In recognition of the outstanding achievements of Robert O. Wagner and to encourage participation in the AZA Professional Development Program, the Professional Development Committee offers to aquarium and zoo professionals the Robert O. Wagner Scholarship to provide additional financial opportunities for individuals and institutions.
Applicants for the Robert O. Wagner award demonstrate committed professional involvement in AZA programs or conservation activities, leadership ability or leadership potential and a dedication to professional growth. Applicants must be an AZA individual member employed in an AZA zoo, aquarium or related facility. Members of international AZA institutions are also welcome to apply.
This award may be applied toward any of the AZA Professional Development Courses.
Click here for the 2023 application. Full submission information is included in the application. Only one scholarship application may be submitted per individual per year. Applications are evaluated and recipients are chosen by the AZA Professional Development Committee.
Please note: If you do not receive the award and plan to take the course anyway, the scholarship application does not represent a reserved space in an AZA course. To secure a space in a course you must submit a complete registration and pay the tuition in full. If you receive the award, your full tuition payment will be refunded.
Any questions, contact the Professional Development Program at email@example.com
AZA Executive Director 1975-1992
AZA Chief Administrative Officer 1992-1996
R. Marlin Perkins Award
1994 AZA Honorary Member
Bob was born in Evansville, Indiana, on August 15, 1935. He attended Purdue University where he studied zoology. Bob began his zoo career as a Keeper at Mesker Park Zoo, Evansville, Indiana, in 1955, later becoming Head Keeper and then Assistant Director (1955-1959). After this, Bob became the Director at Washington Park Zoo, Michigan City, Indiana (1959-1964) and then Director at Jackson Zoological Park, Jackson, Mississippi (1964-1975).
As a member of AZA, Bob was Chair of the Membership and Legislative Committees, first Treasurer, and one of the AZA Incorporators. He served on the Board (1971-1974) and as Vice President (1974-1975) before being chosen as the AZA Executive Director in May 1975. Bob remained in this position until July 1992 when he became the Chief Administrative Officer. In December 1996, Bob retired from AZA.
During Bob's tenure, the Association grew from 636 members to over 6,000 and from a $30,000 to a multi-million dollar budget, as well as a Conservation Endowment Fund exceeding $3 million. Some AZA highlights of Bob's tenure as Executive Director include:
AZA Office opens in Wheeling, West Virginia
Articles of Incorporation approved by State of West Virginia
Accreditation Procedures enacted for Institution members on voluntary basis
School for Professional Management Development first held in Wheeling, West Virginia
Outstanding Service Award established
Code of Professional Ethics adopted
Conservation Award, Education Award, First Breeding Certificate, Silver Propagator's Certificate & Gold Propagator's Certificate established
R. Marlin Perkins Award established
Accreditation becomes mandatory for new institutions
Species Survival Plans initiated
Conservation Office opens in Apple Valley, Minnesota
Zoological Park and Aquarium Fundamentals, 2nd edition, published
Zoo Biology begins publication
Conservation Endowment Fund established
Accreditation becomes mandatory for existing institutional members
First Long-Range Plan developed for the Association
School for Applied Zoo and Aquarium Biology established
Conservation Office moved to Conservation Center, Bethesda, Maryland
Studbook Training Program and Conservation Academy established
Annual Report on Conservation and Science begins annual publication
Second Long-Range Plan developed for the Association
Received AZA’s highest honor, the R. Marlin Perkins Award