Global Records Management for Aquariums and Zoos

Global Records Management for Aquariums and Zoos

August 16, 2019 0 By Kailee Schamberger


>>OK, well welcome everyone
to today’s MARA Guest Lecture. We have two presenters that I’m just so excited
about being able to listen to them and find out more about record keeping and
the environment in which they work. Our first is Matt Seguin from he’s Curator of
Husbandry and Records at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and I here’s
here Sarasota, Florida. So I’m still here for a few more days
myself, so we’re actually in the same state. And then Josh Courteau, who is the
Training Manager for Species360, that’s the records management
program that Matt also uses. So we’re going to actually see
what’s being used in the industry. And I’m going to turn the mic right over to Josh
first who is going to begin the presentation.>>Thank you for having us Pat and thanks
for letting us speak to your course. Of course Matt and I have a chance to work together a few times a
year now, which is very cool. It’s nice to have another opportunity
to work with them and to talk about some of the cool work that we get to do together. So my name is Josh Courteau. I’m the training manager here with Species360. We’re entering our 45th year serving
the zoo and aquarium industry, which feels like a very long time and it is. We’ve been around before computerized
records back at the very start of things. We started as a just really
a twinkle in someone’s eye, that person’s name was Ulysses Seal. He went on to also fund another organization
called the Conservation Planning Specialist Group, which is another organization
non-profit organization that works in the preservation species
in their natural habitat. So this guy came up with a couple
really cool ideas a long, long time ago and Species360 is you know, is carried on in
his lead for about, as I mentioned 45 years. So with that in mind what we’re really
going to talk about what is Species360? What is the International Zoo community
when it comes to data management? So, you know, we can really think
about it as operational software to serve kind of operational needs. We talk about it at a regional
and a global level where we talk about cooperative animal management and some of this presumes a little
bit of industry knowledge. We’ll do our best not to speak to too many
acronyms and too many zoo specific -isms, but we’ll likely trip on them and you
can question and ask us what we’re trying to actually say because if we say things that are a little too industry
specific we might lose you.>>Yeah, I have quite a few acronyms.>>Yeah, yeah we sort of
live and die by acronyms. So CPSG, we used to be called I-S-I-S, which I, you know I’m troubled to
even say it out loud now. And so, you know, you’ll still hear people
talk about their animals and their collections with their ISIS numbers because
we were ISIS for 35 years. Of course we changed for good reasons. So with that in mind some of the things that we
do to serve the community again is regionally and again internationally we serve for
this cooperative animal management idea. And I’ll get a little bit into that, which
definitely revolves around species management. And something new for us in our
45th year is conservation research. We’ve been cited in many publications over
the years and we have a lot of, you know, scientific cred to our name
given that we’ve produced a lot of aggregated data that serves the community. But just until very recently with the founding
of our science team by Dr. Dalia Conde who is based out of the Southern Denmark
University, she has a group of postdocs and master students and she’s spearheading
kind of a new research partnership that we have with universities who are actually doing
research on animals in human care and also how that it relates to wild populations as well. So we’re ding native research now for the
first time in our life and that’s pretty cool. So that’s opening up new
possibilities in conservation research. So who are we? In particular we are the — by any account
we’re the largest association in this industry. Except we’re not an association, we are a
non-profit membership services organization. We’re made up of — actually it’s now
since this slide was written we’re over 1,100 numbers in about 95 or 96 countries. I don’t know if we’re counting our newest
member in Mainland, China as a new country or not because we had someone
in Hong Kong before. But we now have, you know by any account we
have the largest participatory membership. We are a voting body. Our members choose our board of directors. It comes from, you know, trustees
from people throughout the community. We’re this very strange software
development organization. Because if you think of us as
just a software company, you know, you’re getting just part of the picture. If you think of us as an association, while
it’s true, but again it’s really focused on what we do for the community, which
is a services organization as opposed to like a membership association or a
crediting body, which you’d find with, you know, the American Zoo Association
or European Zoo Association or some of the other ones that serve the world. So we are this really strange, interesting
group with, you know members all over the world. And they’re all doing something together. And what is that something? Well, it’s data management to the tune of I
think we’ve got 21,000 individuals and users. It’s kind of what our current count is. So that’s humans putting hands on keyboards. And again, over 1,100 different
institutions doing the data. So it gives you an idea of where those
members are with the map on the screen. And records management is key. So really what we talk about
and what we provide software that captures is information
on zoos and aquariums. We like to say we’re guardians of captive
wildlife population in zoos and aquariums and in particular we’re the champions
