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We're helping our members learn and grow through professional development opportunities.

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"I received professional development from our AAZK chapter in September 2022 to attend Detroit Zoo's Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics virtual 2.5-week workshop 'From Good Care to Great Welfare'.  At this course we primarily learned how to use behavioral observation methods to assess animal welfare.  How animals perceive their environment, and different sensitivities related to each animal taxa were also topics covered.  This bolstered Riverbanks' interest in the ZooMonitor program and has helped us pursue behavioral studies with our fishing cats, meerkats and squirrel monkeys.


I will also be attending the NWPTag conference funded by AAZK's professional development scholarship, and I'm absolutely stoked to learn more from zoo professionals from around the country."    - Katelyn Deaton, Gorilla/Small Mammal Keeper

"I attended the 2022 Annual AAZK Conference in Toronto, Canada in October 2022 thanks to Riverbanks AAZK. I was able to connect with keepers from all around North America, including primate keepers from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, who initiated a gorilla spit study that my team is now participating in. Not only did I gain valuable animal information from the trip, but I also won the opportunity to face my fears by walking the outside of the CN Tower, 1,168 feet in the air! The whole experience in Toronto made me realize that as much as we need to take care of our animals, we need to take care of ourselves too, therefore focusing the chapter's efforts for the year on professional development and keeper morale."    -Jane Solimine, Gorilla/Small Mammal Keeper

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