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San Diego Zoo Global Academy, June 2019

Welcome to Our 75th Issue!

This month marks the 75th issue of the San Diego Zoo Global Academy newsletter! Thank you for receiving our newsletter—we enjoy preparing it for you. Also, thank you for the nice comments we have received over the years regarding the newsletter, and your participation with the Academy. We strive to bring industry-relevant information to you each month, with our team of talented contributors: James Gesualdi, animal welfare; Dr. Robert Jones, aquatics; Dr. Don Janssen, leadership; Andy Goodman, storytelling; and Gary Priest, animal care training.

We also strive to let you know—"hot off the press"—when a new course has been added to the Academy course catalog http://www.sdzglobalacademy.org/courses.html, and we enjoy putting your colleagues in the Spotlight to highlight their participation with the Academy. On top of that, a fixture in the monthly newsletter is to note when our Academy partner, CypherWorx, will be hosting their next monthly Users Group webinar.

We also enjoy sharing stories from institutions in the industry of the innovative ways that they are using the Academy to elevate training in their institutions. Training has the potential to elevate any institution's operations. Our goal is to reach that potential via great course content, our Academy platform, and collaboration with all of you—and the newsletter is one of the ways we stay connected.

Thank you again.

For more information about this article, please contact Gary Priest, San Diego Zoo Global Academy, at gpriest@sandiegozoo.org.

 

Cross-pollination

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

At first, the news made me sad, and then angry. What was he thinking? However, after the first day I visited him at his new facility and in his new position, I began to understand.

Andy Blue is an animal guy. He spent many years as an animal care manager, and then as associate curator of mammals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Andy has shipped rhinos all over the world. Yet, here he was sitting in his new office—with a playful kitten wearing an Elizabethan collar and batting things around on his desk, while a black pit bull named Zen curled up under Andy's legs. Zen was waiting patiently to be adopted, and Andy could see the potential in this dog.

You see, my good friend Andy Blue had made the difficult decision to leave the Safari Park, and to take a position as director of the Escondido Campus of the San Diego Humane Society. It turns out that his new job is remarkably similar to his former job. Only the animals have changed.

Andy is still an animal guy. Suddenly, I understood better.

As Andy and I talked in his office, I began to realize that my friend was enthusiastic about his new role and expressed excitement about figuring out how we might still work together in a new way. Andy explained to me that in just a few weeks in the new job, he could see how similar the mission and operation of a large humane facility is to the operation of a zoo.

Then, it got really exciting. Andy shared a vision, where he hoped to build a bridge between the San Diego Humane Society and San Diego Zoo Global, where both organizations would be strengthened and their animals would benefit. This bridge could open all sorts of opportunities for the staff at both of these large San Diego based institutions—achieving cross-pollination.

In nature, cross-pollination is when one plant pollinates a plant of another variety. The two plants' genetic material combines, and the resulting seeds will have characteristics of both varieties. However, cross-pollination can only occur between varieties, not species, and the same is true between institutions. For institutions to cross-pollinate, they must be of a similar variety and not a different species.

At their core, both San Diego Zoo Global and the San Diego Humane Society are organizations committed to animal care and welfare. Cross-pollinated plant varieties often generate stronger seeds than self-pollinated ones. The plants that result from cross-pollination adapt better to changes in the surroundings, compared to self-pollinated plants that sometimes fail to adjust. Species that use both self-pollination and cross-pollination typically produce a higher quality and number of seeds. Don't all zoos, aquariums, and humane societies want to be stronger, more adaptable, and more resilient to environmental changes? Cross-pollination may be one answer.

In just a few short months, leaders from both San Diego Zoo Global and the San Diego Humane Society have held high-level meetings. Already, we are seeing results. The threat of wildfires is ever-present in Southern California. The Safari Park and the Escondido Campus of the San Diego Humane Society, only a few miles apart, have developed plans for the emergency evacuation and sheltering of our okapis in the event of a fire. The CAT scan machine in the Safari Park's Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center is now available to Escondido Campus Humane Society animals that might need this diagnostic tool. Staff from the two organizations have engaged in team building and cross-training events. Andy now serves on the San Diego Zoo Global Institutional Animal Care and Use (IACUC) committee, as an experienced and independent member of this research oversight group. Members of the Zoo's herpetology department have visited and provided recommendations for caring for reptiles taken in by the San Diego Humane Society. The Academy has provided several copies of Dr. Don Janssen's book, Upside-Down Leadership, to the Escondido Campus supervisors and managers.

