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2015 ZACC...........

Highlights of the 2015 ZACC Conference - Denver Zoo host

  • 20th anniversary of the ZACC Conference

  • First time at Denver Zoo

  • 310 conference attendees  (first time ever a ZACC has sold out)

  • 38 sponsors with 19 first time sponsors

  • Over 166 organizations represented with:

    • 63 zoos

    • 12 universities 

    • 42 field projects

    • and 49 conservation related affiliations

  • 26 countries represented

  • 4 amazing keynote speakers

  • 15 graduate students from Colorado State University – CLTL program

  • 2 pre-conference workshops and 2 post-conference field trips

  • 45 posters

  • 5 panels with 32 panelists

  • 11 conference sessions with 44 presenters

  • 3 first time “travel scholarship awardees” - bringing people from Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania   

  • $11,000 given out to 6 projects from the ZACC Conservation Grants Fund

  • $900 in awards given out from the ZACC Photo Contest




       2013 ZACC            Presentations

Please click below for pdf versions of the paper & poster presentations from the 2013 ZACC. If your presentation is not currently up. please send to Jessie Lowry at



AoC Poster ZACC 2013

Caribbean Flaming Poster John Krogmeier

Ensuring a Future for the_Lake Titicaca Frog

Erin Stotz ZACC poster 2013

Erin Sullivan

Etty Rahmawati Poster ZACC 2013

HZI Lion Fun Day 40x18

HZI Mane Event 16x40 Kristin Ufer

HZI Wild Dog Poster 36x24

J Palmer ZACC Oyster Restoration Poster

J S Photo Ark 38x22.5

Kunal Patel - Rusty Spotted Cat

Michael Renner Crop Raiding

Peter Clay Gishwati Overview Poster

Poster genetic projects 2013 Anne Schmidt-Küntzel

Pupfish Poster Lori Boatwright

Russ Van Hornetal13 ZACC Poster small

Samantha Young ZACC Poster

Sturgeon Poster

Tara Harris Tiger Conservation 2 Page Poster

Tilo Nadler Poster

ZACC Batagur - Regina P

ZACC BFF Poster Rachel Santymire



Guide to Paper Abstracts

Alejando Morales ARCAS

Francine Madden Human/wildlife conflict

Nurzhafarina Othman

Jessie Lowry Blank Park Zoo

Anne Warner Teen Volunteers

AZA Shelly Grow

Maggie Ostdahl

Rebecca Goldstone New Nature Foundation

Susie McGuire Conservation Fusion

Cat Barton_Act_for_Wildlife

Bengt Holst Building Bridges across Sectors

Erin Stotz Denver Zoo

Markus Gusset WAZA

Laura Bankey Poplar Island

Maggie Esson- Asiatic Elephants

Nicki Boyd Red Panda Network

Covert et al.

Angela Glatston Rotterdam Zoo

Jeremy Hance Mongabay Jeremy

Susan Lutter Ape Action Africa

Amy Levine Building a Culture

Amy Reaume Brevard Zoo

Fred Koontz TKCP Conservation Coffee

Beth Armstrong Innovative Fundraisers



Impressions from 2013 ZACC attendees

First, many thanks from everyone at Lewa for the generous grant we received from the Blank Park Zoo Foundation.   We really enjoyed the conference and found it tremendously helpful and interesting. Warm regards, Sabrina


Thanks again for all the work you and the volunteers put into organizing and running ZACC 2013! I thought it was a productive, interesting, and well-run conference, and I was impressed with the investment that Blank Park Zoo makes in conservation. My only regret was that I didn't give myself more time in central Iowa. Best regards, Russ Van Horn


The ZACC conference was Awesome!  Just by sitting back and observing, you can tell there was much preparation and organization put into it by you and your staff.  Great Job!  

BPZ volunteer


The vendors in the room was beyond brilliant and will become one of BPZ's signature additions to future ZACC's.  I don't know exactly what happened at this ZACC but man something shifted, was elevated to another level - just a kind, sincere feeling of welcome while at the same time delivered with a highly professional polish. Well done!   Beth Armstrong


Thank you so much for all you did at the 2013 ZACC conference.  For this to be my first conference and be so inspired is amazing.  The information and motivation I needed to continue my own efforts will come back to the week I spent in Des Moines.   Julie Anderson San Diego


Just wanted to say thanks for organizing such a great conference. Sorry I could only be there for a day, but it was an awesome day!  Dr. Zarin Machanda


Thank you so much Jessie and all the staff from the BPZ for such a great conference. Congratulations! It was fantastic.  Arnaud Desbiez


Great job all round Jessie - you and Blank Park Zoo should be very proud!  Julian Fennessy




  2013 ZACC Sponsors -   Blank Park Zoo-host

The ZACC steering committee and the Blank Park Zoo would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of the 2013 ZACC conference. Without your generous support, this conference simply would not be possible. Thanks you so much to those zoos and individual donors listed below - because of your commitment this ZACC was a success!


2013 ZACC Sponsors

AFH Design

Armstrong/Baird Family

Blank Park Zoo

Brevard Zoo

Cleveland Zoo

Columbus Zoo


Denver Zoo

Houston Zoo

Jacksonville Zoo

Jerilou Fox Leeman

Nashville Zoo

National Missisiisppi River Nuseum & Aquarium

Oaklsna Zoo

St. Louis Zoo

Seneca Park Zoo

Virginia Zoo in Norfolk

Woodland Park Zoo


























Testimonial from a 2013 ZACC attendee

"I feel like my experience at ZACC took what I knew and felt and multiplied it by the dedication and passion of the 200+ attendees. It is hard to contain that kind of excitement for change – I have been waking up in the middle of the night since ZACC to write down the ideas that have been coming to me in my sleep. I dream of ZACC!


