Millbrook Students Attend Association of Zoos & Aquariums Annual Conference

For the first time ever, Millbrook students joined Trevor Zoo Director Dr. Alan Tousignant and Trevor Zoo Director of Programs Jessica Bennett at the annual Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Conference.

As Millbrook is the only secondary school in the country with a zoo, this was truly a unique opportunity, as Sam Iacavazzi '18 and Tiffany Hatfield '18 were the only two high school students invited to join the over 2000 professional attendees at the event. 

The AZA is dedicated to the advancement of North American zoos and public aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. As an accredited member since 1989, Millbrook's Trevor Zoo follows AZA protocols and procedures, and participates in AZA species survival breeding programs.

The AZA Annual Conference is the largest, most comprehensive zoo and aquarium professionals event in the country, and was hosted in Indianapolis Zoo this year. Dr. Tousignant, Mrs. Bennett, Iacavazzi '18, and Hatfield '18 participated in multiple seminars about various topics, including volunteering and animal welfare. They also had the opportunity to listen to and speak with zoo industry leaders, including AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe and conservationist Dr. Carl Jones. 

"It was interesting not only to learn about and discuss so many zoo-centered topics, but also to make connections back to the Trevor Zoo," said Iacavazzi '18. 

It has been a tradition for the Trevor Zoo to participate in the AZA Annual Conference, and Millbrook was thrilled to be able to extend the opportunity to two passionate "zooies" this year. Events like the AZA Annual Conference are a natural extension of the Millbrook experience, as environmental stewardship has always been a focus at Millbrook and historically has been based on our strong science program and wildlife conservation work at the Trevor Zoo.