Volunteer Management Committee


The AZA Volunteer Management Committee (VMC) promotes a dynamic vision of volunteers and interns as vital resources within AZA member institutions by advocating for increased volunteer engagement, providing professional development opportunities tailored for individuals working with volunteers within AZA, and facilitating communication and collaboration throughout AZA institutions. The VMC advances the mission of AZA by empowering volunteer management staff at member institutions to engage and mobilize a diverse and committed force of volunteers.

Volunteer Services Best Practices  

The Volunteer Management Committee has developed a series of Best Practices documents to give guidance to all AZA volunteer staff with providing meaningful and mission-related work to volunteers at their organizations.The topics covered are:

  • Animal Handling
  • Assignments
  • Communication
  • Conservation Internship Programs
  • Interpretation
  • On-boarding
  • Policies & Procedures
  • Recognition & Retention
  • Risk Management 
  • Teen Volunteers
  • Uniforms
  • Volunteer Management 

These documents are not intended to serve as ultimate authority; rather they are to be considered an umbrella of professional and suitable practices for structured and managed volunteer engagement throughout AZA. We anticipate periodic revisions to each document as we respond to our constantly changing audiences, communities and profession. 

James Bluher, Clevland Metroparks Zoo
Christine Eckles, Blank Park Zoo

Melissa Dude, The Florida Aquarium
Cassandra Davis, Aquarium of the Pacific
David Glenn, Seattle Aquarium

Tierney Ball, Zoo Boise
Jay Ballard, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
Julie Bates, Dallas Zoo
James Bluher, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Linda Cairnes, Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium
Laura Chapman, Steinhart Aquarium
Joanne Chisnall, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
Jennifer Conley, John Ball Zoo
Cassandra Davis, Aquarium of the Pacific
Melissa Dude, The Florida Aquarium
Christine Eckles, Blank Park Zoo
David Glenn, Seattle Aquarium
Samantha Junker, Houston Zoo Inc.
Victoria Lambeth, North Carolina Zoo
Kelly McCulley-Miko, Utah's Hogle Zoo
Kathleen Nichols, Brevard Zoo
Amy Pine, Kansas City Zoo
Cassie Sanchez, Racine Zoo
Bricken Sparacino, Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Jasmine Spraakman, Edmonton Valley Zoo
Cheri Vogel, Albuquerque Biological Park

Stacey Luhring, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Kerrie Kovaleski, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Andrew Schucker
Lace Garland, New England Aquarium

Board Liaison
Christopher Dold, SeaWorld Orlando

AZA Staff Liaisons
Kari Hart

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