of protecting that data and making sure that it’s standardized and useful. So of course this becoming a bigger
and bigger concern as we’re entering “The Sixth Extinction” as we call it. There’s more and more habitat loss, more
and more species that are being threatened in the wild and so what you’re seeing in our
industry is zoos and aquariums are starting to think in this concept of what’s
called the one plan approach. Where as in the past you might have had
animals in the wild and animals in captivity and they wouldn’t necessarily be thought of
in the same breath or in the same programs. Our industry is in the middle of pivoting
to making sure that anytime we’re thinking about one captive population we’re also thinking
about it’s wild counterpart and vice versa. So knitting those two things together. One of the ways you can do that is with data. So we have kind of a new space
that we’re moving into as well as with what we call in-situ research, so that’s
research and records management for animals in the wild as opposed to ex-situ, which
is in human carrot, our member facilities. So cooperation breeding programs is really
one of those aspects where we serve data to a region and that region is, you know — Pardon me I’m just closing out a window. The region is at the national level. It’s at the international level. There’s a couple different acronyms that we
could throw at you, but it really just helpful to understand that associations create
these breeding programs and we support them with recording and standardized in
the way that they record that data and then how they output that
for demographic analysis. So all that data that goes into it is structured
and collected by individual volunteers. The individual volunteers are either
at our member or at non-members, but they use our software to
actually collect that information that is then aggregated at
those regional associations. And of course research needed to
improve animal care and welfare. That’s a big aspect of what our software
does is imagine human record management for medical records. We have the animal counterpart to that, as well
information about animals that are, you know, how they’re being tended in captivity,
and you know, how they’re you know, when they’re moving place to place that
their standards of care maintained. So long term management and stability. This is really when we’re talking
about, you know making sure that the populations are preserved in the wild. You know, this is what we call kind of like
the art mentality or making sure that you have, if you have a breeding program that’s
intended to either preserve that species that you’re dealing with as much of
the data as possible to make sure that those populations are
in fact, you know, viable. And that’s all species specific. So it gets very scientific and very
specific for each species right away, so I can’t speak in too broadly general terms
except for, you know, having the most amount of data is really going to
improve your ability to serve. As you know, you can imagine there at leas
with us there’s 1,100 different holders of information of animals of data. And doing them 1,100 different ways would
mean that you would have very limited ability to speak about a distributive population. But with a software like ZIMS you
can actually get all that information in one quick view, which is great. And the zoos and aquariums and the associations
have figured that out long in advance. So they really thought about this back in
2,000 is really where ZIMS started to take root and some of the hopes and
dreams have come to pass. So what we actually do serve our members with
is we like to say that, yeah all that stuff that I just said is the idealized,
the benefits to working with an online global real
time collaborative data set. Those are kind of hard sells to make when
you’re talking to an individual institution and our relationship, our business model is
one where we serve individual institutions, so you know our clients are those institutions. And so we have to both offer them
that big picture and value, you know, why is recording data in
a standardized way good? Why is it helpful for the species as a whole
that they manage But we also have to talk at, you know, real world stuff such as
staff efficiencies and productivity, making sure that they can run reports that help
them in managing their day to day work flow. So in some real practical ways we’re
just a regular software company that develops software that helps them. But we also have that kind of that one, two
punch of being a really global unique dataset. So we work our best to improve their planning,
their ability to manage their collections, to manage the medical care that
they’re giving their animals. We of course are paying attention
to all of the trends of software. As software development changes we are doing
our very best to stay at the cutting edge, making sure that we’re providing our members
with the best return on their investment. Another strange benefit to being as
big as we are, we’re a non-profit so we’re a pretty small given
organization given any other software at scale that we’re talking about. Like if you think of the software that I heard
you guys talking about at the start of the call, you know any standard software that’s
used in an international sense, you’d imagine would be a
pretty large organization. But all things considered we’re pretty small,
you know but we do our best to make sure that our member’s dollars turn into results, so
you know, updating to the latest software trends and all that is a big part
of what we have to do. Let’s see here. Some of the stuff we can also do is
help in compliance with government and accrediting application forms. There’s a lot of that in
our industry as there is with many industries there’s
unique governmental relationships. But in moving animals you can imagine that, you know especially moving them internationally
there is some specific regulations that apply so we support our clients in the U.K.
