AAZK National Conference Topical Workshop Abstracts
Tools for Running a Successful Chapter; How to Take Action on Your Chapter’s Finances Christine Rogers, AAZK Resource Committee
Chapter leaders often reach out for advice on various online platforms regarding their chapter’s finances. Questions range from what banks to use, how to balance their accounts, or how to how to allocate fundraising funds. These are all important topics for Chapter leaders to understand. When a Chapter has a basic knowledge of how to manage finances, it can allow the Chapter to grow and contribute to conservation and professional development.
Taking over a Chapter’s finances can be a frightening task for any newly elected Chapter officer. This workshop would act as a guided round table that will highlight strategies used by chapters to track and balance accounts, how to allocate funds for chapter expenses, and tips for filling out forms and the financial section of your chapter’s re-charter packet.
Women in Leadership Kelly Murphy, North Carolina Zoo
Each of the panelists will give a brief presentation based on their experience before opening the floor for a later guided discussion about all the categories discussed. The brief presentations will focus on a couple of different key areas: • Committing to owning your future can be a daunting prospect. The thought of adding responsibility when you are already overwhelmed by your routine can feel like a gust of wind when your toes are barely perched atop a tightrope. Why aspire to achieve more? With the unique challenges they face in the workforce, women need to be especially cognizant of their futures. Reproductive choices place particular pressure on women to achieve while potentially being considered a liability. Gender based inequalities like pay gaps make changing a women's financial status slower than their equally qualified male counterpart. • Discussion about mental and physical health and the importance of finding that good “healthy” balance. What it means to ask for help and how as women we find this to be a very difficult request. Grief and how best to deal with it in the workplace. • As the pendulum has swung and the ratio of female: male keepers has skyrocketed over the past few decades, zoos have simultaneously embraced the “team” approach to animal care. But how can you navigate the mine field of being a good teammate as well as a talented and ambitious employee interested in moving up?
The panelists see this discussion as an opportunity to inspire the participants to examine their current role within their facility and their career trajectories. Participants will gain knowledge and confidence that will positively impact their career development and give them the confidence to pursue advancement opportunities in the future. The panel will reinforce the value of a positive career development while also encouraging them to provide the same for their college in the animal care professionals.
Manage Up! LynnLee Schmidt, Tanganyika Wildlife Park
In a recent survey of zookeepers, poor leadership was cited as a reason for leaving past positions and source of frustration in current positions. With burnout and compassion fatigue being a hot topic on many zookeeper forums these leadership issues only compounds the challenges that are already being faced by zoos and aquariums: retention and turnover.
Empowering keepers to take responsibility to make positive changes in culture and communication is a great way to improve retention, reduce turnover, and help zookeepers stay positive in their positions.
This workshop will take participants through seven steps to identify their challenges, accept responsibility for making change, initiate a plan of attack, and work towards solutions to challenges they face in the workplace.
To Breed or Not to Breed: Principles of Reproductive Management in AZA Accredited Zoos Ashley Franklin, PhD, AZA Reproductive Management Center at the Saint Louis Zoo
In zoos, maintaining animals in their natural social groups is necessary for animal well-being. However, if every animal was allowed to breed freely, it would result in compromised genetic health (inbred offspring) and the production of more animals than can be properly managed. Consequently, reproduction in zoos is carefully controlled through intensive population management. The goal of this workshop is to increase keepers’ understanding of the fundamental principles of reproductive management. Participants will learn (1) the genetic and non-genetic factors that are considered when population managers are deciding which individual animals and pairs (or groups) of animals should or should not breed, (2) the wealth of information one can learn from noninvasive fecal hormone monitoring, including estrous cycle monitoring, efficacy of contraceptive treatment, and pregnancy detection, (3) contraception methods available for zoo animals and the associated limitations and challenges, (4) the value of routine fertility assessments and how to address a potential fertility issue, as well as (5) gamete banking and the realistic use of assisted reproductive technologies for reproductive management. Additionally, current AZA Reproductive Management Center (RMC) initiatives such as Reproductive Viability Analysis (RVA) and Lifetime Reproductive Planning (LRP) will be presented. By the end of this workshop, keepers should leave with a deeper understanding of the essential principles of reproductive management in AZA accredited zoos and the role they play in improving its success.