As the 2022 Annual Conference in Baltimore, Md., approaches we asked staff at the Association what they were most looking forward to. The Conference is being hosted by the National Aquarium and the Maryland Zoo and is our first in-person Annual since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Annual Conference is well known for its compelling sessions, great speakers, multiple social and networking events, and dynamic Exhibit Hall. We are all looking forward to welcoming you to Maryland!
My good friend and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service colleague, Dr. Mamie Parker will kick off the first general session. Mamie is an extraordinary storyteller, and her stories have an authenticity you don’t want to miss. And of course, First Time Attendees. So much energy and enthusiasm!
There’s so much good content, it’s almost impossible to choose! I’m particularly looking forward to the general sessions, welcoming in a new AZA Board Chair, and the opportunity to reconnect and share information with my colleagues during the icebreaker and zoo day.
As a new AZA staff member and first-time Annual Conference attendee, I’m so excited to meet our community in person and hear about the wonderful work being accomplished for wildlife. I’m really looking forward to Going Farther Together: Reimagining the Role of Communities in Conservation because everyone deserves a seat at the conservation table. The panel’s diverse knowledge and experiences should make for an excellent discussion!
The AZA Annual Conference is always my chance to hear from people I might not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with. I will look at the Animal Management, Health, and Welfare track and Conservation track to see who is presenting. And I also try not to miss the session on what’s new in exhibit design. AZA member exhibits incorporate the latest in animal welfare science and guest experience, so you learn about animal welfare and conservation at once!
I am so excited for Annual Conference and while the week is packed with wonderful sessions I plan to attend, I am most looking forward to The Rise of Social Media Influencers. Working in communications, I have seen how impactful influencers can be for a brand and I cannot wait to hear and learn from these experienced panelists.
I’m so grateful to be able to attend this conference as an intern and dive into the exciting field of zoo and aquarium work! I’m especially excited for the panel about the role of zoos and aquariums in environmental justice, SSP meetings for some of my favorite animals (like chinchillas!), and of course, the visits to the National Aquarium and Maryland Zoo.
As an intern going to the AZA Annual Conference gives me a great opportunity to learn and meet people from the zoo and aquarium field, giving me vital skills and connections for later in my career. Attending the workshops and zoo trips will also deepen my understanding of conservation and other work in the field and the important things that go on behind the scenes. This is definitely a lucky opportunity for an intern, and I hope to have fun and learn a lot!
Check out the Annual Conference Program and register today!