with a pretty easy output in the system, kind of fills out a form for them. One of our other main reports supports
some USDA regulations here in the states. So we do our best to make sure that
the software makes their jobs easier. And we do our best and my
job is in the training front. We do our best to provide comprehensive
training to our members in whatever ways we can. We talk about three different main
product chunks and ZIMS for husbandry. This is where Matt spends most of his time. And this is really managing the actual animal
count, the inventory at the individual facility. We talk about, you know, being able to control, pay attention to the demographics
of your collection. You have the relationships between the
parents and children, that kind of thing. We can make information available
to your region. So if you wish to let folks know that you
have an animal available or if you’re looking for a certain animal for
your collection that’s kind of a listing service that’s
available in our system. I mentioned pedigrees, so being able
to figure out breeding recommendations, again this is about having the
best genetics that you can have with a small population they have. You can figure out what’s called
breeding recommendations from that. And then identifying facilities with specific
experience in the animal that you’re dealing with to make sure that they — you
know, if you don’t know how to deal with a certain new species you’ve never dealt
with, you can find a colleague who has dealt with it based off of a global holding. So we also deal with and have been dealing
for 30 plus years with medical records for thousands of different exotic species. You know it runs the gamut of all
the different types of records. You can imaging what is recorded on humans. We do the same thing for animals. One of the cool things that we can do
that you can’t do in human medicine is that we can aggregate based off
of all these different species. So we have a series of these results that
are provided for typical drugs given, typical anesthesia is given, blood tests that
are norms for that species and mortality, morbidity analysis, which is what do
they get sick of and what do they die of? Because we don’t have “Hippos” to worry about individual records is not
as big of a concern in animals. We can aggregate data and give
some really powerful metrics. And that’s, you know worth the price of
admission alone for most of our members. Just to get access to that
global reference information.>>Josh what’s “Hippos?”>>What did you say?>>What’s “Hippos?”>>Sorry, HIPPA, HIPPA compliance [laughs]. Yeah, sorry if there’s a question typed up. Sorry about that. HIPPA is the laws that are protecting
people’s individual records. So you wouldn’t ever see something like that in human medicine here basically you’re jut
aggregating millions of records together without any worry of getting sued. I can tell you about hippos too if you want.>>Yeah, I thought you said hippos.>>So this is not a hippo, but you can imagine
this could be a hippos weight comparison graph. This is another tool that we have. Again, because we don’t have to
worry about privacy of certain types of data, we share things liberally. And this is a case of weight data. So anyone who is a holder of– let’s say hippos, you could compare your individual
hippos to the global records. So in this case what you’re seeing on the screen
is a box and whisker chart of all the weights that are known for this species and this is
a — I believe it’s an Arabian Oryx, but –>>Yeah.>>You can imagine being a hippo. And each of those blocks and lines it’s hard
to see on your screen but they’re age classes. So as you go on the x-axis
those are the age of the animal. And then you can see the weights on the y-axis. And that blue line that charts
across it is your individual animals. So you’re saying from my collection
I don’t know if this animal as it gets older is it over conditioned? Is it heavy or is it light
for what it should be? Using our data you can plot your animal on what is effectively the typical
weight range for a species in captivity. So that’s again one of those powerful, you know, worth the price of admission
type features we have. You know, kind of to — and I’m going
to transition because I know it’s — I’m trying to make sure that I’m not skipping. A lot of the rest of the slides are
just more specific graphs like this. But it’s worth spending some time on this one
given that we don’t get too stuck in the weeds. I mentioned Ulysses Seal
at the start of the call. This is literally what this
individual wanted to see. When he started the idea of Species360 he wanted to see physiological reference
ranges for exotic species. And what that means is basically
he was doing some — he was a researcher, he wanted to find
typical blood values and when we’re talking about blood values they’re like
white blood cell count, lymphocytes, what you see on the screen
right now is an example of some feedback for again an Oryx species. He was looking for that information and what
he found at the time is he could get the blood, he could get the results, but he couldn’t tell
