2017 Limited Topical Workshops

The six workshops below will be offered as Topical Workshops with Limited Attendance at the 2017 AAZK Conference. Each conference delegate is able to register for two (2) Limited Topical Workshop at the time of general conference registration.

Additional Limited Topical Workshop opportunities may be available after registration is complete at the conference.

Please note: Some Limited Topical Workshops may have two parts. Delegates will need to register for BOTH Part 1 and Part 2 and this will account for their total workshop opportunities.

Hidden in Plain View: Blending Enrichment into Naturalistic Environments, Part One
This is a four-hour workshop; participants must register for BOTH parts!
Monday, August 28 (1-3:00 PM)
SESSION FULL

Presenters

  • Amy Newman, Animal Keeper, Disney’s Animal Kingdom®
  • Rebekha Delgado

Workshop Abstract
A basic component of animal care is the provision of stimulating enrichment as a means of promoting welfare. However, an increasingly common trend in captive animal management is the development of naturalistic environments that enhance the immersive experience for both animals and patrons. To accomplish these objectives, we must balance animal needs and behavioral goals with delivering satisfying and educational guest encounters. In this interactive two-part workshop, attendees will gain hands-on experience with a variety of materials that can be used to make enrichment more representative of the natural environment, while maintaining the ability to elicit species-appropriate behaviors. Each participant will create a small PVC feeder over the course of both sessions and may keep their final product. Therefore, attendance at both sessions is required. Items can be used with a variety of species, though we will largely focus on primates, hoofstock, and small mammals.  On the first day, the group will learn about the guiding principles of blending enrichment into exhibits at Disney’s Animal Kingdom®.  Environments have their own naturally-occurring patterns, which require congruous and contextually appropriate details.  By adopting the predominant colors and textures of an area, and placing items thoughtfully, enrichment may be dispersed in a way that preserves the spaces’ narrative. After this discussion, participants will learn how to manufacture realistic silicone rubber molds of tree bark, which are fast and effective tools for creating detailed impressions of patterns onto other materials.

Hidden in Plain View: Blending Enrichment into Naturalistic Environments, Part Two
This is a four-hour workshop; participants must register for BOTH parts!
Monday, August 28 (3:30-5:30 PM)
SESSION FULL

Presenters

  • Amy Newman, Animal Keeper, Disney’s Animal Kingdom®
  • Rebekha Delgado

Workshop Abstract
A basic component of animal care is the provision of stimulating enrichment as a means of promoting welfare. However, an increasingly common trend in captive animal management is the development of naturalistic environments that enhance the immersive experience for both animals and patrons. To accomplish these objectives, we must balance animal needs and behavioral goals with delivering satisfying and educational guest encounters. In this interactive two-part workshop, attendees will gain hands-on experience with a variety of materials that can be used to make enrichment more representative of the natural environment, while maintaining the ability to elicit species-appropriate behaviors. Each participant will create a small PVC feeder over the course of both sessions and may keep their final product. Therefore, attendance at both sessions is required. Items can be used with a variety of species, though we will largely focus on primates, hoofstock, and small mammals.  On the second day of the workshop, participants will learn how to properly mix and apply an animal-safe epoxy sculpting putty to a PVC feeder designed for the participant’s target animal and space. Students will then use silicone stamps to texturize the surface, adding natural-looking details. The material hardens as it cures, and can later be sanded and painted.

An In-depth Look at the Unique Morphology and Husbandry of Two-Toed Sloths
Tuesday, August 29 (1:00-3:00 PM)

Presenters

  • Deb Dial, Senior Aviculturist, National Aquarium (Baltimore, MD)

Workshop Abstract
The National Aquarium’s Rain Forest exhibit has been home to Linne’s two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus) for the past ten years. Our initial 1.2 sloths were released into the densely planted, .15 acre, mixed species, walk-through exhibit in 2007. Free roaming within the exhibit, the sloths are managed with minimal intervention. To date, six offspring have been produced and many unique observations, including the birth process, have been noted.

