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Hey, Seattle: Meet 2,500 zoo and aquarium staff

We are SCIENTISTS and RESEARCHERS and so much more.

We are the Association of Zoos & Aquariums: 230-strong accredited member institutions who go to work every day to ensure the conservation of our precious wildlife in their home and in our care.

This September, Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Aquarium will co-host the annual Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) conference. Nearly 2,500 staff from accredited organizations across the nation will gather in Seattle to learn from, challenge and inspire each other to shape the future of community-driven conservation. We’re in it to save species, but we can’t do it alone. The greatest strength of accredited zoos and aquariums is the massive reach and collective impact we have with your support.

As thousands of animal keepers, conservationists, educators, executives, horticulturists, and other zoo and aquarium staff arrive in Seattle this September, the Emerald City is sure to impress. In between the whale watching and hiking that our colleagues are bound to squeeze in, they’ll choose from among 200 concurrent conference sessions featuring 400 speakers and presenters.

Your Woodland Park Zoo is well represented, bringing our expertise and unabashedly nerdy passion to hot topics such as:

• Terrestrial Invertebrates Welfare
• Discovering the Brain Science Behind Early Childhood Programs and Activities
• How to Engage in Legislative Advocacy to Help Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
• Understanding Youth Perspectives of an Animal’s Experience
• Transforming Wildlife Conservation Through Tech Innovation
• Utilizing Behavior Change Theory in Practice
• Responsive and Inclusive Community Programming
• Employing Science to Understand Emerging Wildlife Disease

That beautiful canopy of trees in the heart of this gorgeous city is your 92-acre Woodland Park Zoo.

“We know many of our colleagues are eager to come see the place that was one of the first to push the standards on what a zoo can be,” said Alejandro Grajal, PhD, Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO. “Woodland Park Zoo is famed for creating revolutionary, naturalistic exhibits that began a shift that changed the face of zoos worldwide. Now we’re on the next wave of transformation: how do we empower guests to coexist with wildlife in their own lives; how do we use technology to scale conservation solutions globally; how do we spark and stoke the empathy and values that lead to a social movement for conservation? When 2,500 conference delegates get together in a setting like ours, in a city like ours, innovation and inspiration come naturally.”

" a setting like ours, in a city like ours, innovation and inspiration come naturally." - Alejandro Grajal, President and CEO, Woodland Park Zoo. 


Leaders in Animal Care and Welfare
AZA is the independent accrediting organization for the best zoos and aquariums in America and the world, assuring the public that when they visit an AZA-accredited facility, it meets the highest standards. Less than 10 percent of the 2,800 wildlife exhibitors licensed by the United States  Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act meet the more comprehensive standards of AZA accreditation. The highly trained professionals at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide excellent care for more than 800,000 animals, making them the leading experts in care and animal welfare.

Leaders in Conservation
Conservation is a priority for AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and a key part of their missions. Every year, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums spend $200 million on field conservation alone,
supporting more than 2,600 projects in 130 countries. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are
leaders in the protection of threatened and endangered species. Through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction the entire AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium community is focusing it’s conservation
science, wildlife expertise, and 190+ million visitors on saving species in the wild. The AZA Species Survival Plan® program is a cooperative animal management, breeding, and conservation effort that works to ensure genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of more than 500 species of animals.

Leaders in Conservation Education
As centers for conservation, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide the public with essential connections to the natural world. More than 50 million visitors to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are children, making accredited zoos and aquariums essential to science and environmental education. AZA-accredited facilities train 40,000 teachers every year, supporting state science curricula with teaching materials and hands-on opportunities for students who might otherwise have no first-hand experience with wildlife.

Hello from Woodland Park Zoo!