Population Management I: Virtual Edition

Population Management I: Virtual Edition

Course is full; registration is now closed

September 2 - November 11, 2021 (omitting Sept. 23)
Thursdays 2:30-5 pm ET

Virtual Course Overview

AZA Regional Studbooks document the pedigree and demographic history of each individual in a population. These collective histories, compiled and maintained by an AZA Regional Studbook Keeper, are known as the population's genetic and demographic identity and are valuable tools to track and manage each individual or group as part of a single, ex-situ population.

Population Management I: Data Management and Processing provides the fundamentals needed to maintain and manage population databases for zoo and aquarium Animal Programs. Students will receive training in science-based aspects of population management as well as the methods to best understand and manage an AZA Animal Program using software required to maintain such databases. Students are expected to utilize the skills learned to successfully manage an accurate, documented studbook and provide expertise on biology and history of the population/species in our care.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will better understand:

  • Studbooks and their role in zoo- and aquarium-based  population management

  • The definition, role, scope, and history of studbooks

  • How to maintain and publish a studbook

  • Scientific disciplines for creating and using studbook data

    • Taxonomy – Definitions of species and how taxonomy affects keeping a studbook database

    • Genetics – Concepts including DNA, Mendel, population genetics, and the basics of applying these concepts to genetic management of populations

    • Demography – Definition of terms and development of demographic descriptions of populations

  • Managing data in the ZIMS for Studbooks software

This course prepares attendees for the role of Studbook Keeper using the web-based ZIMS for Studbooks software through a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises.


Josh Courteau, Training Manager – Species360
Gina Ferrie
 Ph.D., Science Operations Manager and Adjunct Population Biologist – Disney's Animal Kingdom®
Rebecca Greenberg, Animal Programs Director – Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Bill Hughes
, Senior Herpetologist – Tennessee Aquarium
Kelvin Limbrick
, Plant Health Care Technician – Kramer Tree Specialists Inc.
Tom Ness, Curator of Farm & Northern Trail – Minnesota Zoo
Kendra Strohmayer
, PMC Planning Coordinator – Population Management Center

Is This Course Right for You?

This course is designed for current and future Studbook Keepers – focusing on AZA Regional Studbooks. While priority is given to current Studbook Keepers, prospective Studbook Keepers are also welcomed to apply and are accepted as space allows. It is a requirement to complete the course within two years of being approved as an AZA Regional Studbook Keeper.

To ensure the status of your studbook before applying, please reference the list of official AZA TAG-approved Studbook Keepers in the Animal Programs Database. If you are not listed as an official Studbook Keeper and believe this is an error please contact the Conservation, Management, and Welfare Sciences 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 within AZA-accredited institutions are also welcome to apply. 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

Staff at AZA Accredited/Certified Facilities*
Early Bird Rate:
 up to 4 weeks prior to course start date
$399 with Individual AZA Membership 
$499 without Qualifying Individual Membership

Regular Rate: up to 2 weeks prior to course start date
$499 with Individual AZA Membership 
$599 without Qualifying Individual Membership

Individual Membership must be Professional Affiliate or Professional Fellow to qualify. 

Individuals Not Employed at an AZA-accredited/Certified Facility**
Early Bird Rate:
 up to 4 weeks prior to course start date
$499 with Professional Associate Membership

Regular Rate: up to 2 weeks prior to course start date
$599 with Professional Associate Membership

*Prices are subject to change.
**Individual Membership Requirement: Staff from non-AZA accredited facility must have an individual AZA membership to apply and register for an AZA course. 

For information regarding our registration and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page. Accepted forms of payment for registration are by credit card, check, or purchase order. 

To register with a credit card
You may now register and pay online with a credit card! Non-members can log in too, after creating a free account. After logging in, choose "Professional Development" 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 waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made. 

To register with a check or purchase order
Please email your request to register, specifying the course and the name of whom you would like to register, to the Professional Development Coordinator.
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 a waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made. If you are not admitted into the course from the waitlist, a full refund will be promptly issued.  

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