San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Academy Newsletter
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President's Clubs | San Diego Zoo Global

Volunteer Connection


By Tammy Rach

National Volunteer Week is April 17–23 this year, and April is Global Volunteer Month. It’s a great time to reflect upon how your organization is celebrating these often-unsung heroes throughout your organization. Gifts, events, and experiences quickly come to mind as the best ways to share our appreciation for volunteers, and during that one week each year, it definitely helps to go the extra mile to “share the love” and help them feel extra-special. Yet, there are many important ways to think deeper and more globally about how we can ensure that volunteers are best supported and celebrated.

Is volunteer engagement part of your strategic plan? Do you have enough resources to fully support your volunteer team? Maybe. Maybe not. But something as simple as using a term like “team members” acknowledges that they are a highly valued part of our team. That feeling is what many volunteers are seeking when they apply to volunteer at your organization in the first place. Without it, your retention may suffer.

Leveraging your San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Academy website, whether through My Academy or your volunteer site, can greatly help your volunteers feel they are a part of your organization’s team, when set up properly. Having access to the same or similar important resources and training as staff—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—is a huge perk that most appreciate greatly.

Academy News
segwick county zoo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Academy Puts Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in the Spotlight

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium are part of the Academy’s collaborative learning environment. Visit their websites.

Safe Capture News

News from Recent Safe Capture Training Events

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our recent Safe Capture in-person training events hosted by the University of Georgia (in February) and the University of Pennsylvania (in March).

Also, thank you to everyone who joined us online for our two livestream training events in March, hosted by Washington State/University of Idaho and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

All of these events drew enthusiastic participants from around the US and Costa Rica, including veterinarians, wildlife biologists, students, and other domestic animal and wildlife management specialists. We are so glad you could join us!

Upcoming Safe Capture Livestream Training Events

Registration is now open for the following Academy Safe Capture livestream event:

May 23–25 (3-day event): This event is being hosted by SDZWA Academy, and is open to all participants.

Upcoming Safe Capture In-person Training Events

Registration is now open for the following Academy Safe Capture in-person events:

Massachusetts (Boston), May 11–12: This event is being hosted by Zoo New England, and is open to all participants.

Virginia (Fredericksburg), June 14–15: This event is being hosted by the Virginia Animal Control Association, and is open to all participants.

New Mexico (Albuquerque), August 2–3: This event is being hosted by ABQ BioPark, and is open to all participants.

CE credits approved by the following organizations:

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For more information, or to register for these events, please
visit our Safe Capture website.

Academy Technical Support
cypherworx logo

As our learning partner, CypherWorx has answered course questions for many learners who need a little extra help while completing Academy courses. But did you also know that they have a very robust support hub where you can search for help? Visit the CypherWorx Support Hub.

On the support hub, learners can search for information about how to use the site, how to take courses, and how to manage their accounts. Of course, if you need more specific help, please submit a help ticket through the support hub or call 888-685-4440 to speak with a CypherWorx customer support representative.

Academy Contributors
Something Fishy Is Going On

By Dr. Rob Jones, “The Aquarium Vet”

the aquarium vet logo

So much is happening in the world at present. We seem to have lurched from the COVID-19 pandemic to the threat of a world war. As a consequence, it is very easy to lose focus and get depressed
about the future.

As a community (aquariums and zoos), we are very blessed to work with animals. When we have vet students join us for externships as part of their training, one of the first questions I ask is “Why do you want to become a vet?” About 95 percent simply say “I like animals.” And that is my response, too, when asked the same question. “Animal people” share that common bond.

If ever you are having a bad day as an aquarist or wildlife care specialist (or manager), go and just mingle with the crowd in your facility, and feel the buzz and excitement as your guests enjoy the day. Be prepared for lots of questions—and know that 90 percent of the visitors would probably swap jobs with you, if they could.

Academy Information

For more information about the Academy, please send us an email at

Interested in Joining the Academy?

Individual, group, and institution rates are available. Please contact


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