Questions? Email us at or contact an officer or facility liaison.

Meeting Minutes- December 2012

DECEMBER 20, 2012

In Attendance:
Sara Koplish, Mike Wrubel, Lacy Clifford, Lisa Walker, Sara Parker, Melanie Weber, Katelyn Keyes, Cindy Maur

-A quorum was reached for the online voting for the officer positions and all candidates were voted into their positions; however Megan Baumer will no longer be working at WCS come the new year, so there is currently an open secretary position.
-If anyone is interested in filling the vacant secretary position please contact a current officer immediately. If one person steps forward, then they will fill the position; however if more than one person steps forward, then membership will vote online to choose the next secretary.
-Sara Parker is interested in filling the position.
Silent Auction
-Silent Auction was a success. Thank you to everyone who donated, participated and helped facilitate it.
Upcoming Events
-Party- Considering how busy this season is, we opted to turn our chapter's holiday party into a new year party. It should be happening in January. Stay tuned!
-Panel Discussion- The panel discussion will take place in February.
Treasury Update
-Amy and Sara have been working together to make the transition for the treasurer position smooth for the coming year.
-We currently have over $3000 in our bank account.
-Please renew your membership or become a new member asap!
-Chapter membership is now $15 per year and National AAZK dues are $45 per year.
-Benefits for becoming a member include discounts on events and merchandise or free events, voting on issues that affect the chapter, eligibility to apply for our bi-annual travel grant, and a warm fuzzy feeling!
-We are looking for people to renew and become members asap also so that we can represent our diverse members when we vote for a name change in efforts to further incorporate all of the WCS facilities.
Committee Openings
-We are looking to fill some vacant spots in our committees. If you are interested in any of the following committees, please contact your chapter officers.
-Bowling for Rhinos
-National Zoo Keeper Week
-Travel Grant
-Girl Scouts
-We were able to purchase calendars for a highly discounted price which means less money that the chapter has to front for the calendars and we will receive more profits from the calendars!
-Calendars are currently available! Please contact your officers or facility representative for your 2013 calendar.
-Prices are $15 for non-members, $12 for members, $10 for people who donated a picture that was used in the calendar. Discount prices are limited to 1 per person.
-Katelyn made us aware of another website where we can get a better price for the calendars in the future.
Enrichment Contest
-We went over details listed in the flyers that were handed out and encouraged people to participate especially for the prizes which are $300, $200, or $100 to spend.
-The deadline to apply is Dec 21st.
Enrichment Bonanza
-We made great enrichment for our animals!!

