International Zoo Educators Association

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International Zoo Educators Association
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The International Zoo Educators Association (IZE) is a

non-profit organization
dedicated to improving the education programmes in zoos and aquariums.

Founded in 1972 by a group of European zoo educators, IZE's aim was to create a forum where zoo educators could meet every two years to discuss and share ideas and common interests. The founding members included those from

Amsterdam Zoo, Paignton Zoo and Copenhagen Zoo
The first IZE President was Rosl Kirchshofer, head of education at the Frankfurt Zoo.

Proceedings were produced for the first time at the second international meeting in 1974 at Copenhagen Zoo. To facilitate communication among members the first newsletter was produced in 1977, edited by Jan Hatley, head of education at Paignton Zoo.[2]

The IZE website states that the association's mission is to:

"[...expand] the educational impact of zoos and aquariums worldwide", "improve the education programs" and "support excellence in animal care and welfare".


The International Zoo Educators Association was established after a meeting of zoo education officers held in Frankfurt, Germany on September 6, 1972.


In November 1999 a group of IZE European members began a European regional internet discussion group to help educators network between conferences. This group started life as the ERNIZE[nb 1] Yahoo Group managed by staff at Chester Zoo in England, UK. In June 2007 the IZE Board voted to make the group international and available to IZE members worldwide. The name changed to the IZE Yahoo Group and its management transferred to Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. Membership of the group is by invitation-only and its primary purpose is ‘to enable discussion, exchange of information and questions etc. between zoo educators across the world’.

Institutional membership and sponsored delegates

IZE offers institutional membership to zoos, aquariums, nature/wildlife centres and wildlife reserves. At least 50% of this annual membership fee is used in a scheme to enable sponsored delegates to attend conferences when they might not otherwise be able to afford to, and supports outreach to zoo and wildlife educators in the developing world.

Sponsored delegates must be qualified to seek full membership and be unable to pay regular membership fees. Sponsored membership applications must be approved by the Regional Representatives and IZE President. Approved members are entitled to all rights and privileges of full membership for two years.

Relationship with WAZA

Every year since 2000, IZE has reported to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums about their achievements to realize the education goals formulated in the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy.

In 2002 IZE became an affiliate member of WAZA.

In 2004 an IZE Central Office was established after a proposal to WAZA for assistance. It was decided during the 2004 WAZA Conference in Taipei, Taiwan to offer room, equipment and a one-day a week staff member in their headquarters at this time in Bern, Switzerland, giving IZE a stable base for all kinds of activities. This also increased the efficiency of the management of IZE membership dues, allowing more sponsored delegates to attend the IZE Conferences. Since 2009, IZE has made a contribution towards the running costs of the headquarters.

Under a MoU, the WAZA's Executive Office provides secretariat support to the IZE. In 2010, the Association separated from the WAZA office in order to better serve their members. The IZE Administrator position is a paid position and is now selected and works for the IZE President and in support of the President on all matters for the Association specifically membership, tracking financial statements and note keeping on Board communications. The Association now manages its own membership and membership dues in an extremely efficient manner and continues to make the IZE Journal and IZE Grants Program a priority of funding.

Formalisation of Statutes under Swiss law in 2006

Under the name "International Zoo Educators Association" (IZE) exists, for an indefinite period of time, an association under the terms of articles 60 to 78 of the Swiss Civil Code. The association is a non-profit organization with international membership. The association office is located in Bern, Switzerland.

The IZE Constitution was adopted and put into force by the General Assembly at the 18th Biennal Conference in Pretoria, South Africa on 13 October 2006. It is revised annually and proposed changes are voted on by the General Assembly during the IZE Conferences.


The IZE's website was first launched in 2001[3] with a major overhaul taking place in 2005.


The first Newsletter of the International Association of Zoo Educators was produced after the third conference in 1976. It was edited by Jan Hatley, head of education at Paignton Zoo, and published in 1977. The aim of the newsletter was to facilitate communication among members between conferences.

The newsletter was redesigned and edited for economic reasons with the help of Judith White and Judith King of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and the sixth issue was published in 1981.[4]

In 1986 the newsletter became the Journal of the International Association of Zoo Educators as suggested by Judith King:

To most people, the word ‘newsletter’ implies a brief publication containing job announcements, personnel moves, short program notices, births, etc. What a newsletter does not contain is professional articles like those found in journals. It appears to me that IZE’s Newsletter is more of a journal than a newsletter.

— Judith King, White-Marcellini, J., 1986, ‘From the President’, Journal of the International Association of Zoo Educators, 15, p. 2

The Journal describes itself as a resource for articles on conservation, interpretation, zoo education, methods and techniques, and evaluation.[5] Its publication has been annual since 1999.

List of journals

Issue no. Year Editor Zoo
1 1977 Jan Hatley Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens
2 1978 Jan Hatley Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens
3 1978 Jan Hatley Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens
4 1979 Jan Hatley Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens
5 1980 Jan Hatley Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens
6 1981 Judith White; Judith King National Zoological Park
7 1981 Judith White; Judith King National Zoological Park
8 1982 Judith White; Judith King National Zoological Park
9 1982 Judith White; Judith King National Zoological Park
10 1983 Judith White; Judith King National Zoological Park
11 1983 Judith White; Judith King National Zoological Park
12 1984 Judith White; Judith King National Zoological Park
13 1984 Judith White National Zoological Park
14 1985 Pegi S. Harvey
Zoological Society of San Diego
15 1986
Helen Freeman
Woodland Park Zoo
16 1986 Malcolm Whitehead Twycross Zoo
17 1987 Judith King National Zoological Park
18 1987 Pegi Harvey
Zoological Society of San Diego
19 1988 Stephen McAuley Taronga Zoo
20 1988 Malcolm P. Whitehead Twycross Zoo
21 1989 Judith King National Zoological Park
22 1989 Janet Jackson
Philadelphia Zoological Gardens
23 1990 Stephen McAuley Taronga Zoo
24 1990 Juliane Seger Dortmund Zoo
25 1992 Phillip Coffey
Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust
26 1992 Christopher Cheng Taronga Zoo
27 1993 Stephen McAuley Taronga Zoo
28 1993 Stephen McAuley;

