National Symposium Focuses on the "Future of Zoos"

February 3, 2012


BUFFALO, NEW YORK – The Canisius College Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations (ISHAR) will host a special symposium, entitled “The Future of Zoos,” onFebruary 10- 11. Click here for event times and locations. The two-day event is free and open to the public, and will include presenters and participants from leading zoological parks, conservation societies and zoological architecture firms. Representing Buffalo, NY areDonna Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of the Buffalo Zoological Gardens; Paul Waldau, PhD, assistant professor of anthrozoology at Canisius College and former president of the Religion and Animals Institute; Susan Margulis, PhD, assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation; and Michael Noonan, PhD, director of the college’s ISHAR program. 

“The symposium will bring together visionary thinkers and ask them to take on the question of how zoos will look 50 and 100 years from now,” says Noonan. “Their task will be one of predicting the future and shaping it. Participants will not only describe what will be but articulate what should be. The result will be a road map that can guide present-day zoo planners.” 

Topics of the symposium include: the demographics of future zoo patrons; the expectations of future zoo visitors; conservation as a viable mission; the unique education mission of zoos; zoos as resources for scientific research; and bio-engineered life and the moral implications for future zoos. 

The format will include formal presentations by representatives of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Detroit Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, the Animal & Society Institute, Wildlife Conservation Society and ZooLex Zoo Design Organization, among others. The formal presentations will be followed by round-table and open discussions. The “Future of Zoos” will culminate at a later date with the production of a video from the symposium. This video will be made available to as wide an audience as possible. 

“The Future of Zoos” symposium is sponsored by a generous grant from Al and Noura Gress, friends of Canisius College. Additional support is being provided by the William H. Fitzpatrick Institute of Public Affairs and Leadership at Canisius College, and the Buffalo Zoological Gardens. 

For more information on the symposium, contact the Public Relations Office at Canisius College at 716-888-2790. 

Canisius College is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to