Meeting Minutes- November 2012

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Monthly Meeting Minutes
November 20, 2012
I.              Officer Elections
a.       Each candidate gave a short speech on their intentions and qualifications for the four positions.
                                                               i.      Robin Sutker is running unopposed for President
                                                             ii.      Cindy Maur is running unopposed for Vice President
                                                            iii.      Sara Koplish is running unopposed for Treasurer
                                                           iv.      Megan Baumer is running unopposed for Secretary
b.      Voting begins after this meeting and continues until next month’s meeting on Dec. 20th.
                                                               i.      Please check the BZAC website for information and the link to vote for these candidates.
II.                  Enrichment Bonanza
a.       Most likely will be held during the January 20th meeting.
b.      Looking to make the event more streamlined and have stations for specific items as well as one station for those to make any item(s) of their interest.
c.       Cindy informed the chapter that there is the potential that Business Services will host an enrichment contest for keepers that BZAC was asked to facilitate.
                                                               i.      We should look into combining this somehow with the Bonanza.
                                                             ii.      The top 3 prizes will be $100 for 3rd, $200 for 2nd place, and $300 for 1st.
                                                            iii.      The prize money must be used to purchase enrichment for the animal(s) of the winner(s) choice. 
                                                           iv.      Since this is still not guaranteed, details are yet to be determined.
III.                Calendar
a.       Lots of photos have been submitted. (Thank you to those who contributed!)
b.      Like last year, the calendar will include important dates for animal keepers regarding conferences, workshops, classes, etc.
c.       The best estimate received is from Staples and their offer is $799 for 100 calendars.
d.      Looking to sell the calendars for $20 to non-members, $15 to members, and $10 for those with a photo in the calendar.
                                                               i.      The discount prices will only be given for one calendar per person.
e.      Last year, 60 calendars were sold at a much later date in the year (near January).
                                                               i.      We are trying to purchase the calendars ASAP in order to have them to sell at the Silent Auction (Dec. 3) and in time for departmental holiday parties. 
f.        We have been approved to sell these at Zoo Center again
g.       There was a suggestion to sell the calendars to the department heads to put them up in all installations.
h.      We are looking to sell these around the Bronx zoo, as well as at other WCS facilities.
i.         A motion was put forward to decrease the prices of the calendars to $15 for non-members, $12 for members, and $10 for those with a photo in the calendar.
                                                               i.      This was voted on and the motion passed.
j.        Discussed increasing the number of calendars purchased in order to decrease the price per calendar.
                                                               i.      It was decided to stay at 100 calendars for this year and we can re-evaluate next year or if demand is enough to purchase more this year.
k.       We are hoping to start the calendars even earlier next year, even if some conferences, classes, etc. have not yet announced their dates/details.  These will just not be printed in the calendar.
l.         The motion was presented to vote on the chapter spending $800-1000 for the 100 calendars.
                                                               i.      A unanimous vote passed this motion.
IV.                Chapter Fee
a.       Web results reported 8 votes in favor, and 1 opposed to lowering the chapter membership fee.
                                                               i.      The motion for lowering the membership fee for BZAC was passed, and will be lowered from $25 to $15.
V.                  Silent Auction
a.       This is running from Dec. 3-8 in the Executive Dining Room portion of the Staff Dining room.
                                                               i.      We will try to have someone manning the area as much as possible in order to manage the auction, sell calendars and sell Chopsticks.
                                                             ii.      Discussed trying an online component of the auction for next year.
                                                            iii.      Please let Megan Baumer know if you are interested in helping out, specifically with set-up (~9 AM Dec. 3) or take-down (just after 2PM Dec. 8).
1.       This cannot be done during your work hours, so if you have the day off, it would be greatly appreciated.
VI.                BZAC Holiday Get-Together
a.       Cindy and Robin visited many possible locations and are looking to have it at a bar in the Midtown Manhattan area.
b.      They are looking to get drink/food specials and BZAC may even purchase some things for the members.
c.       Possibly will involve a cover price; this will be cheaper for members.
d.      Still looking to raffle off a membership to AAZK National to one member and to one non-member. 
VII.              Chopsticks for Salamanders
a.       They are offering a grant this year for salamander conservation. 
b.      We need to decide on a price for us to sell the chopsticks at.
                                                               i.      The chopsticks are stainless steel; they come in a pouch and include an informational pamphlet about the conservation effort.
                                                             ii.      Lauren Augustine (Head of CFS) got a grant to purchase the chopsticks and therefore cost our chapter nothing to have them.
1.       Lauren requests that they are sold at a minimum of $10.
a.       Since research shows that these can be purchased at a much cheaper price, the members decided to not ask for more than $10 per pair.
VIII.            New Meeting Ideas!
a.       Meet at Dave and Busters in the city and hold the meeting there
b.      More Guest Speakers – please let us know if you have any suggestions.

Meeting Minutes- September 2012

9/20/12 Online General AAZK Chapter
-          This was our 1st Web Ex meeting. We hope to hold more business meetings through the use of web conferencing tools. We also would like to continue having events held at our different facilities as well. If you are interested in holding a small or large event at your facility please contact your facility’s liaison or officer. Examples of past events are a tour of the Queens Zoo’s aviary, a shark training season teamed up with a presentation on pinnipeds at the NY Aquarium and Enrichment Bonanzas at the Bronx Zoo.
-          The Bronx Zoo’s wild animal keeper, Danielle Steele gave an engaging and informative summary of her work assisting in research on wild populations of spotted dolphins in the Bahamas. The flight was funded by The Chapter’s Travel Grant.
-          We are currently accepting applications for the next travel grant! The deadline to give in your application is Oct 1st. Members whose applications were accepted will have the opportunity to give a short presentation to attending members at the Oct 20th general meeting. Attending members will vote on who will receive the $500 travel grant. This meeting will also be held as a Web Ex online meeting so members from all facilities can attend the meeting easily. The travel grant application and guidelines are posted on our chapter’s blogspot at
-          Attending members voted on spending chapter money to purchase an AAZK conference week registration for members to use. Members unanimously voted to spend the money. The cost of the week registration is $250. Members who will be using the registration will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodations.
-          We had a call for committees. Anyone interested in joining or assisting with the following committees, please contact any of the officers ASAP.
-Travel Grant Committee- Committee members will be in charge of managing the applications for the upcoming travel grant opportunity available for chapter members.
-Calendar Committee- Committee members will be responsible for coming up with a calendar theme, collecting photos, creating the calendar layout and printing calendars before the holiday season.
-Bowling for Rhinos- Committee members will plan the next BFR event with responsibilities including securing a location, soliciting vendors for donations and selling tickets.
-National Zoo Keeper Week- Committee members will plan events surrounding NZKW which takes place during the 3rd week in July. Past events have included keeper talks, collages, artist showcase, silent auctions, keeper appreciation awards, potluck dinners, a scavenger hunt, and keeper olympics.
        -     Here is a list of upcoming events for our chapter:
                                -Panel Discussion- November
                                -Holiday Silent Auction- We are looking for items for donation!! Contact an officer if
you would like to donate
-Holiday Season Casual Night out- December
-Elections!!!- December
-Chopsticks for Salamanders Sushi Night- February-March

