EAZA EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2023

Hosted by Wroclaw Zoo, Poland (13 - 17 March, 2023)

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Conference schedule

Monday 13 March - EAZA Academy workshop and icebreaker

Tuesday 14 March - Formal sessions

Wednesday 15 March - Formal sessions

Thursday 16 March - Formal sessions and gala dinner

Friday 17 March - Informal sessions

Check back soon for further updates

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Conference theme

Conservation education of the future: from ideas to measurable outcomes

The theme of this conference has been chosen to reflect the increasingly diverse environments we are working in, and the challenges we still face in converting our enthusiasm and creativity into measurable and demonstrable conservation education success.  Conservation education is a key activity for zoos and aquariums, and we are still in the process of exploring the extent of the roles zoos and aquariums can play on the global biodiversity conservation stage. We have a wealth of tools available to support and guide our activities (such as the EAZA Conservation Education Standards, the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy, the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals), but it is not always easy to apply these big and broad concepts in our own daily work.

As we emerge from a period of intense and largely unplanned change in the field of zoo education, the goal of this conference is to bring educators from across the EAZA region and beyond to share experiences and work together to build a realistic vision and plan for our future. We want to use this conference to celebrate our successes, explore the different journeys we are on, and build consensus about where we are heading.

The conference will include several discussion-based workshops, as well as presentation sessions and posters. At this time, we have an open call for abstracts relating to the following themes:

Breaking Boundaries in Conservation Education

In this theme we want to explore ways to reach new audiences. This could be by extending our reach beyond our own sites, through use of digital outreach, traditional outreach in physical locations, or education carried out as part of in situ conservation. This theme also includes work to engage with diverse audiences; such as connecting with demographic groups that do not typically visit zoos or aquariums, or work to include people with disabilities or neurodivergence.

Cooperation in Conservation Education

In this theme we want to focus on cooperations and partnerships of all types. This can range from cooperation with different departments at your own zoo to deliver learning opportunities; to cooperating with colleagues from other zoos and aquariums; to cooperation within regional associations, including cooperation with TAGs and other animal focused groups; to cooperations and partnerships with organisations and institutions from outside the zoo world, such as Conservation NGOs, universities, and museums. We want to hear about what has made your cooperations successful, and what the benefits from cooperation have been that wouldn’t have been possible to achieve otherwise.

Leading in conservation education

In this theme we want to explore the key position of conservation education in zoos and aquariums, and the importance of education as part of conservation work. We welcome both submissions focusing on education as a leading component of zoo and conservation work, and those focusing on conservation educators providing leadership for their own teams or larger projects.

Innovation in conservation education

In this theme we want to talk about new and innovative ideas and practices in conservation education. This could be implementing new pedagogical ideas and practices, using technology in novel ways, getting creative with limited resources, or any other new and interesting thing you’ve tried in your work.

Learning through experience

In this theme, while we welcome submissions about the use of experiential learning as a pedagogical tool, our primary goal is to learn from shared experiences. We want to hear about your successes and failures, how you have analysed and evaluated them, and what ideas and recommendations you can share with the wider community. We also welcome submissions that focus on the practice of reflective evaluation.

Conservation education campaigns

In this theme there will be space for talking about EAZA campaigns past (such as Which Fish?), present (EAZA21+), and future (as we introduce the topic for the next EAZA conservation campaign). We also welcome submissions on other campaigns, whether run by zoos and aquariums at a local or national level, or on a global scale.

… and now for something completely different!

Have you got an idea for innovative talk that doesn’t fit in to any of our conference themes - then submit it to this ‘wildcard’ theme! 

 
 
 

Call for abstracts

We are accepting abstracts for the following formats:

  • Oral Presentation (15 minutes)
  • Poster
  • Discussion Panel (60 minutes) Discussion panel sessions should include multiple participants who are able to speak about the topic, some discussion questions may be prepared ahead of time but submissions for this format should also factor in time for audience input
  • Informal Session (up to 5 hours) The final day of the conference will be dedicated to informal sessions taking place in and around Wroclaw zoo where participants can gather in smaller groups to think about and discuss important topics outside the conference hall. These sessions will not be heavily structured but should include some activities or discussion questions that will inspire participants to engage with the topic.

We welcome submissions covering work carried out directly within a zoo or aquarium, but also representing the broader scope of conservation education such as outreach work, in situ projects, or online programmes.

We encourage all abstract authors to include discussions of how their work has been or will be evaluated, and how evaluation has factored into the development process.

Please submit your abstract using this online form by 31 December 2022

If you have questions about the abstract submission process, please contact laura.myers@eaza.net