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San Diego Zoo Global Academy, April 2019

Safe Capture Training Is Now Part of the San Diego Zoo Global Academy

San Diego Zoo Global is pleased to announce a new educational opportunity for wildlife professionals through the San Diego ZooGlobal Academy, by combining forces with Safe-Capture International (SCI). SCI has been promoting humane capture and handling of animals through education, research, and outreach for over 30 years. SCI is now part of the San Diego Zoo Global Academy—and we anticipate that this will create many new training opportunities for wildlife and animal care professionals, animal control officers, veterinarians, and veterinary students, among others.

We will be transitioning much of the Safe Capture training program to online Academy courses, and we are alsoin the process of scheduling in-person training events in 2019.

Watch for more information about this new training program in future issues of the Academy newsletter. And if you are at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Mid-Year Meeting—April 13–18 in Phoenix—please stop by the San Diego Zoo Global Academy table to learn more about Safe Capture.

To learn more about Safe Capture, click here.

Academy Develops Online Contractor Employee Safety Training

Compass logoBy Gary Priest, Curator of Animal Care Training, San Diego Zoo Global Academy

Zoos and aquariums regularly revitalize their facilities with new construction projects. If you are responsible for construction at a zoo or aquarium—or know a co-worker who is—this column is for you.

A few months ago, I was contacted by Erika Kohler and Michael Ahlering, directors of operation for the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, respectively. Erika and Michael had a request: Does the Academy have a solution for training our construction contractors' employees on our rules for safely working on site at the Zoo and/or Safari Park? These contractor employees might be working on site for months, or for only a day or two. The goal for our two operations directors was to ensure that each employee of every construction contractor knows our organization's rules for working safely at the San Diego Zoo or the Safari Park. The directors wondered:

  • Could we help them build a short safety training course?
  • Could the Academy figure out a way to create and organize a list of applicable contractors and their employees for this training?
  • Could the training be accessible on a smartphone or tablet?
  • Could the training reside on a special dedicated site, specifically for San Diego Zoo Global vendors?
  • Could the training include a short quiz?
  • And, perhaps most important, in the event of an accident at a construction site, could the Academy be a source of reporting for improved compliance tracking?

My tentative answer was "maybe." It was a tall order, and this was new territory. However today, I can report the answer is a definite "yes"—a brand-new program to do all of those things is now being rolled out at both of our facilities, just as they envisioned.

The first order of business was to build a short, 10-minute safety course for on-site workers who are not our own employees. For course creation, we relied on an existing document that all our contractors must sign that spells out our organization's expectations for their employees' conduct while working at any of our facilities.

Construction of the short course was not difficult. But, the review process involving the heads of other departments proved more challenging. Many good suggestions were proposed for including additional information, however the operation directors needed to remind our reviewers that the initial goal was to create a 10-minute training course, not an exhaustive legal document. In the end, with that understanding, only a few simple modifications were required to satisfy everyone.

The course is now accessible via smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. With help from our partners at CypherWorx, we were able to create a special Vendor Academy site that is uniquely set up for our contractors and their employees. For the initial rollout and testing, we enlisted the help of two longtime contractors. Each contractor provided us with a list of their employees who would need this training. We created a group under each contractor company name and entered their employees in this folder. During the final phase of testing, we successfully worked out the operational details—including developing a solution for contractor employees who didn't have an email account or a smartphone.

Your organization can benefit from this effort, because this contractor training concept is now available for all of the Academy community. Our contractor training course could be the starting point for your own customized training module. You can use our contractor training course as a template, customize it for your own operation (working with CypherWorx), and load it in your own Vendor Academy site. This allows everyone to go from "hoping" that contractors conduct themselves a certain way while working on grounds, to managing the outcome of this important aspect of operations with the right tool for the job—and that tool is training.

To view a sample of our Contractor Employee Safety Training course, click here.

What's great about the collaborative Academy community is that we can develop new programs like this one together, in real time. If this idea interests you—or if you have questions, or are interested in finding out the cost to develop a customized contractor module for your institution—contact Linda Duca at lduca@cypherworx.com.

Additionally, if you are at the AZA Mid-Year Meeting in Phoenix, please visit the Academy table to learn more about the contractor training/Vendor Academy site opportunity.

For questions related to this article, please contact Gary Priest, San Diego Zoo Global Academy, at gpriest@sandiegozoo.org.


Academy News

WCS logoSan Diego Zoo Global Academy Puts the Wildlife Conservation Society in the Spotlight
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in New York is part of the Academy's collaborative learning environment!


