straight!
Evolution of Sponsorship: Customizing Partnership to Stay Relevant in a Changing Industry
Building Unique Partnerships to Advance Mission and Better Serve Learners
Money and How it Got That Way: Developing and Managing Realistic Exhibit Project Budgets
Accreditation: What's New and What's to Come
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Party-On-The-Floor Exhibit Hall Reception
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm The Evening Buzz
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Directors' Dinner
By invitation only


Tuesday, September 12
7:00 am to 5:30 pm Registration Open
7:30 am to 8:00 am Light Continental Breakfast
8:00 am to 10:00 am General Session
10:00 am to 11:30 am Concurrent Sessions
Enhancing Animal Welfare In AZA Accreditation
Current and Emerging Zoonoses in Public Aquariums
Community Engagement: Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?
Creating a Culture of Conservation: How, and the Benefits to Staff and Your Bottom Line
Membership and Mission = Data, Engagement, and Loyalty
Strengthening the Evidence for the Education Values of Zoos and Aquariums
Strategic Communications
Youth: Career Exploration and Skills Development
On the Boards
Vaquita-ritas, Fajitas & FUND-draising
11:45 pm to 1:45 pm Honors & Awards Lunch
1:30 pm to 7:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
Trending Topics in Animal Welfare - What are the Priorities?
The Sustainable Aquarium of the Future
Becoming and Unstoppable Organization: Preparing and Perfecting Your Culture
Classic Continuing Conservation
Members, Member, and More Members: Navigating the Ever-changing Landscape of Zoo and Aquarium Membership Programs and their Consumers
Best Practices and Emerging Trends in Conservation Education and Engagement 
Best of Marketing - Rapid Fire
Volunteer and Intern Program Management from a Husbandry Perspective
How AZA Institutions Are Promoting Songbird Conservation
Diversity and Inclusion: Five Former Excellence in Diversity Award Winners’ Organizational Journeys
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm AZA Board of Directors Meeting
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm Break in the Exhibit Hall
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
An Honest Discussion About Ambassador Animal Programs
Best of RAW: Regional Aquatics Workshop
Hiring "Safe" Employees and Volunteers
Changing the World Together - International Conservation Organizations in Partnership with the Zoological Community
After Direct Mail: Evaluating, Analyzing, Modeling and Adding to the Mix
Reflecting on Practice: Advancing the Conversation on Developing Education Professionals
The Impact of Brand
Discussing Millennial Volunteers
What's New in Exhibit Design?
Investigating the Confluence of Visitor and Institutional Agendas
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm Poster Reception in Exhibit Hall
Conclusion of the Silent Auction


Wednesday, September 13
7:00 am to 10:30 am Registration Open
8:00 am to 9:30 am Concurrent Sessions
Cognitive Tasks for Great Apes: Promoting Conservation, Research, Education and Animal Welfare
 The Role of Aquariums in Reducing Plastic Pollution
Staff and Leadership Development: Nuts and Bolts to Create Engagement
AZA SAFE: Impacting Conservation
Making the Case with Zoo and Aquarium Major Gifts Prospects
Making Sense of Evaluation, Research and Visitor Studies: An Emerging Conversation
Mission Forward: What's it take to Really be a "Conservation First" Organization: Navigating the Path to Finding Focus, Funding, and Your Brand Platform
Unconscious Bias and Volunteer Programs: "You Don't Know What You Don't Know" About Diversity and Inclusion
Women in Leadership: Are We There Yet?
Disaster Preparedness and Response for Zoos and Aquariums - No Time for Ostriches
9:30 am to 10:00 am Coffee Break
10:00 am to 11:30 am Concurrent Sessions
Size Doesn't Matter: Zoos with Smaller Budgets Doing Big Things in Animal Health
Coral Reef Restoration
Services Animals Research on Users and Affects of Animal Collections
Combines and Shrimp Boats: The Nature Conservancy and Indianapolis Zoo Gulf of Mexico Program
Zoo and Aquarium Membership Open Mic - Best Practices and More 
Riding the Empathy Rollercoaster: When is Empathy the Right Strategy for Conservation Engagement? 
Using Media to Change the Conversation About Zoos and Aquariums
Citizen Science at Your Organization: What's the Impact?
What Roles Will Zoos and Aquariums Play in the Future? A Continuing Discussion...
Communities Come Together Over Gardens: Using Horticulture to Connect with Our Neighbors
12:00 pm to 9:00 pm Zoo Day at the Indianapolis Zoo


Thursday, September 14
7:30 am to 6:00 pm Post-Conference Tour - Louisville Zoo ($55 per person)
9:00 am to 6:30 pm Post-Conference Tour - Fort Wayne Children's Zoo ($45 per person)

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