you whether or not they were a standardized set. So he didn’t have the ability to pool
together all of these different blood samples from all around the different zoos. This is back in the ’60s. He wasn’t able to do that with
any statistical relevance. He wasn’t able to say it
scientifically accurate. And so he literally created the organization. Species360 has a way to record basic records
on animals so that we knew their age, we knew their pedigree, who
they were related to. We knew their relative health status. We knew their weights. We knew all the basic information that we
now record as a standard in the industry so that he could get this information. And now this information is available and
its to the tune of, I think we said something on the order of 80 million medical records are
pooled together now on 10 million plus animals that are in human care around the world. So it’s really the story of the tail that
wagged the dog when it comes to why we exist. It’s really that person’s foresight
to say, “We cant do this job well. We can’t do it at the best level
until we do basic records.” And so that’ sort of the takeaway I think from
my side of the talk here is that, you know, you can have good software, you can
have great software, you can have people with good interests and you know, every
intent to do it well, but you kind of have to have a reason for doing it and that
reason can really bring people to the table and that’s what I think is really
why we are here as an organization and why we get to serve people like Matt. So with that said I’ll transfer over to Matt.>>My takeaway from that
is you work for me, Josh?>>I do work for you, sir. [ Laughter ] So we have a couple more slides and
it was just more facts and figures but I’m happy to answer questions later.>>And I’m going to go into some of the
things that Josh has all ready talked about in a little more detail and so you kind of more apply it how we actually
take care of things. But I’m starting off with kind of a
history of my organization because why not? I have your attention so I might as well
give a little commercial where I work. I work here at Marine Laboratory
and Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. That’s our entrance right there. And we were founded in 1955 by this woman here. Her name is Dr. Eugenie Clark and
she’s known as the “Shark Lady”. This is here working with
some deep water sharks there. The one that was recently names after her. And this is something I got from our website. Kind of quote that we like, they
say, “We are the guardians of the sea and all living things that depend upon it.” And that is, like I said, a quote
that Dr. Clark came up with . She unfortunately did die a
few years ago at 92-years-old and she was still publishing research
and still working with sharks. So pretty awesome woman and
she was our founding director. So what we are we’re an independent non-profit
marine research institution comprised of really world-class marine scientists. We have 32 PhDs working here right now
committed to the belief that the conservation, sustainable use of our oceans
begins with research and education. So we’re an aquarium here and we’re
founded in that science and education. And really we have a lot on the research side. I’m going to get into the more into the
aquarium later, which is where I mostly work. But I’m going to give you that foundation. We do both laboratory work and fieldwork. This fieldwork on the right there is,
there was a viral video about that, somewhat recently about Dr. David Vaughn
who started doing some microfragmenting and made it is mission to return a bunch of
coral back to the ocean in big coral farms. We have a big coral facility down in the Keys. We manage quite a few facilities
around the state of Florida and using this digital record keeping
system makes it much easier for us to do so. So these are some of our research interests
here at Mote, some of our departments. I’ll read through them in case
it’s difficult for you to see. We have Chemical and Physical Ecology, Sharks
and Rays Conservation Research Program. We have a Dolphin, Whale and Sea Turtle
Hospital where we do quite a bit of rehab. Ocean Technology Research, that right
there is showing one of our AUVs, our autonomous underwater vehicle,
which they actually cruise up and down the coast looking for
signs of red tide right now. Marine Biomedical Research, so
we’re looking at cancer and tumors and basic disease resistance
in sharks, skates and rays. Stranding Investigations, they see why
the dead animals washed up on shore. Ecotoxicology, obviously you’re
looking at toxins in the environment. Marine and Freshwater Aquaculture, Coral
Health and Disease, Ocean Acidification, Marine Ecology, Fisheries Enhancement, and
then our Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, which is basically a study on same population
of dolphins for the past I believe 40 years. Hey, Sarah in the [inaudible]. So OK, go ahead next. A few more benthic ecology environmental health. Benthic ecology started studying
