Professional Development Committee

Adam Felts

Lexie Buchanan


To provide diverse opportunities to elephant professionals, EMA has developed a program that will provide elephant keepers the opportunity to expand their knowledge and husbandry experience. This program has been designed to enable elephant keepers to work at other institutions to familiarize themselves with different management styles. Participants should expect to spend three to five days at the host facility. Click here for full program guidelines.

EMA has selected facilities with different management styles to maximize the potential for enhancing participants' expertise. Currently participating host institutions are:

  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Asian)
  • Houston Zoo (Asian)
  • White Oak Conservation (Asian)
  • Fresno Chaffee Zoo (African)
  • ABQ BioPark (Asian)
  • Saint Louis Zoo (Asian)

To participate in the program, please complete the application form and submit to Participants are responsible for all accommodation, including hotel, meals, and travel. Two $500 scholarships are available annually to assist with travel costs.

Applicant Criteria:

  1. Due to the professional nature of this program, it is only available to Professional or Affiliate level EMA members.
  2. Participating keepers must have their institution's authorization to participate and the home institution must agree to pay their wages for the duration of their participation in the program. Further, all participants must be covered by their workman's compensation program and will provide documentation of personal health insurance.

Scholarship Criteria:

  1. Complete and submit the professional development scholarship application.
  2. Scholarship recipients must write an article for the Journal of the Elephant Managers Association on their experience with the program and the knowledge they gained from the host institution.

The Elephant Managers Association (EMA) is an international, 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.

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