Please Note: We are looking for officers for our chapter. Being an officer is a unique opportunity for personal professional growth as well as it is a unique opportunity to be an active facilitator of progress in our chapter and in WCS. If you are interested in becoming a chapter officer, please contact one of the current officers ASAP.
Also to note: We are hoping to lower chapter membership costs. The extent of a discount has not been decided yet, as we have to look over our expenses more closely. As soon as a decision is reached, we will take it to our members to vote on. We hold events periodically to help fund the chapter, giving us the ability to provide a travel grant twice a year and now to fund a conference registration.  Thank you to all of our members’ and supporters’ generous donations for our silent auctions. We hope our members and supporters continue this generosity so our members can continue to benefit by having opportunities available for professional growth.
In Attendance:  Michelle Medina, Robin Sutker, Amy Golden, Mary Gremler, Dawn Davis, Danielle Steele, Katelyn Massarone, Sara Koplish, Mike Wrubel, Cindy Maur, Sara Parker, Ronnie Thomas 

Meeting Minutes- May 2012

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 May 2012

1)      Barnanza is coming up May 31st at Turtle Bay Tavern, 987 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022 and 52nd street
a.       Entrance fee will be $15. This will include two free drinks and half price drinking/ appetizers from 7-10 p.m.
b.      There will be a TSA sponsored auction; items include two happy hours and gifts.  If you’d like to contribute, please talk to an officer or committee member.
c.       All are welcome!
2)     The next presentation evening will be June 27th 2012 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.
a.       This will be similar to the AEP presentation evening
b.      The theme is research, conducted at the zoo or in the field
c.       Presentations will be 10-15 minutes with 5 minutes after each presentation for questions
d.      Jim Breheny is assisting and the zoo will fund it
e.       If you would like to present, please contact Cindy or Daphne
3)     Girl Scouts
a.       Committee members have worked with several troops of different ages
b.      The committee would like to bring troops in to see their enrichment in action: so far they have been able to show pictures and offer feedback
c.       The committee is happy to collect materials you have and will try to get a drop box at the mammal office
4)     Bowling for Rhinos will be August 27th at Chelsea Piers
a.       The deal will be similar to last year, price includes pizza, 2 drink tickets and a game car
b.      PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: all ticket sales will be in advance.
                                                               i.      You can purchase tickets online through paypal or from a committee members in person
                                                             ii.      The committee hopes to begin tickets sales by July 1st
c.       BFR could use help soliciting local businesses (especially in the outer boroughs) for silent auction prizes, please see a committee member if you can help
5) Many thanks to Pete Braizitis for his excellent presentation!

