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 2020 ZACC Conference CANCELLED

(We are working on new dates for 2021)


Dear ZACC friends and colleagues,

We write to you at this challenging time to extend our very best wishes to you and your family for ongoing health and safety as we all adjust to these challenging circumstances.  We care about you, and we will continue to stay in touch with updates on the ZACC conference as soon as new information has been confirmed.


Due to the pandemic, we must cancel the June 22 - 26, 2020 ZACC conference.  We are working on confirming new dates for the conference in 2021, and we will keep you posted just as soon as new information is confirmed.


For those who have already registered, your registration will be refunded.  We ask for your patience as we work through all of the logistics for the refunds.


The ZACC conference will continue, and we all look forward to being together again to share our common passion for protecting and restoring our one and only planet.  Thank you for being a part of the wonderfully supportive and resourceful ZACC community.


With best wishes to all,

ZACC Steering Committee

Beth Armstrong – ZACC Chair

Hosts: Utah’s Hogle Zoo & Tracy Aviary

Liz Larsen - Hogle Zoo

Cooper Farr, Tracy Aviary



The Anne Warner In Situ Conservation Education Fund

In July of 2018, the conservation world suffered a heartbreaking loss with the passing of our ZACC steering committee member, Anne Warner. Anne was a respected colleague and friend to not only ZACC but to so many in the conservation world.  

We are offering an Anne Warner In situ Education Grant at the 2020 ZACC conference. For more information go to:


~Anne Warner~

Conservationist Educator Activist 


Anne Warner: It is with great sadness that that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague Anne Warner - a member of the ZACC Steering Committee 1999-2018. Anne was many things to many people - wife, mother, beloved Nana. When she spoke of her children and especially when speaking of her grandchildren her smile simply illuminated her face, radiating unequivocal love, and coupled with her smile was that unique twinkle in her eye, exclusive only to Anne. And Anne was conservation. Wherever she went a commitment to conservation also went and was established, nurtured, took root and grew. At Oakland Zoo, then Oregon Zoo, as interim director of PASA, as a consultant to field education projects all over the world, her steady influence grew over the years. 


She was a pioneer, one of that handful of zoo people in the 1990’s who just said “Right, lets just get on with it.” Support of in situ conservation was not an option for Anne, it was who we were and are as zoos – she understood it was our most important, powerful and defining characteristic as zoological institutions. Anne knew that long before many in the zoo world had even an inkling of the concept.


At the 1999 ZACC conference during an informal lunch, a small group of us decided to form the ZACC Steering Committee - as a hedge against the very real possibility that the message of ZACC could be lost in the translation by others. Anne was there, Lisa Dabek was there (another one of those early pioneers, where Lisa went in situ conservation went), Rebecca Rose, and me, Beth Armstrong and I believe Marc Ancrenaz was with us as well. Others would join us in later years. And so began Anne's commitment to ZACC as she helped to shape and move us forward with her practical approach and willingness to give of her time. When we reworked the ZACC logo several years ago and were looking for the perfect tagline to express what ZACC was, it was Anne who found just the right words: “Inspire-Connect-Act”


I knew Anne through our shared ZACC experiences as well as working together on a couple of consulting jobs with zoos, helping them to jump-start their own conservation commitment. In 2016 I asked Anne to join us for the inaugural “Finding Your Voice: Inspirational Stories from Women who Protect Wildlife and Wild Places” summit in Columbus Ohio, lending her voice and sharing her experiences with the next generation of conservationists – teaching once again. 

But Anne was more than a colleague to me, she was a much-valued friend, someone I could just call up to shoot the breeze, to see what Ellie her granddaughter was up to, or see what Anne was reading at the time or ask where her next adventure would take her. 


In July when I returned to my home in Florida after a 4-month absence and finally decided to tackle the massive pile of mail – one envelope dropped out of the pile – it was from Anne sent last March. I had long ago stopped dismissing seemingly arbitrary events as coincidence and this one struck me – why that particular letter? In the midst of all her struggles, she had bothered to take the time to write a card – that was pure Anne - thanking me for a bottle of Talisker scotch (oh she did like her Scotch whiskey!) and some books I had sent. We often talked of our Celtic heritage and the powerful pull it had on both of us. In the card she said the following in reference to stepping down from the ZACC Steering Committee to serve on our advisory board: “Funny how I knew it was time to ‘graduate’ to advisory board without really knowing why – that good ole Celtic intuition clearing the space for the fight of my life.”


We both shared a sense of pride in our Welsh ancestry. And on the day I received word that she had passed – as I reeled from the news, trying to catch my breath, trying to find some sense in this senseless loss, something popped up on my Facebook page from another page I was a member of – a detailed history of my Welsh 11th great-grandfather – someone Anne and I had discussed at length. I don’t think that was a coincidence. 


Every time I spoke with her over the last few months– she was nothing but positive, comporting herself through the labyrinth of doctor appointments and hospital stays with such unyielding grace - while asking after me, asking about my nieces and nephews, inevitably starting the conversation with “How’s the book coming along?” That was pure Anne – always, always genuinely interested in others. 


I am still trying to wrap my head around the thought that I will never again hear her voice, see that smile, hear her encouraging words – and it breaks my heart. And I know I am not alone in this; that there are endless stories out there of all the people that Anne touched, mentored, worked with, encouraged and simply graced with her presence. I will miss her. "Anne, rwy'n dy garu di." - Welsh for "you are loved" 


Former Catholic priest John O’Donohue was a writer, a poet, a philosopher. O’Donohue wrote extensively of how places inform and shape us, how the earth speaks to us through place – in his case his home in the west of Ireland. And how our ancestors are there with us in so many ways. When his own father died he wrote a poem for his mother called Beannacht (Blessing in Irish). And although it is really for those left behind, for those that must come to grips with the loss of a loved one it is Anne I think of and wish for her the same. ~ Beth Armstrong, ZACC Chair


"May the nourishment of the earth be yours, 
may the clarity of light be yours, 
may the fluency of the ocean be yours, 
may the protection of the ancestors be yours. 

And so may a slow 
wind work these words 
of love around you, 
an invisible cloak 
to mind your life."


What is ZACC? Our mission is to "Inspire-Connect-Act"

The mission of the ZACC conference is to encourage and promote increased involvement of zoos and aquariums in support of field conservation – locally, nationally and internationally. Held on a biennial basis since 1995, the conference brings field researchers and zoo colleagues together to network, forge relationships and work together to mutually benefit and protect wildlife species and wild places. 


Past ZACC hosts:

Columbus Zoo - 1995

Busch Gardens Tampa - 1997

San Diego Zoo - 1999

Brevard Zoo - 2001

Brevard Zoo - 2005

Houston Zoo - 2007

Houston Zoo - 2009

Woodland Park Zoo - 2011

Blank Park Zoo - 2013

Denver Zoo - 2015

Jacksonville Zoo - 2018

Utah's Hogle Zoo - 2020

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committing to conservation, field conservation, community, inspiration, partnerships, in situ, ex situ, zoos and aquariums, field projects, funding, conservation grants, Denver Zoo 2015 host, Blank Park Zoo 2013 host, local and indigenous peoples, making contacts, zoo grants, saving species, protecting species, protecting wild places, local conservation efforts, regional conservation efforts, international conservation efforts, conservation conference, ZACC history, ZACC hosts, Zoos and Aquariums: Committing to Conservation, Africa, Latin America, Central America, Asia, North America, Europe, colleagues meeting, networking, mutual support, benefits to zoos, benefits to field researchers, making a difference.



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