SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) recognized the achievements of over 30 member facilities in the fields of conservation, education, research, exhibit design, marketing, sustainability, and volunteer engagement during the annual AZA conference this September in Seattle.
AZA also recognized four individuals who have demonstrated their passion for wildlife conservation and made significant, ground-breaking contributions to the zoo and aquarium profession.
AZA awarded the organization’s highest honor, the R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence, to J. Stephen McCusker, Director emeritus of the San Antonio Zoo and past chair of the AZA Board. Dr. Jackie Ogden, the 2017 recipient of the Perkins Award, was also recognized for her long-term career with Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment team and her role in establishing AZA’s Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program.
For the first time, AZA presented its inaugural Animal Welfare Lifetime Achievement Award to animal behaviorist and conservationist Dr. Terry Maple, Director of Wellness and Professor in Residence at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. A visionary in the zoo community for nearly 40 years, Dr. Maple’s research has improved the quality of life for countless animals.
AZA celebrated the legacy of the late Dr. Michael Hutchins with the Devra Kleiman Award for Scientific Advancement. Dr. Hutchins, who passed away in early 2018, lead the zoo and aquarium community’s conservation and science efforts for fifteen years as AZA’s Director of Conservation and Research.
“We are proud to honor the distinguished leaders in our profession for their outstanding accomplishments,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “Their contributions and mentorship have inspired all within the zoo and aquarium community to advance AZA’s mission of creating a world where all people respect value, and conserve wildlife and wild places.”
The 2018 Honors and Awards recipients are as follows:
William G. Conway International Conservation Award:
North American Conservation Award
Exhibit Award – institutional operating budget over $5 million:
Angela Peterson Excellence in Diversity Award
Education Award – institutional operating budget under $5 million:
Education Award – institutional operating budget over $5 million:
Green Award for sustainable business practices
Excellence in Marketing Award – campaign budget less than $175,000
Excellence in Marketing Award – campaign budget more than $175,000
Volunteer Engagement Award
To learn more about AZA’s Honors and Awards, visit https://www.aza.org/honors-awards
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. To learn more visit www.aza.org.
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