Conference Schedule

Schedule at at Glance

Scroll down for details.

Tuesday        - Pre-conference Tour to WNC Nature Center and Sierra Nevada Brewery (9:00AM-4:00PM)                              Registration Desk Open beginning 8:00AM

Wednesday - Pre-conference Tour to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (9:00AM-4:00PM)                                                    Registration Desk Open beginning 8:00AM                                                                                                                                                Board Meetings (8:00AM-5:00PM)                                                                                                                                                          Delegates Meeting (7:30PM- 9:30PM)

Thursday      - Opening Session at the Embassy Suites (3:00PM)                                                                                                      Ice Breaker at the Children's Museum of the Upstate (6:00PM)                                                                                                          Registration Desk Open beginning 12:00PM                                                                                                                                               Board Meetings (8:00AM-9:00AM)

Friday            - Zoo Day at the Greenville Zoo (10:00AM-3:00PM)                                                                                                           Conference Evening Social TBD - ALL ARE WELCOME

Saturday       - Conference Sessions and Poster Presentations (8:45AM-3:45PM)                                                                          Speaker Luncheon at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Embassy Suites (12:00PM)                                                                              Closing Banquet with Guest Speakers (6:30PM)                                                                                                                                  Vendors Open (8:00AM-4:00PM)                                                                                                                                                              Silent Auction and Photo Contest Open (8:00AM-4:00PM)

Sunday         - Post-conference Tour to SC Botanical Gardens at Clemson University  (9:00AM-2:30PM)                            

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

Pre-Conference Tour  to Western North Carolina Nature Center and Sierra Nevada Brewery
9:00AM - 4:00PM

Additional Ticket Required: $70 for conference attendees, $80 for conference guests

We'll load up the buses in Greenville and drive 90 minutes to the 42 acre AZA accredited facility nestled in the mountains outside Asheville, NC. The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain Region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region’s rich biodiversity. 

For lunch, we will head to the beautiful Sierra Nevada Nature Center...oops! I mean Sierra Nevada Brewery. This state-of-the-art brewery is not just for beer lovers! Step into the wonderland of sustainability with this newly opened facility with a $100,000,000 price tag and a heap of environmental awards to boot. Nature trails, gardens, arestaurant for lunch on your own, and of course the tap room, all create an adult playground where nature and industry have met in perfect union. Not interested in an adult beverage? No problem! Delicious food and beautiful grounds still await you. 

The short drive back to the hotels will give you time to rest and refresh, before exploring Greenville's Main Street for dinner on your own. 

Learn more about the WNC Nature Center and Sierra Nevada Brewery.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Pre-conference tour to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden 
9:00AM - 4:00PM

Additional Ticket Required: $70 for conference attendees and guests

Overlooking the Saluda River, sits the South Carolina state capital and largest AZA accredited zoo in South Carolina. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of the nation’s most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens. The lush 170-acre site features dynamic natural habitat exhibits, scenic river views, spectacular valley overlooks and significant historic landmarks.

Included in your day is admission into the park, access to giraffe and lorikeet feedings, along with a $5 card to use as you like in the park, and a behind the scenes tour. Lunch will be on your own, but with snack carts, picnic areas, and Tuskers, an onsite restaurant, you will be sure to find something delicious!

Learn more about Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Key Note Speaker at the Embassy Suites 
Starting at 3:00PM

Included in Conference Registration

Cris Hagen, Director of Animal Management with the Turtle Survival Alliance, will initiate the conference by sharing with us, the importance of turtle and tortoise conservation around the world. The TSA has global partnerships to help recover, release,and manage freshwater turtle and tortoises. As an IUCN partner, Cris is sure to inspire!

Icebreaker at The Children's Museum of the Upstate
6:00PM - 9:00PM

Included in Conference Registration 

It's time to re-connect with old friends and meet new ones! The Children's Museum of the Upstate, is the nation's first children's museum to become a Smithsonian affiliate. Experience 80,000 square feet and 19 exhibit galleries, with components and programming in the areas of arts, humanities, sciences, health, nutrition, and the environment, suitable to children ages 1-15. Heavy hor d'oeuvres to be served. 

Learn more about the Children's Museum of the Upstate.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Zoo Day at the Greenville Zoo 
10:00AM - 3:00PM

Included in Conference Registration

Enjoy the Greenville Zoo like never before! Behind the scenes tours, biofact carts, training demonstrations, and animal encounters all await you as you explore the zoo. Our mile long loop takes you on a journey through Africa and Asia themed exhibits,along with North and South American animals. Buffet lunch to be served.  

Learn more about the Greenville Zoo.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Conference Sessions and Paper Presentations
8:45AM - 11:35AM and 1:45PM - 3:35PM

Included in Conference Registration. Check out the selected topics! Session titles and speakers listed alphabetically. 

  • Action for Primates: PASA's Response to the West African Illegal Wildlife Trade - Kaitlyn Brock
  • An Up Close & PersonalLook at Elephant Conservation Efforts in Kenya - Larry and Hilde Martin
  • Anteater: Nashville Zoo and the Pantanal - Kerry Foth
  • Biofact Interpretation with the Campbell Museum of Natural History - Melissa Fuentes
  • From Conflict to Conservation: Why Modern Zoos and Aquariums Matter - Ren Love
  • Helping Zoo Guests to Reshape their View of Snakes - Jenny Reineck
  • Operant Conditioning: A Day in the Life of a Greenville Zoo Keeper - Jenn Fair
  • Saving Mankind One Horseshoe Crab at a Time - Ronit Kalmanor
  • Tigers United: Harnessing the Power of Land Grant Universities in the Fight to Save Our Mascots - Dr. Brett Wright
  • Using Zoos to Foster Empathy - Jennifer Garcia
  • Volunteer Resilience - Ellen Kulie
Speaker Luncheon at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Embassy Suites 
12:00PM - 1:30PM

Additional Ticket Required: $50 for conference attendees and guests 


Celebrated naturalist, Rudy Mancke, will be speaking at this year's luncheon. Mancke is known for his radio spot, Nature Notes, and South Carolina ETV's NatureScene Nature Noteswhich began filming in 1978. 

Learn more about Rudy Mancke

Closing Banquet with Guest Speakers

Included in Conference Registration 

Celebrate another year of stimulating lectures, exciting trips, and good friends with our closing banquet. Join us as the Greenville Zoo's Orangutan Birth Team sit on a panel to explain the process of monitoring a high risk pregnancy in a Sumatran orangutan. Our team will explain making the tough decisions behind performing a cesarean birth, and hand raising the baby while mom healed from surgery. 

Vendors Open
 Silent Auction and Photo Contest Open

Interested in contributing items for the Silent Auction? Please email 

For those wishing to participate in the 2019 Photo Contest, please bring your photo already framed as you wish to the registration/check-in table by 8:00AM on Saturday. Please keep the photo itself under 8x10 inches. For space limitations, we ask that participants to keep to one entry. Winners will be recognized at the Closing Banquet. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

 Post-conference tour to South Carolina Botanical Gardens and Clemson, South Carolina

9:00AM - 2:30PM

Additional Ticket Required: $30 for conference attendees and guests

Take a walk through the diverse gardens and natural landscapes of the South Carolina Botanical Gardens located on the campus of Clemson University. After a morning exploration, we will bus to downtown Clemson with its numerous restaurants and shops, where you will find the perfect lunch to fit your taste.

Learn more about the SCBG and Explore Clemson University.

See you in Greenville!

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