2020 IZE Conference

Driving Conservation Action

International Zoo Educators Association

25th Bi-annual Conference

Date: 10th-11th October 2020

Location: Online

Conference Overview

Over the last 60 years, we have seen multiple, major environmental movements change the landscape of species conservation. In the US, the modern environmental movement was ignited by Rachel Carson and her book, Silent Spring. It led to the banning of the pesticide DDT, which had pushed species such as the peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and brown pelican close to the brink of extinction.

Fast forward to today, and the survival of wildlife is still being challenged. Habitat destruction, wildlife trafficking, and climate change are among the major challenges on an ever-increasing list of issues that threaten to drive over a million species to extinction. The IUCN lists over 200 species and subspecies of mammals as critically endangered. Two mammals have gone extinct in the last decade, and there are only two northern white rhinos left on the planet.

Another author, Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Kolbert, recently sounded the alarm through her book, The Sixth Extinction. Scientists are now monitoring this mass extinction event, which is predicted to be the most devastating since the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.

We can continue in the footsteps of Rachel Carson, and those who have followed her, to help stem the tide of extinction. The theme of this year’s IZE conference, “Driving Conservation Action” will help us to continue developing a road map to guide us in moving our members, guests, and supporters to take action to save wildlife. Our colleagues will share their stories about the strides that they have made, and we will work together to create a joint vision for our future initiatives.

Due to the ravages of COVID-19 worldwide, we have been forced to join together on-line to mark the 25th anniversary of our conference. Despite my disappointment in not having the ability to share with you the wonders of the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, going digital will provide the opportunity for so many more of our members worldwide to participate in the conference and its associated activities as well as the organization’s business meeting.

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg inspired over four million to strike for climate change in September 2019. Imagine what we can do together by engaging our 700 million yearly visitors to drive true environmental change.

Debra Erickson


International Zoo Educators Association

Keynote Speaker

Winnifred R. Louis

Effective Environmental Communication When People Care, Don’t Care Enough, and When They Resist.

One of the key components of driving conservation action and behavioral change is an effective communications campaign. Dr. Winnifred R. Louis will share five evidence-based strategies you can integrate into your programs. You will learn the importance of changing your messaging to match your audience as well as how to avoid stalemates and polarization.

Winnifred R. Louis (PhD McGill, 2001) is a Professor in Psychology at the University of Queensland. Her research interests focus on the influence of identity and norms on social decision-making. She has studied this broad topic in contexts from political activism to peace psychology to health and the environment.

Conference Program

During our two days together, we will experience a program that will be available in two different time zones. Over forty speakers will share with you their insights in the following areas.

IZE 2020 Virtual Conference: Final Call for Proposals

Applications for proposals have closed.

Conference information is available here: IZE Member Portal

Conference Activities

Get ready for an icebreaker of a different kind and a trivia contest. We will also invite all of our members to join our business meeting so you can learn more about the future of your organization.


This year’s conference registration fee will be nominal to encourage broad participation. One hundred percent of the funds raised will be used to support IZE’s Sponsored Delegate and In-Country Training programs. You must be an IZE member to register for the conference. 

Registration Fee (Ends August 31, 2020)

Category 1: $15

Category 2: $50

Late Registration

Category 1: $30

Category 2: $100

Join Us

New IZE members at both the Individual and Associate level will receive a $5 discount for conference registration (Category 1 countries) or $10 off the conference registration (Category 2 countries). Purchase of an Institutional membership will not provide a conference discount. However, purchase of an Institutional membership comes with the ability to purchase an unlimited number of conference registrations.


Register Now!

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email. In early October, you will receive a web link and password to access the IZE conference sessions. This website will contain a list of programs, times, and Zoom links to each session and event.  


San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo Global is a proud sponsor of the IZE Conference.

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