Purpose: The Avian Scientific Advisory Group (ASAG) believes that recruiting and building capacity in the next generation of zoo bird managers is vital to the continuity and survival of zoo avian programs. To this end, ASAG offers small grants to bird keepers and working bird husbandry supervisors. This grant supports travel to the annual National AAZK conference for the purpose of presenting a paper on advancements in the care, welfare, or reproduction of avian species in zoos and/or field conservation projects in which the applicant has been involved in a lead role. It is envisioned that grant recipients will become more familiar with ASAG purpose and goals, begin to establish a network of colleagues and mentors, and become active participating members of AZA avian programs.
Criteria for Funding: Grant applicants must be a paid employee of an AZA accredited institution, a member of either AZA or AAZK [National or local chapter], and have worked in a position that involves the care and management of captive birds for at least two years. Persons holding the title Curator or Assistant Curator (or their equivalent) are not eligible. Applicants will make a presentation on either original research or a case study relevant to zoo aviculture or programs at the annual AAZK conference. All work must be original and not have been presented or published elsewhere. Preferred topics are those which involve taxa of current or future priority in the appropriate TAG regional collection plans; taxa for which innovation in breeding or captive management are needed; taxa of conservation priority in the wild; significant advancements in the welfare of captive zoo birds; and significant avian conservation programs. Applicants will also be judged on their leadership potential, initiative, and problem solving skills as recommended by their direct supervisor and resume.