The co-located 2019 Annual Conference for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association starts September 7 in New Orleans. Attendance is expected to top 3,000.
Thousands of zoo and aquarium employees, conservationists, academics, and government researchers are headed to New Orleans to explore ideas and best practices, discover new technology, celebrate successes, and connect with colleagues in the field.
Organizations: Association of Zoos and Aquariums and International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association
Conference: 2019 Annual Conference
Venue: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
City: New Orleans
Following preconference workshops and an icebreaker activity at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the AZA/IMATA 2019 Annual Conference officially kicks off September 9 with an opening general session. National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala will discuss his work to protect the planet and oceans, while biologist and animal behaviorist Ken Ramirez will talk about successful animal management through positive reinforcement. Also on the agenda:
Late learning. Due to its success the last two years, Evening Buzz, which extends learning beyond the afternoon, is back. The event features short talks presented in an interactive and fun format. Topics will include conservation through animal art and how to engage women in wildlife conservation.
Go green. AZA and IMATA are committed to a “Green Mission” to deliver an environmentally responsible conference. The event will feature registration bags made from eco-friendly materials, name badge recycling, and an opportunity for attendees to offset their travel-related carbon emissions.
Zoo visit. The final day of the conference every year is a Zoo Day, which is handed over to the host location to plan. This year, attendees will go to the Audubon Zoo, where they’ll get to see some behind-the-scenes areas and have some fun by visiting the venue’s Cool Zoo splash park and taking a ride down the lazy river.