what lives on the bottom. Jim Coulter does a lot of deep diving
but also studying the clams, and oysters, and scallops that live on the bottom. Manatee research, because
everybody loves manatees of course. We actually, in the aquarium that ties in
pretty closely, our two resident manatees and the only two in the United
States that are trained for research. So pretty cool with that. Fisheries Habitat Ecology and Acoustics,
basically studying how fish talk to each other. Coral Reef Monitoring and Assessment, Coral Reef
Restoration, Forensics, Environmental Laboratory for Forensics, Phytoplankton Ecology,
Sea Turtle Conservation and Immunology, so quite a bit of research going on here. That’s the science we have here. We also have a big foundation and education
and the lower right is actually a studio where we do a lot of distance learning. And I of course am not set
up in a distant learning. I have a webcam on my desktop computer here. But if I wanted to I could have asked
for their help and been on a great studio and had green screens behind me,
make it look like I was underwater. But they do that for a lot of classroom
visits and things like that that, you know, they can visit with any classroom around the
world through our education department there. And then obviously the other
photos show some pictures of our educators with people of all ages. Of course we have programs for school-aged
kids, but we also living in Sarasota, you know, we have a pretty large population of older
folks, the snowbirds, the people 65 and older, the retirees and we have programs, a lot of
programs for them to do lifelong learning to learn about what we’re doing also,
so education being the second big part of our aquarium and then next
the actual aquarium also. And this is either Hugh or Buffett doing
some of the husbandry research there. That’s a picture of our shark
exhibit and then Amanda in the lower right holding some our seahorses. But I’ll get into how this all
relates back to data in a second. I mentioned science, education, and aquarium
and this is the facility we’re building within the next four or five years. We’re moving inland, and like I said a
little commercial for what we’re going to have hopefully within the next few years. That’s our vision for our new
aquarium that we’re building right now. So go ahead. So my title is a Curator
of Husbandry and Records. And what that means for one I’m in charge
of the daily care of our animal collection. And that’s the health of the animals,
the procurement of the animals, and the quarantine of the animals. I have some quarantine going
on right here behind me. Right back there and there’s a tank back there
with two yearling American alligators right now. So no matter where I am I feel like I’m
surrounded by sick or otherwise, you know new, un-quarantined animals that I’m responsible for
taking care of working with our veterinary team. But I’m not going to be talking too much about
that today other than how it deals with records. The big part of my job that I’d like
to talk about today is the records. I service our registrar, which I’m sure a
few of you might be interested in that sort of a career potentially, a registrar type
work, but of course they go hand in hand. My registrar work deals a lot with the
permitting and the sourcing of the animals. I have ICP on there, not for the Insane Clown
Posse, that’s our Institutional collection plan, which is certainly important for
our long-term care of our animals. How we source animals and where
they go once after we source them. And then the daily records,
which I’ll get into as well. OK, so husbandry data, which Josh mentioned is
where I spend a lot of my time and it is true. And data is very vital for
any type of a research study. So data is, we’re really data forward
with all of our animal husbandry here. Any research project your
methodologies can differ, but research is always basting having good data. And analyzing and interpreting that data of course is a good foundation
in the research project. And using this program provided by
Species360 ZIMS allows to have this great way of both capturing and pulling our
own data and then sharing that data with other organizations around the country. This picture I have down here
is just some of our statistics of what we have in our collection. So once again just some data and how we
have animals grouped in our collection and to our primary collection,
rest, rehabs, stranding, etcetera. . So go ahead to the next one there. So before I started working here about ten
years ago and I’m not going to say I showed up and everything got better [laughs]. It wasn’t anything like that. But I want to show you in a second
here how our historic records work. Well, they were Post-It notes, it was
physical folders representing the enclosures. We would have a record then the animal got
here and we’d have a permit during the period that was supposed to have gotten
here, but finding, matching an animal to it’s permit was collected under, which
permit was held under was very difficult. And it was a real pain to obtain information. My VP told me, “Hey we’d like to — you