This workshop will focus on natural history, social interactions, morphological considerations and captive husbandry. Topics will include safe handling techniques, non-invasive ways to encourage/discourage sloth movement, methods for identifying individual animals, visual sexing techniques, diets, and hand rearing protocols.

Site Planning & Design: Balancing the Demands of People, Land and Animals
Tuesday, August 29 (3:30-5:30 PM)

Presenters

  • Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Office of Planning & Strategic Initiatives
    • Jennifer Daniels, RLA, LEED GA, Senior Landscape Architect
    • Matthew Sellers, RLA, LEED GA, Landscape Architect

Workshop Abstract
“Observation and evaluation make design a continuous self-correcting process. As a result, behavioural enrichment evolves from remediation to facilitation in the creation of artificial habitats that have diversity and choice…” (Coe 1992)
Site planning and design within a zoological park presents some of the most unique challenges facing design teams. How we create and sustain habitats for animals that represent and allow for the highest quality in animal health and wellbeing while still being able to create a memorable visitor experience has been talked about, studied, experimented with, put into practice and remediated again and again. The goal of this workshop is to engage in a dialogue on zoo design and habitat design on a variety of scales that looks at the following:

  • The value of collaborative design
  • Behavior-based design of zoo facilities
  • Nature as the model
  • Integrating the objectives of the Zoo: conservation, recreation, research, education, business, maintenance

Participants will explore the topics listed above and engage in a facilitated dialogue of lessons learned using design scenarios and relevant examples to be presented to the group. Learning objectives include a broader understanding of the challenges and trends facing the zoo community around site planning and zoo design.

Saving Species Through Signs, Sounds, Sculptures, and More!
Thursday, August 31 (1:00-3:00 PM)

Presenters

  • Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Exhibits Department (Office of Public Engagement)
    • Scott Posey
    • Cheryl Braunstein
    • Pat Rizer
    • Cathy Tyson
    • Devra Wexler
    • Tim Goecke
    • Bobby McCusker
    • Mike Canino
    • Josh Gaston

Workshop Abstract
Some zoo and aquarium staff save species through their care of animals and their participation in active conservation programs. But visitors also have a role in saving species; they discover the difference they can make when you effectively engage them in your exhibit graphics and interpretation.

When a keeper or volunteer isn’t present to interact with visitors, well thought out exhibit interpretation can carry your messages. With local sign shops and online printing resources becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, it’s now possible for even the smallest institution to produce good looking, high quality signage—if you know what to ask for. Through this proposed workshop, participants will get a basic overview and learn some tips of the trade when it comes to developing graphics and exhibit interpretation.

Through presentations and exercises led by exhibit developers, designers, and fabricators from the National Zoo’s Exhibits team, participants will gain a foundation in how well-crafted and accurate text, attractive and accessible design, and the use of objects and media can effectively communicate messages that enhance the outreach from staff and volunteers. Participants will be introduced to exhibit evaluation, try their hands at writing text, and gain a fundamental understanding of best practices in exhibit design. They will also get a primer on materials, learn some pros and cons about interactive solutions, and understand why exhibit maintenance must be considered when making interpretive decisions.

Keeping With Kids
Thursday, August 31 (3:30-5:30 PM)

Presenters

  • T’Noya Gonzales, Senior Biologist, Moody Gardens
  • Molly Kainuma, Animal Keeper, Denver Zoo
  • Janee Zakoren, Animal Keeper, Denver Zoo
  • Kerri D’Ancicco, Animal Keeper, Disney’s Animal Kingdom®

Workshop Abstract
Calling all parents (and/or those who have an impending breeding recommendation)! Do you have offspring at home? Whether you have a singleton, 1.1, or more, you know that balancing the home and work exhibits can be challenging. As the demands of your career need to be met, so do the needs of your young. It can be done though! This workshop will address the transition, transferable skills, co-worker relationships, and future of your career with kids. Aspiring parents? We will give you the KDTF (Kid Data Transfer Form) to prepare you for future acquisition.  Breeding not for you?  That’s ok too!  We’ll have plenty of applicable information on work-life balance, prioritizing, and how to ensure your needs are met.