Meeting Minutes- April 2012

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 April 2012

A)    Updates
a.       Volunteer opportunities committee has been reaching out to various groups looking for opportunities that would fit (Bronx River Alliance, One Million Trees, Wolf Conservation Center, Park & Rec); more information to come
b.      National Keeper week committee has their first meeting coming up
c.       Barnanza is looking at venues
d.      Presentation Evening committee
                                                               i.      The next event will be in June
                                                             ii.      If you would like to present, please see a committee member
e.       Bowling for Rhinos is well under way!
                                                               i.      Date: 27 August 2012
                                                             ii.      Event will begin at 7 p.m. with bowling from 7:30-9:00 p.m.
                                                           iii.      Online purchasing will be stressed
                                                           iv.      The top individual fundraiser nationally will win a trip to Africa from AAZK National
                                                             v.      The committee is looking for silent auction donations
f.        Enrichment Bonanza
                                                               i.      There are plenty of items in the enrichment trailer from the event if anyone would like any!
g.       Keepers have begun meeting with several Girl Scout troops and begun making items
                                                               i.      If anyone has anything to add to the wish list, they are still open for new ideas.
B)    New ideas
a.       Would is be possible to start an AAZK garden by Pere David deer?
                                                               i.      Josh is on board, but many details still need to be worked out
b.      Would BZAC members like to make suggestions for an at home pet enrichment brochure?
C)     Danielle presented her grant proposal and was approved by membership to receive the first biannual BZAC Travel Grant!!!!
D)    Melissa (Mo) gave a presentation on her work at Queen’s zoo.
a.       Mo is the vet tech at Queens, and has taken great strides to participate in the lives of the animals.  Her presence at training sessions has helped desensitize the animals in case medical emergencies! 
b.      It’s great for members at the Bronx Zoo to learn more about how the city zoos face the unique challenges they face; they do not have vets or a hospital on grounds, Mo’s involvement can help ensure medical problems are recognized as soon as they present.
E)     Many thanks to the Queens and Prospect Park members that made the trip!

Meeting Minutes- March 2012

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 March 2012

What a GREAT Enrichment Bonanza! Many Thanks to the committee for a great evening!  A special thanks to those who travelled from other zoos to be there!

1)     BZAC was asked to put our chapter on a petition lobbying to make the American bison the National Mammal.  Membership voted in favor of the initiative!
2)     Deadlines are upcoming!
a.       Please pay your membership dues for 2012.
b.      Travel grant applications are due 1 April.
3)     BZAC is talking about a name change!
a.       Although we held one online vote to change BZAC’s name to include the other parks, some concerns have been expressed.
b.      We will be voting online whether or not to uphold the original vote.  The other option is to wait for staff at the city zoos to join and voice their opinion.
4)     We had three great presentations to determine the benefactor of Barnanza 2012.
a.       The race was close, but the Turtle Survival Alliance will once again receive funds raised at Barnanza. 
5)     Enrichment Bonanza was a huge success.
a.       Many paper machete items were made at the paper machete station
b.      We won fun prizes at the enrichment item raffle.
c.       What a turnout!  Twenty-three people participated in last night’s festivities!

Meeting Minutes- February 2012

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 February 2012

1)     We are branching out to the city zoos and need to vote on changing our name to include the other parks
a.       Vote will be available online- please keep in mind that you may be approved to vote online if you registered even if you have not gotten an e-mail directly saying so and you should attempt to do so.
b.      Two names were suggested
                                                               i.      Wildlife Conservation Society AAZK Chapter
                                                             ii.      New York City AAZK Chapter
                                                           iii.      Vote here:
2)     Amy talked about the Girl Scout program and passed around a sign-up sheet
a.       Our program will be incorporated into their current badges
b.      10 troops from Yonkers are registered to participate
c.       Volunteers will attend two meetings with one troop and help them earn a badge
                                                               i.      Each troop will be assigned an animal and natural history questions about that animal
                                                             ii.      1st troop meeting
1.      Keepers will introduce themselves
2.      Explain the enrichment approval form and how the natural history is important
3.      Design an ideal enrichment item
4.      Build small enrichment items
                                                           iii.      2nd troop meeting
1.      Build more complicated enrichment items
d.      There will be bins in the enrichment trailer for each troop’s animal to collect materials
e.       There will be a Bronx troop leader meeting on a Saturday in March if anyone would like to go
f.        We hope to get the kids to the zoo and provide some kind of experience
3)     Upcoming deadlines
a.       Please pay your BZAC dues as soon as you can!
b.      If you’d like to present a charity for Barnanza, please inform an officer by 1 March.
c.       Travel grants are due 1 April.
4)     Officers will be visiting the city zoos in order to initiate branching out and to invite them to our 20 March Enrichment Bonanza!