 Coming away from ZACC I feel like my perspective has been broadened and my horizons have been expanded. I think everyone has the tendency to get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of work and maybe lose sight of the big picture. ZACC brings that picture into incredibly clear focus. It’s a reminder of why we are all here, a reminder of why we started in this field. It’s an experience that makes you think outside of the box and renews your dedication to conservation.


 Networking is such an important part of ZACC – meeting the field researchers, as well as the colleagues in the zoo and aquarium world. These connections are vital for so many reasons. They allow us to understand the needs coming from the field, they help us to avoid recreating the wheel, they open the lines of communication, they provide inspiration and most of all these connections provide lasting friendships and working relationships. Counting down the days until the next ZACC conference!"


Amy Reaume

Brevard Zoo


  2015 ZACC sponsors
    Denver Zoo-host

The ZACC steering committee and the Denver Zoo would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of the 2015 ZACC conference. Without your generous support, this conference simply would not be possible. Thanks you so much to those zoos and individual donors listed below.


2015 ZACC Sponsors

Abilene Zoo

Armstrong/Baird Family

Blank Park Zoo

Brevard Zoo

Butterfly Pavilion

Columbus Zoo

Denver Zoo

Houston Zoo

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Jacksonville Zoo

KM Concessions

Leah Jay - Nature Illustrator

New Belgium Brewing

North Carolina Zoo

Oakland Zoo

Oklahoma City Zoo

Oregon Zoo

Phoenix Zoo

Pueblo Zoo

St. Louis Zoo

San Diego Global

Seneca Park Zoo

Service Sysytems Associates

Tracy Aviary


Topeka Zoo

Virginia Zoo in Norfolk

Unite for Literacy

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Virginia Aquarium

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Woodland Park Zoo



  ZACC Stories

Interviews with 2015 ZACC attendees........

For additional stories tap: 10 ZACC Interviews


Name: Joseph Karama

Organization: Akagera Management Company, Akagera National Park, Rwanda



Who or what inspired you to support conservation?

A book?

A person?

A documentary or movie?

None of the above!! It was an experience!


Tell us about it:

Growing up as a squatter on a ranch near L. Mburo National Park in Uganda I witnessed a lot of wildlife killings for bushmeat. One day,  I saw  a waterbuck run into a valley dam with spears sticking out of her sides and dogs holding on its flanks and hunters chasing, as the animal entered the puddle of what was left of a drying up valley dam, hoping to find some refuge there.  I watched the animal circle around in agony before collapsing into the mud and dying. I vowed to myself to go to school and one day become a warden and protect these animals.


Tell us your ZACC story:

My ZACC story is one of inspiration. Everything form everyone was inspiring to me. But I will choose one that I think I am going to do something about. It’s the Women of the Wild story from Brevard Zoo. I hope to lead (inspire) the women around Akagera National Park to form a WOW Rwanda chapter.


What is your favorite ZACC memory?

I went to greet Laurie Marker of CCF, Namibia and when I left her (after just a minute of hello) I had tears in my eyes.  I don’t know why that happened but that’s going to be something I remember for long. She is an amazing person with all the things she has done.










Name: Jillian Rutherford

Organization: America's Teaching Zoo (student keeper)



Who or what inspired you to support conservation?

I'm fortunate enough to have grown up in a time and place where valuing conservation was instilled in me from the time I was a child. Living on an island in the Pacific Northwest exposed me to some of the most beautiful and raw scenes of nature I believe exist in the world, and when I grew up and left that protected place for areas degraded and damaged by human wastefulness I always carried with me the vision of what could be, if these places were as valued and as cared for as my home. So I suppose it was nature itself that inspired me to conserve.


Tell us your ZACC story.

At ZACC I met the people I have been searching for for what seems like my entire adult life. I met the authors of paper's I've cited throughout my school career, the heads of organizations I've dreamed of working for, and the way-makers in the field I'm trying to make my way in. I met people for the first time who I have a feeling I've known for years, because we all share this same deep connection to the natural world around us and passion to protect it. I left ZACC with an understanding of where I belong and how to start, which may seem more simple than a specific partnership or contact, but in actuality light up a path that will lead to countless partnerships and contacts over what I now know will be a long and fruitful career.


What is your favorite ZACC memory?

My favourite ZACC memory was the evening I plucked up my courage and sat down next to a group of distinguished conference attendees and spent the next few hours entirely welcomed into their conversations about the intricacies of running primate sanctuaries.


As you can see, ZACC had an enormous effect on me, and I thank you for being the first smiling face I saw as I came into the hotel lobby on the very first day. That you invited us to sit down with you and talk was an incredible introduction to the community I've chosen, and I hope to be able to do that someday for a new ZACC attendee.










Name: Monica Bond & Derek Lee

Organization: Wild Nature Institute




Who or what inspired you to support conservation?

A person?

David Attenborough and my cat


Tell us about it:

David Attenborough transported me to wild places around the planet & inspired me to care. My cat taught me that animals have feelings and are as worthy of our love as my fellow humans.


Tell us your ZACC story:Who did you meet?

Too many amazing awesome people to list, but very happy to have met Rebecca Rose after 2 years of generous support.


What resulted?

Also memorable was meeting Kathy from Blank Park Zoo and we will implement some of her ideas she shared!!


What is your favorite ZACC memory?

Lots of tears – sadness at hearing what threatens wildlife around the globe, and tears of joy at what people are doing to change the world & save wildlife. Also tears of happiness at receiving the ZACC Conservation Grant – Thanks!!!!

“I have finally found my people…”










What is ZACC?

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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