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Conference Workshops

Creating Your Individual Development Plan: Your Unique Roadmap for Professional Development

Saturday, September 7, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Additional $75 registration fee
Workshop Facilitators: Laura Marina, SPHR, Chief People Officer, Fresno Chaffee Zoo & Misha Body, Director of Husbandry, California Science Center

Feeling stuck with your professional growth? Not sure what goals you should be setting, how to achieve them, build your network and what metrics to use to measure your success? This workshop will help you identify the areas for which you should focus your efforts, give you concrete steps toward creating a roadmap for your professional development, and set you on the path to finding greater success in your career and life!   

Addressing the Human Dimensions of Conservation: Community-Based Conservation Engagement
Saturday, September 7, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Additional $150 registration fee
Workshop Facilitators:
James Danoff-Burg, Director of Conservation, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Terry O’Connor, Principal Consultant, Terry O’Connor Consulting LLC, & Chris Schmitz, Director of Education, Utah’s Hogle Zoo

Successful conservation programs with long-term impact address the needs expressed by local communities and engage people in action that supports their livelihood while protecting wildlife and habitat. This workshop is for staff who are currently working with—or who plan to work with—communities locally or globally as an integral part of their AZA SAFE, SSP, TAG, institutional or other collaborative conservation programs. Human dimensions of conservation include education, outreach, engagement, community analyses, sustainable use, and alternative livelihood, which are collectively addressed by the Community-Based Conservation Engagement (CBCE) initiative of the Conservation Education Committee.

This hands-on workshop will enable participants to start planning for or strengthen their current CBCE programs; consider different approaches, practical tips and overcoming obstacles through case studies with leaders and guest speakers; discuss how to involve your staff and volunteers; and explore collaboration opportunities. Small work groups and full-group discussion will encourage exchange of ideas and experiences. By the end of the day, participants will have developed a draft strategic plan for their community-based conservation engagement program.

Lunch will be provided.

Conservation Engagement and Advocacy Skills Boot Camp
Saturday, September 7, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Additional $150 registration fee
Workshop Facilitators: Rich Block, President and CEO, Santa Barbara Zoo, Kerston Swartz, Public Affairs & Advocacy Manager, Woodland Park Zoo, Dr. Jo-Elle Mogerman, Zoo Director-North Campus, Saint Louis Zoo & Tom Adams, Strategic Advisor, The Ocean Project

The workshop will give staff of AZA members an enhanced awareness of how their work connects to wildlife and conservation policy. Highlighting best practices of advocacy and engagement will allow participants to better understand how to influence such policies – that their institution has the skills needed to engage – and can do so with little or no reallocation of resources while adding value to their brand. Breakout sessions will allow participants to work with peers to develop a mock campaign, a process-model they can take home and use at their zoo or aquarium.

Lunch will be provided.

Introduction to Animal Training
Saturday, September 7, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Additional $75 registration fee
Presented by: Ken Ramirez

A basic overview of training principles and philosophy for those new to animal training; new to positive reinforcement; or looking for a basic approach to teaching these basic principles. This seminar is designed to introduce newcomers to the principles and practices pioneered by IMATA’s members over the last 40 years that are applicable in a wide range of zoological settings across any species. Topics will include:
  • Why training is important from an animal and business perspective
  • Advantages of positive reinforcement over traditional training techniques
  • Basic techniques for starting to train a new or native animal
  • Why relationships are important and how to build them
  • How to deal with unwanted behavior, why the LRS is the preferred response

Secrets of Husbandry Training
Saturday, September 7, 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Additional $75 registration fee
Presented by: Ken Ramirez

This seminar will explore basic tools for training and maintaining successful medical behaviors. Part one will focus on key tools such as stationing, targeting, desensitization, and improving general tactile acceptance. Part two will focus on specific techniques for successfully training blood taking, injections, medication administration, working around the mouth and head, removal from the environment, and passive restraint. Throughout the presentation common questions will be addressed: How do you keep a behavior with any type of discomfort from breaking down with frequent use? How do you prevent an animal from discriminating against the medical team? Can you teach animals to anticipate the novelty associated with medical behaviors? When restraint is needed should that be done by the primary trainer or is it better handled by someone else to prevent a breakdown in relationship? This session will be a combination of lecture, lots of video, and discussion.

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