Working with the Humane Society, the Academy is reviewing our course list to determine which ones are relevant for their needs. We are hopeful that in the future, by working together, we can design and produce new online courses to meet the specific needs of all humane societies around the United States. All this is possible because of Andy's vision for a bridge, and the beneficial effects of cross-pollination.

For more information about this article, please contact Gary Priest, San Diego Zoo Global Academy, at gpriest@sandiegozoo.org.

 

Academy News

Chicago Zoological Society logoChicago Zoological Society: New Collaborative Partner of the San Diego Zoo Global Academy
We are very pleased to add the Chicago Zoological Society to the Collaborative Partner section of our Academy website. We will look forward to sharing the exciting story of the collaboration to come with all of you, in future issues of the newsletter. For now, a teaser is that all Academy participants will benefit—we are getting busy right away, working together to build great new animal care courses for our industry. More news to follow!

Little Rays Nature Center logoSan Diego Zoo Global Academy Puts Little Ray's Nature Centres in the Spotlight!
Little Ray's Nature Centres in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is part of the Academy's collaborative learning environment!

 

Create A Course Can Be a Great Tool for Surveys and Quizzes, Too
CypherworxCould your operations benefit from feedback from your employees? Would you like to have a reporting system for your in-person training events, and other such meetings? There are probably many other situations where it would be beneficial to get measurable feedback from your staff.

How about creating a quiz or survey with the Academy's Create A Course? Create A Course is the menu option that can be added to your custom Academy site. It requires only a one-time fee of $750 to add this feature to your custom site(s). If you have both an employee site and a volunteer site, we can add the menu option to both sites with a single fee.

It could be as simple as creating a title page, then dropping in your survey or quiz. The quiz in Create A Course is usually a result of completing an online course—but what if there isn't a need for a course, but there is the desire to have a quiz? Simple: just use the quiz portion of the Create A Course to open up a number of opportunities for new applications.

Because this quiz or survey was set up just as a course quiz would have been, the survey or quiz can be accessed the same way for reporting purposes, and those survey or quiz results will be just as retrievable as reports. You can use this online tool to get real-world feedback regarding your operations, or capture quiz results related to in-person training. This simple solution offers innovative ways to expand feedback and provide visibility for operations.

Just food for thought—please contact Linda Duca, of Academy partner CypherWorx, at lduca@cypherworx.com for more information about adding Create A Course to your Academy training site.

 

Administrator's Users Group Webinar
Cypherworx
Please join us for the Administrator's Users Group Webinar, hosted by Academy partner CypherWorx. The next webinar is Wednesday, June 19, at 11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Register for this webinar here.

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

 

Academy Contributors

Excellence Beyond Compliance logoGetting Better All the Time
Shining a Light on Others' Good Works

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

It's good to be recognized for doing good work. It's particularly good because it provides an opportunity for a reality check or reflection. Most good comes about because of the efforts of countless people (and even animals), whose contributions and inspiration may be unreported. There are all those special, kind, and thoughtful souls who intervened or interjected an encouraging word or a nudge in the right direction. Those seemingly small things are among the simple actions we can take every day to help others on this journey with us.

As I am grateful for this platform to disseminate ideas, and mindful of the responsibility it entails, this is a good time to point out some within or around the zoological community whose good works warrant our appreciation.

Animal Caregivers
You are called to give of yourselves every day to the animals entrusted to your care. Your efforts make a difference for animals. That is good, and it is what we all aspire to be able to do, although most of us can only do so indirectly, at best.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Care Inspectors
You go everywhere, in every sort of situation, with all kinds of animals and people, and must know and apply the "blue book" of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations that I am still learning after 30 years. You work to administer the AWA and evaluate compliance. Though there may sometimes be respectful differences, when engaged constructively, your oversight fosters accountability and helps us to continue to improve our work in service to animals.

Animal Law Colleagues; American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Animal Law Committee; New York State Bar Association Committee on Animals and the Law; Florida Bar Association Animal Law Section
You have challenged me and many others in countless ways, taught us, afforded us opportunities and friendships, and rendered timeless service to animals (and even people like me). When there may be differences, it points the way for me to become better.

Here are just a few colleagues who have moved me recently.

