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About Us


The Birmingham Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers strives toward providing continuing education, raising awareness for conservation, and fostering an appreciation for the animal care profession, while assisting the Birmingham Zoo in its mission.



Kelli Grigg

Vice President
Emily Frik

Robin Helser

Amy Trousedale


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The American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc. is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer association which provides resources to animal care workers, whether they be volunteers or professionals, for training, professional development, and conservation. AAZK is is a membership association for animal care professionals to exchange information and network with one another.

Mission Statement  The mission of The American Association of Zoo Keepers is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

Vision Statement  AAZK will be the leader in the zoo and aquarium industry fostering professional development and personal connections that advance animal care, animal welfare and conservation.

Purpose  AAZK’s purpose is to foster a professional attitude in animal keepers and aquarists by encouraging them to become active members of professional teams at today’s zoos and aquariums. AAZK supports the promotion and implementation of zookeeper education and strives to make the general public aware of our concern for all deserving conservation projects and the need for the preservation of our natural resources and the species that depend on those resources.

Serving as a professional organization for zookeepers, AAZK is a valuable resource for dedicated animal care workers. AAZK is dedicated to advancing animal care, promoting public awareness, enhancing professional development and contributing to local and global conservation through fundraising and stewardship. Our goal is to inspire and motivate through our roles as animal caregivers, educators and conservationists. Through workshops, conferences, newsletters, and internet forums, AAZK helps animal care staff stay current in husbandry, training, nutrition, and conservation. Well educated keepers using modern techniques means the animals in their care benefit tremendously.

For more info about AAZK, visit