Administrator's Users Group Webinar
Please join us for the Administrator's Users Group Webinar, hosted by Academy partner CypherWorx. The next webinar is Wednesday, April 17, at 11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Register for this webinar here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Academy Team Congratulates Award-winning Newsletter Columnist James F. Gesualdi

James F. GesualdiThe American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) will honor Academy Newsletter contributor and attorney James F. Gesualdi of Islip, New York with its Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award. The award recognizes exceptional work by an Animal Law Committee (ALC) member who, through commitment and leadership, has advanced the humane treatment of animals through the law. The award will be presented to him at the ABA TIPS Spring Conference in New York City, during a reception from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, May 3 at the Westin New York at Times Square.

The criteria considered in evaluating nominees for this award include excellence in advancing the practice of animal law, publication on animal law, the formation or presentation of continuing legal education, and leadership. Following are highlights from James Gesualdi's nomination:

TIPS"Jim has been a practitioner of animal law for more than 30 years, and has made significant contributions to the application of the Animal Welfare Act, including through the publication of his book: Excellence Beyond Compliance: Enhancing Animal Welfare through the Constructive Use of the Animal Welfare Act. Jim has been a member of TIPS and involved with the ALC for more than 13 years, and has served as a vice chair of the ALC since 2014. Because of his prominence in the animal law field, Jim's participation in the ALC has helped the ALC be viewed as a ‘thought leader' and home for animal law practitioners from all over the country and world."

"Jim is an experienced leader and contributor to volunteer legal organizations. He believes in and practices civility and professionalism. In addition to his involvement with the ABA and TIPS, Jim has been a celebrated leader in the New York State Bar Association. Jim has guided, advised, and mentored diverse practitioners and law students through the challenges that confronted them in practicing animal law. His mentoring often extends to students and aspiring animal lawyers with differing perspectives but a shared commitment to helping animals. Jim regularly participates in pro bono and public service activities, for which he has been recognized. Jim's pro bono service underscores his commitment to the civil justice system, one example of which is his work to establish a pro bono immigration clinic. He has received the New York State Bar Association's President's Award for Pro Bono Service, a Special Award of Recognition from the Suffolk County Bar Pro Bono Foundation, and a Pro Bono Service Award from the Central American Refugee Center."

The Academy Team would like to share that we are fortunate to bring Jim's expertise and thought leadership to Academy subscribers, and thank Jim for his commitment to helping all of us with animals in our care to improve each day.


Academy Contributors

Excellence Beyond Compliance logoGetting Better All the Time: Four Years of Continuously Improving in Our Mission to Serve Animals, Their Interests, and Their Well-being

By James F. Gesualdi

To keep ahead, each one of us, no matter what our task, must search for new and better methods—for even that which we now do well must be done better tomorrow.
—James F. Bell

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

A special note of thanks:This is my 30th year of practicing animal law and working within the zoological world to serve animals, their interests, and their well-being—and this also marks 4 years of contributing this column.As always, thank you for reading, challenging me to keep growing and improving, and for the good efforts you put forth daily to serve, protect, and save animals, as we also seek to compassionately reach hearts and minds to further our mission to make a difference for animals, people, and our planet.

This column and the entire newsletter are made possible by the outstanding, dedicated, and skillful work of a team of caring professionals behind the scenes. Each month they review, comment upon, and edit this column, which then goes out to the world in much better form than when it leftmy desk.

Though we're not responsible for where we come from, we areresponsible for where we go. We are more than just ourconditioning. We are capable of growth and change.
—Tyler Henry

This wholly unexpected journey of mine began in 1989, when I was fortunate to join a group of cancer patients and survivors spending a week with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys.The people in the grouptruly humbled me and put the "stresses" of my professional life in perspective.The dolphins, particularly one named Little Bit—the last surviving dolphin from the Flipper television series—also inspired me.The experiences of that week changed me and my life, and started me on theroadthat led me here.

Upon returning from that transformational adventure, and just as I started to embark upon substantial pro bono-related animal work, I began a new course of study.Wanting to understand why some might criticize the sort of moments that had just turnedmy life in an exciting new direction, I threw myself into reading the animalrights literature.That brought me to getting involved in what is now considered "animal law," primarily through various bar associations, some thought-leading programs, and teachinganimal law in law school. Eventually, various leadership and other unique opportunities arose.Over the years, my involvement in animal law and openness to learning from different perspectives changed me and my life. Living and workinginthese different worlds or communities, just like we all do in our lives and work, has made me a better person and a more effective legal professional and mentor.