Juliane Seger

Taronga Zoo

Dortmund Zoo

29 1993 Stephen McAuley; Christopher Cheng Taronga Zoo
30 1994 Stephen McAuley;

Kim Stiles

Taronga Zoo

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

31 1995 Stephen McAuley Taronga Zoo
32 1995 Stephen McAuley Taronga Zoo
33 1996 Stephen McAuley Taronga Zoo
34 1997 Greg Hunt Melbourne Zoo
35 1999 Robert Mindick SeaWorld Orlando
36 2000 Robert Mindick SeaWorld Orlando
37 2001 Robert Mindick SeaWorld Orlando
38 2002 Stephen McKeown Chester Zoo
39 2003 Stephen McKeown Chester Zoo
40 2004 Stephen McKeown Chester Zoo
41 2005 Martin Serafini Edinburgh Zoo
42 2006 Natasha Silva
Royal Zoo Amsterdam
43 2007 Natasha Silva
Royal Zoo Amsterdam
44 2008 Natasha Silva
Royal Zoo Amsterdam
45 2009 Natasha Silva
Royal Zoo Amsterdam
46 2010 Natasha Silva
Royal Zoo Amsterdam

List of conferences

Number Date Host Host location
1 September 6, 1972
Frankfurt Zoo
Frankfurt, Germany
2 1974 Copenhagen Zoo Copenhagen, Denmark
3 June 1976 London Zoo
4 September 26–29, 1978 National Zoological Park
Washington D.C., United States
5 September 30 - October 3, 1980
Tiergarten Schoenbrunn
Vienna, Austria
6 September 25–29, 1982 Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
7 September 2–6, 1984 Edinburgh Zoo and Peebles Hotel Hydro
8 October 26–31, 1986 Melbourne Zoo Melbourne, Australia
9 October 2–7, 1988
Metro Toronto Zoo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
10 September 9–15, 1990 Antwerp Zoo Antwerp, Belgium
11 August 23–28, 1992 Taronga Zoo
Mosman, Sydney, Australia
12 September 25–30, 1994 Los Angeles Zoo Los Angeles, California, United States
13 1996 Copenhagen Zoo Copenhagen, Denmark
14 1998 Taipei Zoo Taipei, Taiwan
15 October 1–6, 2000 Guadalajara Zoo Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
16 August 17–22, 2002 Tiergarten Schoenbrunn Vienna, Austria
17 September 4–9, 2004 Ocean Park Hong Kong
18 October 9–14, 2006
National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
Pretoria, South Africa
19 October 19–23, 2008 Adelaide Zoo Adelaide, Australia
20 September 28 - October 2, 2010 Disney's Animal Kingdom
Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States
21 August 28 - September 1, 2012 Chester Zoo
22 September 2–6, 2014 Ocean Park Hong Kong Hong Kong
23 September 18–22, 2016 Temaiken Foundation Buenos Aires, Argentina
24 September 14–18, 2018 Al Ain Zoo
25 October 11–15, 2020 San Diego Zoo San Diego, California, United States
26 2022 Wellington Zoo Wellington, New Zealand

List of presidents

  1. Rosl Kirchshofer (
    Frankfurt Zoo
    , Germany; 1972 - 1976)
  2. Han Rensenbrink (
    Amsterdam Zoo
    , Netherlands; 1976 - 1980)
  3. Jan Hatley (Paignton Zoo, England; 1980 - 1984)
  4. Judith White (National Zoo, United States; 1984 - 1988)
  5. Lars Lunding Andersen (Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark; 1988 - 1992)
  6. Robert Ollason (Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland; 1992 - 1996)
  7. Pegi Harvey (San Diego Zoo, United States; 1996 - 2000)
  8. Annette Berkovits (Bronx Zoo, United States; 2000 - 2004)
  9. Chris Peters (
    Rotterdam Zoo, The Netherlands; 2004 - 2006)[1]
  10. Stephen McKeown (Chester Zoo, England; 2006 - October 2010)
  11. Kathy Lehnhardt (Disney's Animal Kingdom, United States; October 2010 - 2012)
  12. Rachel Lowry (
    Zoos Victoria
    , Australia; 2013-2016)
  13. Isabel Li (Ocean Park, Hong Kong; 2016 - 2018)
  14. Debra Erickson (
    San Diego Zoo Global
    , USA; 2018–present day)

See also


  1. ^ ERNIZE - the European Regional Network of IZE - was established as a means of structuring communications between European zoo educators who, it was felt, had little opportunity to do so in between conferences.


  1. ^ a b Lunding Anderson, L., Edited by Bell, C. E., 2001, Encyclopedia of World Zoos, Vol. 2, p. 615 – 616
  2. ^ Hatley, J., 1977, Newsletter of the International Association of Zoo Educators, 1
  3. ^ IZE 2001 website cache via Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "IZE History and Milestones". Archived from the original on 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
  5. ^ IZE Journal

External links