know I want a census on all of our animals.” I would just — oh man, I don’t want to do that. It’s going to take me weeks. It was terrible. Just finding any information, historical
information in particular was very difficult. But of course our current
records, something like that, a request like that can be
two clicks of my mouse. It’s very easy to do. And it serves as a digital backup
for all of our paper records. We still keep our paper records in boxes or in
file folders, but the Species360 folks back it up on multiple continents, I think
Josh, you back it up all over the place? Thank you, you’re nodding your head. Yeah, it’s backed up and it’s secure.>>Trying to find the mute button. Yeah, we’re backed, we’re
Cloud hosted, we’re backed up. We’re redundant. We’re all the good things. So that’s good. And easy, so it’s much better
than my file folder basically. We used to have our, it backed up meaning
I would take all the files and Xerox them and put them in another building. You know, that was our backup before. Much better now. Easy to access data because of the Species360. So yeah, this is a look at
some of our historic records. As I mentioned it was pretty terrible. A lot of Post-It notes. They really liked putting the date and
the month and not the year on things. Exhibits were named after
whatever animal they were in. And unfortunately like we have — so on the
right that blue thing says “Flounder Tank”. We don’t have any flounders
now in our collection. I have no idea what that
meant as a flounder tank. And just, you know on one of those white
things on the right says, “A permit for it is on the fridge” and [laughs] you know it’s just
really difficult to kind of follow that sort of information and much easier
now with the digital records, like I said provided by the Species360. And this is just an overview of some of our — with some of our files, just
some screenshots from them. I think after I’m done going through
this I’ll be able to actually take you into our database and show
you a little bit more. But I have these on here just in case. Here’s a list of some of
our enclosures on the left. Like I said, much easier
to access in file folders. And on the right is within
one of those enclosures a list of some of the animas that are in it. That’s in our main shark exhibit. And in each one of those
has its own record as well, so very handy for us to keep track of those. So really, why keep records? We’ve got quite a few reasons
on why we keep records here and why having this digital database is
both important for us and useful for us. Reasons I have listed here — facility
management, so legal obligations and permitting, the species management so for individual
taxon, managing that species is much easier with a database, population management,
enclosure management, and then individual group or husbandry management and then
even, as Josh mentioned briefly, the individual’s health management
or the medical records. So all of those are important
reasons for us to use this database. So first off, facility management
and legal obligations. My name isn’t on all the permits, my boss’s is. And making sure that we’re permitted properly
for everything we do here keeps him out of jail, and I imagine if he went to jail I
probably would have a job anymore. So it’s really important that we keep
good records of all of our permits. You know, we apply for the permits and then
have to know what we’re permitted to do here. And we have quite a few people looking after us. The first one I mentioned there is
the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They’ve put out the standards that we
try to live up to and they’re very strict and we try to surpass their standards. And they require these digital records. So there’s one reason right
there to have digital records because our crediting organization
requires us to. Also, we’re inspected by a
lot of people all the time. USDA, the AZA I mentioned, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, NOAA, FWC, which is our local state wildlife
organization here in Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. And then we’re not, we’re a private
institution, so we don’t have to worry about the Freedom of Information Act. But a lot of zoos do have to also have the
their records easily accessible because anyone from the public can request information as well. They could request our permits, since
those would fall under a government entity, but a lot of other zoos, especially city
run zoos and aquariums have to have access to that information for what they call
a FOIA, the Freedom of Information Act. But luckily working for a private
organization like I do, I don’t necessarily have to worry about that FOIA right now. But hey, who knows, in the future. Also very important for facility management
to know where the animals came from. We have several animals in our collection
that are considered prohibited species, meaning it’s not legal to collect
or possess them without permits. So if any of these inspectors were
to come in and know where we got — ask and be able to ask where we procured