Meeting Minutes- January 2012

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 January 2012

1)      Cindy opened the meeting with an overview of tonight’s agenda.
2)      Online Voting for inclusion of other WCS parks into BZAC
a.      Of the 21 BZAC members, 15 registered for online voting.  11 of them voted – 10 in favor, 1 opposed.
b.      It was proposed to accept the 15 members registered online as the total from which we can accept the vote in order to attain quorum.
                                                              i.      11 of 13 members present voted in favor of this.  3 of 13 opposed.
1.      The amendment therefore is passed, allowing keepers from the other WCS facilities to join BZAC.
3)      Calendars
a.      Cindy reported that sales are going well and we still have some calendars available.
                                                              i.      Calendars are available for purchase from AAZK officers as well as at the Zoo Center.
b.      An email broadcast will be going out 21 January 2012 to staff about the sale of the calendars at the Zoo Center.
c.       Discussed the option of putting ads in the calendar to subdue printing costs.
d.      Efforts will be made to produce a final page to add to the calendars not yet sold as Vistaprint doesn’t allow for this in their formatting.
                                                              i.      This page will include Thank You’s to those involved in the production of the calendar, an overview of the photos included in the calendar, the BZAC and AAZK logos, as well as other pertinent information.
e.      We will be using a Groupon deal to reduce calendar costs for the next round of production.
f.        The vote to approve funding an additional $164 to purchase 50 more calendars was passed with 9 of 13 members voting in favor.
4)      Travel Grant (TG)
a.      This year we will be awarding two grants, each worth $500.  These values may change in the future based on our financial situation.
b.      Deadlines for submission are April 1 and October 1. 
The TG committee will narrow these down to ≤10 finalists who will give a presentation at the monthly meeting on the 20th of these months.  The winner will then be selected.
                                                              i.      There was debate as to how the grant winner should be decided – membership decided to leave this decision up to the TG committee.
c.       Amy presented the guidelines for grant proposals
                                                              i.      It was recommended, and accepted by the membership to change the time limit for usage of the grant from 2 years down to 1 year.
                                                            ii.      The TG committee is allowed to eliminate grant finalists based on the merit of their proposal even if less than 10 proposals are submitted.
d.      The application will require a 500 word statement of purpose and a projected budget.
e.      Travel Grant Committee
                                                              i.      Responsibilities: Narrow down applicants, organize presentations of applicants for membership, collect post-trip report, award grant.
5)      Enrichment Bonanza Committee
a.      Responsibilities: Organize supplies, plan event, find out departmental/installation enrichment needs, look into possible funding options from zoo.
b.      We can hold as many as the committee is interested in hosting.  We are aiming for at least 2 this year, but hopefully more J
6)      Membership Dues
a.      The deadline for membership dues is March 20, 2012 for this year.  You must be a member of National AAZK organization to join our chapter.
b.      Membership allows you to vote on all matters, apply for the travel grant, to get discounts on certain BZAC events and merchandise, as well as other benefits.
7)      Volunteer Committee
a.      Responsibilities: To plan and organize volunteer opportunities for the membership to participate in.
b.      These outings can be a one-time event or a regularly scheduled activity.
8)      Presentation Committee
a.      Responsibilities: To plan and facilitate evenings for keepers to present their work/research, to preview all presentations for appropriateness, to plan panel discussions with management.
b.      Both the location and food will be provided by Jim Breheny.
c.       These will be open to WCS employees only.
9)      National Keeper Week Committee
a.      Cindy reviewed last year’s Keeper Week events, which included a silent auction of keeper handiworks, an evening picnic and Keeper Olympics, keeper bestowed awards, and more.
                                                              i.      This year’s events are YTBD.
b.      Responsibilities: Plan and execute all NKW activities.
10)  Bowling for Rhinos Committee
a.      Responsibilities:  Plan and hold BFR event, get sponsors and donors for additional fundraising, advertise.
11)  Barnanza
a.      We are looking to hold this event again and are holding a call for a charity to support.
                                                              i.      Charity suggestions are due by March 1.  At the March 20 meeting, those advocating a charity will present on this organization and why we should support it.  Voting to select a charity will occur at this meeting.
12)  Chopsticks for Salamanders
a.      This is a conservation initiative by Lauren Augustine (former Bronx zoo Herpetology keeper and former BZAC Treasurer).
b.      We are looking to sell stainless steel chopsticks to reduce the number of trees chopped in the Appalachian Mountains to make wooden chopsticks.  The set of sticks will be sold with a brochure explaining the mission of the project and educate public.
c.       We do not yet know the cost our chapter may incur in order to participate in this until a grant request is decided upon to help fund the project.
                                                              i.      All money from our sales will go completely towards this conservation project.
13)  Merchandise committee
a.      Dawn suggested that we add another committee whose responsibilities will be to sell BZAC merchandise to help support our chapter.
14)  Guest Speakers
a.      Sara will be in charge of organizing guest speakers to come to our meetings and talk on various topics pertaining to our field.
b.      If anyone has suggestions, please forward them to Sara (  Consider researchers at the CGC or professors.