Pre- and Post-Conference Trips

scbi-aerial-2NCAAZK is excited to host one optional pre-trip and three optional post-trip extensions to the 2017 AAZK conference.

All trips have a maximum registration limit, so please be sure to register early.

Pre-Conference Trip: Maryland Zoo: Baltimore, MD

Date and Time: Sunday, August 27, 2017 (8:30 AM – 6:30 PM: please note, this coincides with the start of the Conference Icebreaker at the National Aquarium)
Cost: $45/person
Maximum Number of Participants: 80
Includes: Transportation (1 hr) to Maryland Zoo, zoo entry fee, behind-the-scenes tours and keeper encounters, catered lunch, transportation from zoo to Inner Harbor/Icebreaker event

Come and enjoy an exciting day at the Maryland Zoo and National Aquarium hosted by the Greater Baltimore AAZK Chapter!  Attendees will leave the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington, DC at 8:30 AM as they make their way to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, MD.  Once there, Greater Baltimore AAZK has arranged for a variety of exciting behind-the-scenes tours, training demonstrations, and keeper chats!  GBAAZK members will also be hosting a catered lunch at the zoo where trip attendees will have the opportunity to learn about all of the dedicated animal husbandry and conservation initiatives at the Maryland Zoo.  Guests will then be transported in late afternoon down to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore where they will be surrounded with a multitude of cultural experiences, dining options, and people-watching.  Take this time to rest up as your journey culminates with entry into the 2017 AAZK Conference Icebreaker hosted by the nearby National Aquarium!

Post-Conference Trip 1:  The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute: Front Royal, VA

Date and Time: Friday, September 1, 2017 (7:30 AM – 4:00 PM)
Cost: $60/person
Maximum Number of Participants: 80
Includes: Transportation (1.5 hr) to Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and back, morning snack/drink, entry, behind-the-scenes tours of the animal facilities, interactive talks with SCBI staff and scientists, catered lunch.

The world-famous Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute will welcome guests on an exclusive visit to the 3,200 acre campus in the scenic hills of Northern Virginia.  Attendees will depart the Grand Hyatt at 7:30 AM headed west to Front Royal, VA with snacks for the 1.5 hour ride out to their destination.  SCBI staff will be on hand to greet them and have generously offered up a variety of exciting behind-the scenes tours and encounters of the vast facility.  There will be opportunities to see some of the famous Smithsonian conservation programs in action, including the endangered black-footed ferrets, cheetahs, maned wolves, scimitar-horned oryx, and several species of cranes. Lunch will be catered on-site followed by opportunities to meet with Smithsonian scientists and staff.  Buses back to the hotel in DC will depart SCBI at approximately 2:30 PM.

Post-Conference Trip 2:  Huntley Meadows Park Herping Trip: Alexandria, VA

Date and Time: Friday, September 1, 2017 (7:30 AM – 12:00 PM)
Cost: $22/person
Maximum Number of Participants: 15
Includes: Transportation (30 min) from hotel to Huntley Meadows and back, morning snack/drink, guided tour/herping experience with Smithsonian National Zoo expert.

Enjoy a respite from the busy downtown Washington, DC area and join in on a herping trip to a local treasure – Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, VA!  Our very own National Zoo amphibian and reptile expert Matt Neff will lead attendees on an intimate visit of Huntley Meadows, enjoying its natural wetlands, rich and diverse wildlife, and 2-mile long interpretive trail.  Matt will help locate and ID numerous local herp species and the area is also a prime location for bird-watching!  Some herps you are likely to encounter are: Northern water snakes, snapping turtles, garter snakes, ribbon snakes, green tree frogs, Eastern painted turtles, and possibly spotted turtles, rough green snakes, and four-toed salamanders!   Guests will enjoy a morning snack and drink during the adventure and will be transported back to the hotel by 12 PM in time for lunch on their own in the city.

Post-Conference Trip 3:  Rock Creek Park Nature Center Bird Walk: Washington DC

Date and Time: Friday, September 1, 2017 (6:00 AM – 9:30 AM)
Cost: $22/person
Maximum Number of Participants: 30
Includes: Transportation (less than 30 min) from hotel to Rock Creek Park Nature Center and back, morning snack/drink, guided bird walk from DC Audubon Society avian expert.

National Capital AAZK has teamed up with the DC Audubon Society to offer an amazing bird-watching walk in the stunning Rock Creek Park!  Trip attendees will depart Grand Hyatt at 6:00 AM to head into Washington DC’s renowned Rock Creek Park, a haven for wildlife in the heart of the city.  Avian experts and enthusiasts from DC Audubon will be on hand to lead groups into the forest searching for both local and migratory bird species, so be sure to bring your binoculars and species lists.  Keep an eye out for DC’s official bird, the wood thrush! Guests will be provided with a morning snack and drink.