R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence

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R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence

In 1978, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums established its highest award for professional excellence, named for its first recipient, R. Marlin Perkins. Only one recipient can be honored in any given year, and since the award criteria are lofty, it is anticipated that the award will not be given every year.

To qualify for consideration, a candidate must unquestionably meet the following standards:

The candidate must be a member of AZA in good-standing at the time the nomination is filed.

The candidate must have demonstrated impeccable character, and a distinguished record of honorable service to the association throughout his or her career.

The candidate must be strongly committed to education, conservation, science, recreation, and the welfare of animals, and actively involved in furthering these causes within the zoo and aquarium profession.

The candidate must have made outstanding contributions to the zoo and aquarium profession and its science or technology, as represented by scholarly publications and presentations, institutional and association leadership, and/or other tangible and measurable achievements.

Nomination Procedure

A call for nominations shall be issued, with nominations to be submitted to the AZA Chair of the Board by no later than December 15th.

Nominations must be supported by at least two professional fellows, one of whom must be an AZA Board member.

Nominations should be made in writing on a  R. Marlin Perkins Award Nomination Form  (in PDF). You may call AZA at 301-562-0777 x226 to request a nomination form.

Upon receipt of nominations, if any, the Chair of the Board shall immediately forward the nominations to all AZA Board members, soliciting confidential written comments by no later than February 1st of the following year.

The Chair of the Board may solicit other confidential comments.

Immediately following February 1st, the Chair of the Board shall circulate the comments to all Board members, for their confidential review prior to final discussion and action at the Spring meeting of the Board. The nominations shall be discussed fully and confidentially during Executive Session of the Board at the Spring meeting.

Voting on the nominations shall follow, and be by written secret ballot. A minimum of 2/3 of the votes of those in attendance shall be required for approval. An abstention shall be counted as a nay vote. If a nominee is approved, results shall not be revealed to the membership until the Award presentation at the AZA Annual Conference.

The R. Marlin Perkins Award may be conferred posthumously.