Nico van Strien Leadership in Conservation Award

The Nico van Strien Leadership in Conservation Award recognizes outstanding AAZK member-initiated contributions to the conservation of wildlife and their habitats. It will be presented to an individual AAZK member or a team of AAZK members in good standing who have showed a dedication to the stewardship of the natural world through the creation, continuation, and/or promotion of a conservation project that is not the primary part of their job. AAZK members must often find pockets of their own personal time to nurture personal conservation efforts. These selfless efforts make a positive difference to local ecosystems and inspire communities to action, are a fundamental part of a zoo professional’s philosophy.

The first-place recipient(s) of this award receives the Leadership in Conservation Award plaque and $500.00. Second and third place applicants will be identified during the review process and will be given Certificate of Recognition in Conservation Award certificates with a description of their program.


  • The nominees shall be AAZK-members in good-standing associated with a North American Zoological Institution, aquarium or related facility.
  • The project identified in the application shall protect, study, and/or promote stewardship of the natural world.
  • The nominee shall be nominated by his or her peers who have witnessed first-hand the nominee’s dedication to the associated conservation project.
  • The nominee shall not be AAZK staff, Program Managers, Committee Chairs or current members of the AAZK Board of Directors.
  • Nomination Procedure

  • Applications to the Nico van Strien Leadership in Conservation Award are due May 1 of each calendar year. Please fill out the application in its entirety.
  • The nominator shall supply the nominee’s name(s), position, institution’s name, address, email address, and years of service of the nominee in the field.
  • List the name and contact of the nominating member and the nominee’s facility Director/CEO.
  • Selection Procedure

  • The AAZK Conservation Committee will review each nominee in consultation with the Awards Committee.  The Board Oversight for Conservation shall cast a deciding vote in the instance of a tie.

    Nomination Form

    Download the Nico van Strien Leadership in Conservation Award Nomination Form below: