Getting Better All the Time: A Year of Learning Together Lays Out the Path Forward
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
This marks the first anniversary of the launch of the "Getting Better All the Time" column on continuous improvement in animal welfare, in partnership with the Academy. The 12 prior columns contain numerous ideas, practices, and recommendations for your consideration. These measures have proven effective, with respect to meeting and exceeding the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, accrediting association standards, and making continuous improvement in animal welfare a daily practice embedded in an even more constructive organizational culture. The Excellence Beyond Compliance® approach expressed in each of the columns provides the path forward for the zoological community. Here's how:
The public consciousness about animals has changed dramatically, and continues to evolve. People are increasingly connected with animals in their homes and with their families. Likewise, there is heightened awareness of the unique characteristics of other animals, especially those very visible species inhabiting the zoological world. These and other factors enlarge human compassion for the very animals entrusted to our care. (The good efforts of the zoological community itself have contributed to this shift.) Clearly demonstrating the well-being of the resident animals addresses public concerns about the animals. Openly committing to continuously improving ourselves and our service to the animals upholds the public trust.
Excellence Beyond Compliance® explicitly makes continuously improving animal welfare (and, at the same time, AWA compliance) a zoological organization's guiding priority. This commits us to "Getting Better All the Time." As the zoological community depends on public support for its continued existence, this is, at once, the right thing to do and the path forward.
To take a look back at individual lessons outside of those in the book, see:
- Name It, April 2015
- Be There, May 2015
- You Can, June 2015
- Today Matters, July 2015
- The Magic Power of Words, August 2015
- Building Blocks: Key Leaders, Self-Examination, Entrance Briefings, and Inspection Checklists, September 2015
- Can You Hear Me Now: Effective Listening for Better Outcomes, October 2015
- Turning Challenges into Opportunities: the Principles of Constructive Engagement, November 2015
- Opportunities Abound, December 2015
- Learning to Facilitate Change for the Better, January 2016
- Comforting Animals and Their Caregivers, February 2016
- Sustaining Continuous Improvement through Professional Development, March 2016
Join us to learn more about animal welfare and the Animal Welfare Act, when the Ask Animal Care series continues on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 3 p.m. EST, with special guests USDA APHIS Animal Care Regional Directors Elizabeth Goldentyer, DVM, and Robert M. Gibbens, DVM; Associate Deputy Administrator Dr. Andrea Morgan; and new Deputy Administrator Bernadette Juarez. Submit your questions and have them answered by the experts. Register now to participate, get further details, and submit any questions and suggest topics for AWA In-Depth: email@example.com. Registration and submission of questions deadline is Monday, May 2, 2016.
Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
© 2016 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.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share the good you are doing (as only you can), or with any comments or questions on this column or suggestions for future ones.
For upcoming workshops and sessions, contact email@example.com.
Something Fishy Is Going On
By Dr. Rob Jones, "The Aquarium Vet"
Last month, we started talking about oxygen in water and how it can be the limiting factor for keeping fish. The three factors that control the amount of oxygen that water can contain are:
- Air pressure
Temperature is the main factor that alters the amount of oxygen that a body of water can hold. Cold water holds more oxygen because at lower temperatures the H2O molecules are moving more slowly, allowing more oxygen molecules (O2) to dissolve in the spaces between. In hot water, the H2O molecules are moving very rapidly, and so there is less space available (between the molecules) for the oxygen molecules to dissolve.
Hence, at sea level, freshwater with dissolved oxygen (DO) of 100 percent (saturation level) contains less oxygen (in milligrams per liter) at 25 degrees Celsius or (77 degrees Fahrenheit) than it does at 15 degrees Celsius or (59 degrees Fahrenheit). At 25 degrees Celsius, water at 100 percent DO contains 8.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of oxygen, while at 15 degrees Celsius, 100 percent DO is 10.1 mg/L oxygen. The table below shows this more clearly.
Table showing the amount of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in mg/L (100 percent saturation) at various temperatures (Celsius and Fahrenheit) at zero salinity (freshwater) and at sea level.
To extend this further, water at 15 degrees Celsius and 100 percent saturation will contain 10.1 mg/L oxygen. If there is only 50 percent saturation, then the water will only hold 5.05 mg/L, which is below the critical 6 mg/L level.
A compounding factor, as previously discussed, is that fish are poikilothermic, and a 5-degree Celsius or (41-degree Fahrenheit) increase in water temperature will cause a 50 percent increase in metabolic rate, which will cause a 50 percent increase in oxygen uptake by the fish. Thus, at higher water temperatures with lower DO levels, the fish require more oxygen. This is the main reason that it is usually warmwater fish that experience low oxygen issues.
Barometric air pressure relates to height above sea level (altitude). Altitude has a lesser effect on the level of dissolved oxygen in water than changes in temperature. Increased altitude decreases the oxygen-holding capacity of water. This is because as one ascends, the air pressure decreases and there is a less of a "push" for oxygen to dissolve in water. Barometric pressure can be a factor at high-altitude lakes, although usually, the cooler temperatures of these lakes partly compensates for the reduced oxygen effect of the altitude.
Increased salinity decreases the amount of oxygen that water can hold. This is simply because all the ions that are in seawater reduce the area that the oxygen molecules can occupy in the water. As a general guide, at the same temperature and at sea level (barometric pressure = 760mmHg) seawater will hold about 20 percent less oxygen than freshwater.
Next month, we will look at other water quality parameters.
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 Dr. Jones: as an Academy subscriber, you are now entitled to a discount on the e-quarist™ courses.
For more information about the SDZGA discount, or to view our Trial Version, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.