Population Management I: Data Acquisition and Processing

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PMI Mandrill


Studbooks made studly!

November 14-19, 2016
Crowne Plaza Clayton
St. Louis, MO

Priority Admission will be given to current AZA studbook keepers through July 15, 2016.

Population Management I: Data Acquisition and Processing teaches critical skills needed to create a population database for a single zoo or aquarium population. Students learn to handle unique data entry situations and to adapt to changing software.  Students also summarize the data in the studbook database and calculate basic life history parameters. This course produces an aquarium or zoo professional who can gather raw data and turn it into a good, documented studbook to provide expertise on biology and history of the captive population/species.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will better understand: 

  • Studbooks and their role in zoo and aquarium based conservation:
  • Definition, role, scope and history of studbooks;
  • Building and publishing a studbook;
  • Applying to become an AZA WCMC approved studbook keeper;
  • Is a studbook a population management tool?
  • Studbooks, Population Management Plans, and the AZA Population Management Center
  • Scientific Disciplines for creating and using studbook data:
  • Taxonomy - Definitions of species and how taxonomy affects keeping a studbook.
  • Genetics – The lecture covers DNA to Mendel to population genetics to the basics of genetic management of populations.
  • Demography - Definition of terms and development of demographic descriptions of populations.

This course involves multiple exercises in creating and maintaining a studbook. It is a combination of lectures and hands on exercises. The software used in this course is PopLink, a windows-based studbook application which can both read in and output a studbook in SPARKS format. Instructors will be on hand during the exercises to answer questions. 


Joe Barkowski, Curator of Birds - Tulsa Zoo 
Gina Ferrie, Adjust Population Biologist - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Kelvin Limbrick, Studbook Analyst - Lincoln Park Zoo
Tom Ness, Tropics and Minnesota Trail Curator - Minnesota Zoo
Kevin Willis, Biological Programs Director - Minnesota Zoo

Is this course right for you?

This course is designed for current and prospective studbook keepers. Please check the status of your studbook before applying! You'll find a list of official AZA TAG/WCMC approved studbook keepers in the Conservations Programs Database. If you are not listed as an official studbook keeper and believe this is an error please contact the Conservation Department.


Applicants not currently serving as a studbook keeper must submit an institutional letter of support, written by a supervisor or director, verifying that the time and infrastructure for you to keep a studbook will be provided.  Studbook keepers have already met this requirement with the statement of institutional support from their program application.  Priority admission will be given to studbook keepers and individuals associated with AZA accredited institutions.  International applicants and those not affiliated with an AZA accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis;  please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course.  

Course Registration & Travel

Tuition & Expenses

The AZA registration fee covers tuition, course materials, and lunches provided during the course. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and additional meals. Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.   

Early Bird Rates:
$1000 for AZA Individual Members
$1100 for Non-members

Regular Rates:
$1100 for AZA Individual Members
$1200 for Non-members

To register with a credit card: You can now register and pay online with a credit card! Just log in to our new website. Non-members can log in too after creating an account. After logging in, choose "Upcoming Events" from the menu on the left. Next, click on the title of the event for which you would like to register. Finally, choose "Event Registration" from the options at the top and complete the registration process. When registering online, there is no need to submit the registration form. You will receive an acceptance email or wait list email once acceptance decisions are made. 

To register with a check or purchase order: Download the PMI COURSE REGISTRATION FORM and return by mail with check or purchase order. Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices.  Cashing your check does not indicate that you have been accepted into a course. You will receive an acceptance email or wait list email once acceptance decisions are made.

Travel and Accommodations

Lambert Saint Louis International Airport (STL) is the closest airport.The hotel provides free airport shuttle service and is also accessible via MetroLink.

Course participants stay at Crowne Plaza Clayton in St. Louis, Missouri and classes meet on-site. 

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will receive an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.


For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department or call (301) 562-0777, ext 251