The personal and professional growth continues, as I remain one who struggles through ongoing daily challenges that, over time, seem to make me better, at least when approached constructively. These experiences have somehow fueled exhaustive work regarding the Animal Welfare Act, and proactive endeavors like this column, in order to share hard-learned lessons from living in different worlds and applying that understanding.

Over the years, as different challenges have arisen or seemed likely, self-directed study has extended to areas outside of the Animal Kingdom.This is something we all can and should do.Those other subjects have included organizationalchange and culture, growing through adversity, learning from criticism, simply getting better, and much more

For the last four years, this column has changed me and my life for the better.On a regular basis, it makes me focus on what is happening, what is coming after that, and the constructive application ofthe lessons learned fromhelping zoological organizations through difficult challenges and evencrises. Your comments and feedback teach me even more.Some ideas don't work out as well everywhere.Even good ideas can be improved.

Livingin twodifferent worlds, we all love and respect animals, and some of us manifest that love and respect differently.When we also treat each other with greater compassion, dignity, and respect, we can find new ways to engage in conversation and constructive action on behalf of animals.

Thanks to the Academy for being a 24/7/365 source for knowledge and ideas to further elevate and professionalize the zoological community, as we all learn and grow together in our service on behalf of animals.

In the time we have, it is surely our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can.
—William Barclay

2019 James F. Gesualdi, P.C. The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author. This is not, nor should it be construed as, legal advice.

For more information on Excellence Beyond Compliance®, visit excellencebeyondcompliance.com.


The Aquarium Vet logo Something Fishy Is Going On
By Dr. Rob Jones, "The Aquarium Vet"

Ultraviolet Radiation and Its Use in Aquarium Systems
There are two main agents used for water sterilization and pathogen reduction in aquarium and zoo systems. The first is ultraviolet (UV) radiation and the second is ozone. An advantage of UV is the lack of any toxic residuals compared to ozone.

There are two means of transmission of pathogens: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal refers to the transmission of a pathogen within a generation, i.e. from one fish to another, whereas vertical transmission refers to transmission from one generation to another via eggs or semen. Horizontal transmission mainly occurs through the water, although hands and nets can be other important ways of spreading disease. We are considering horizontal transmission when we are discussing UV and ozone.

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) first recognized that sunlight was germicidal. However, it was not until 1893 that Marshall Ward showed that it was UV radiation that was the cause of this phenomenon.

UV radiation forms part of the electromagnetic spectrum. UV radiation has a spectrum wavelength of 10 to 400 nm. Within the UV spectrum, there are several subgroups (see figure below):

  • UV type A: spectrum range of 315 to 400 nm; is normal UV light or blacklight
  • UV type B: spectrum range of 290 to 315 nm; usually associated with suntanning and the skin's formation of Vitamin D
  • UV type C: spectrum range of 200 to 290 nm; is germicidal and used for disinfection
  • UV Vacuum: spectrum range of 10 to 200 nm; although vacuum UV is germicidal, it rapidly dissipates in water and is therefore not practical for disinfection purposes
  • *While UV-A and UV-B have some germicidal properties, we are mainly dealing with UV-C in this discussion. UV-C is largely blocked from reaching the Earth's surface by the ozone layer.

Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation kills pathogens by inactivating the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) that is present within the nucleus of cells. This prevents the pathogens from multiplying and thus attacking a host (such as fish). DNA absorbs UV-C most effectively at the 260 nm wavelength. At the 280 nm wavelength, some UV is absorbed into the aromatic rings of some amino acids, which damages proteins within the cells. This will also have a negative effect on the cells and cause cell death. The effect of UV-C is different from chemical disinfectants, which generally act only by damaging cell structures like the cell wall and interfering with the pathogen's metabolism.

Next month, we will look at UV production and its use in aquariums and zoos for water quality management.

I will be attending the Regional Aquatics Workshop (RAW) in Columbus, Ohio on May 13, and I look forward to meeting students and prospective students of the e-quarist course.

E-quarist™ Courses—Academy Subscriber Special!
The San Diego Zoo Global Academy is excited to share an additional Academy subscriber benefit regarding our collaboration with The Aquarium Vet: as an Academy subscriber, you are now entitled to a discount on the e-quarist™ courses. We are also happy to offer one of our free monthly webinars.

For more information about the SDZGA discount, or anything about the e-quarist™ course, including next month's free webinar, please contact katrina@theaquariumvet.com

Zoo & Conservation News

As an added Academy benefit, you can view the latest San Diego Zoo Global Zoo and Conservation News here.

Photo of a trainer with a cheetah.

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