Michael Clifford, curator of innovation and partnerships, GLMVZoos Architecture
Michael's good heart, sharp mind, and experience as an animal caregiver have helped him elevate the conversation within the zoological community about our future. The monthly ECHO calls he hosts are a great source of ideas and inspiration from colleagues, as well as lessons from outside the zoological world. For more information on the monthly ECHO calls (now co-hosted with Zoo Advisors), email Mike Clifford at mclifford@glmv.com.

On a recent call entitled "Diversity + Engagement," Tanya Paul, animal curator, Oregon Zoo, spoke eloquently about our need to engage our local communities "with grace and humility" (which is also great advice for living a meaningful life of service).

During another call about "Thriving by Design," Dr. Cheryl Meehan and Dr. Brian Greco, AWARE Institute, spoke about designing to enhance animal welfare. That discussion made clear the importance of factoring the animals and their well-being into everything we do. It also brought to mind their groundbreaking, multi-organizational elephant welfare research. Such efforts are challenging, but worth the investment in improving animals' lives.

The zoological community is a caring community. Our work together is made better by the thoughtful efforts of people like Michael, Tanya, Cheryl, Brian, and you. Thank you for the good you do for animals and the inspiration you provide to me.

Don't work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition.
—H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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.

 

Teh Aquarium Vet logoSomething Fishy Is Going On
By Dr. Rob Jones, "The Aquarium Vet"

Ultraviolet Radiation (Part 2)

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. In my last newsletter column, we looked at what UV radiation is.

Artificial Production of Ultraviolet Radiation
UV radiation is usually produced in a mercury (Hg) vapor lamp. An electrical current passes through the mercury vapor and excites the electrons in the mercury atom. This excess energy (photons) is then released as UV radiation of a specific wavelength, dependent on the gas (in most cases mercury) and the electrical voltage used.

UV lamps are housed within lamp sleeves that are tubes of quartz silica. The sleeve is open at both ends to allow for water flow. The distance between the exterior of the lamp and the interior of the lamp sleeve is usually about 1/4 inch (1 centimeter).

Here's a diagram showing the production of UV radiation.

There are generally two types of UV units available:

Low Pressure
Low-pressure UV units operate at a low vapor pressure of mercury and a moderate temperature of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). About 95 percent of the UV produced has a wavelength of 253.7 nm (monochromatic). Note that this is very close to the wavelength at which DNA absorbs UV-C most effectively (260 nm). These units are generally inexpensive to purchase, compared to medium-pressure units. The output of low-pressure UV units ranges from 40 to 280 watts, with up to 100 watts per meter of lamp length. At this range, some DNA repair can occur influenced by exposure to light and the enzyme photolyase.

Low-pressure UV units convert a greater percentage of their energy input to producing UV-C (the germicidal UV) than a medium-pressure UV unit (see below).

Medium Pressure
The second type of UV unit operates at a medium vapor pressure of mercury and a much higher temperature of 1,112 to 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit (600 to 900 degrees Celsius). This high operating temperature can add a significant amount of heat to the water as it passes through the unit. Medium-pressure units usually emit UV over a much broader spectrum wavelength (polychromatic) and with a higher intensity. These different wavelengths can cause more than just damage to the DNA and will affect other biomolecules (such as the repair enzyme photolyase). This, then, decreases the likelihood of the DNA repairing itself, thus increasing the percentage kill rate.

Medium-pressure UV units produce approximately 15 to 20 times the UV output, and hence are more likely to be used on larger systems.

Medium-pressure UV units generally require a smaller footprint than the low-pressure units. However, they have a higher energy input and lower efficiency. The bulb life is also usually shorter, so they are expensive to operate. The output of medium-pressure UV units ranges from 1,000 to 8,000 watts, with up to 10,000 watts per meter of lamp length.

Wavelength charts showing the difference between the two types of UV units. Vertical axis represents the lamps power output relative to the maximum output in the range.

 

Large UV unit

Next month, we will finish this three-part series on UV. It was terrific to meet so many of our students at RAW in Columbus, Ohio last month. Congratulations to the organizers for an excellent week.

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.

Not a Member Yet?

Contact Jon Prange
JPrange@sandiegozoo.org

Reminder

Academy Newsletters are archived at sdzglobalacademy.org.
Click here for the Academy Newsletter Archive page.

 

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