that animal, where we got it from, and we need to have that chain of custody
to know if we collected it ourselves or what supplier we got it from to make sure
it was collected both legally and then also so we can tell our own story and make sure
we’re getting good sustainable sources, that it was collected from a sustainable
vendor if it was something we purchased, and the vendor that’s trustworthy and
know right where it was collected. So it’s important for us
to know our supply chains. And of course the shorter
the supply chain the better. And us being costal and us being costal
and mostly showcasing our local wildlife, we collect most of the stuff ourselves. So we know our supply chain is very short. And then that permit, because of ZIMZ
it’s always associated with that animal. There’s no question, you know,
I don’t have “Grouper” written on a Post-It note stuck in a file. I know exactly which grouper I
have and where it was collected. So very, very easy to do, very, very helpful. So species management. This is a kind of broad spectrum if
you’re looking at just species in general. I’m since working on an aquarium. I mentioned some of the SAFE species,
which is something set up by AZA. It’s the Savings Animals
From Extinction program. And they have a few animals that
were involved with their program, sharks and rays on the Atlantic
Acropora and corals in general, the Florida Reef Track Corals. They’re both, all species involved with
the saving animals from extinction. And there’s a number, I think there’s 20
animals all involved in this Saving Animals From Extinction program across
all zoos and aquariums. These are just a few that we’re involved with. And we’re involved with quite a few stud
books and SSPs, Species Survival Plans. And these studbooks are run
through ZIMS also and it allows them to track the genetics of any of these animals. So I think Josh mentioned that a little
bit really briefly, but it’s really nice, the Studbook Keeper can make breeding
recommendations based on the family history, the family tree of these animals. No I put on the right there a lion seahorse. We collect — you know, usually
two, we’ll cut the male and a female pair every year
and we’ll spread those animals. You know, we’ll breed them. We’re really successful at
breeding these lion seahorses. And we’ll keep track of the genetics. And Stephen Young who is over at the California
Academy of Sciences keeps track of all that in the database and those are the pairs
of all the lion seahorses in the country. And when we have babies he can tell
us, “Hey you should send these to — ” maybe an Aquarium in California
or maybe one in Ohio. And we’ll send them there to be able to better
represent the genes in the pack relation and share that we have a sustainable
population within our zoos and aquariums. It makes it much — where we don’t have
to do as much collecting from the wild if we can take two animal’s genes and
spread them amongst all zoos and aquariums. It’s much better for all facilities. So go ahead to the next slide. And then population management within our
institution is certainly important as well. Now this is like for animals that might not
be tracked through a species survival plan, but we’re still doing culture on them. I used our neon gobies here as an example,
because I have lots of pictures of them breeding and their babies are pretty cute sitting on top
of the PVC pipe in that bottom picture there. Those are the eggs developing. You can see their eyes on the bottom. They’re pretty adorable. Anyways, we like to keep track of
them and ZIMS because it allows us to maintain their genetic diversity
and that with any of our species. We’re breeding bonnethead sharks, cichlids,
cuttlefish, and through ZIMS we can keep track of their family tree of anything
that’s breeding. And with these, and actually with our
seahorses, our culturing biologist, that’s mostly Amanda Hodo right
now, just to give her a shout out. What she does is we’ll collect a pair, or we’ll
have a pair and know that they’re, you know, genetically unique and we’ll
give them a last name. So me might call the neon goby in that upper
right corner, that might be the Jackson family. And any babies that they
have will be the Jacksons. And we’ll know, don’t breed Jacksons with
Jacksons because then you’re going to end up with some funky Jacksons [laughs]. You know, so we’ll have another
family then that are the Johnsons. I probably should have picked or the Courteau’s
and we’ll know that that is their lineage and just to give people idea that might
not understand population genetics, but everybody probably knows that the
Jacksons shouldn’t mate with another Jackson. It allows a much easier for us to know
where to spread animals in their institution to if you want to create pairs again later. So it’s really helpful to do all that
in ZIMS and track that parentage. Now enclosure management, this is where
I do most of my work, a ton of my work. We keep track of environmental measurements. In the picture in the upper right hand corner
are some pictures of water chemistry testing that we’re doing, testing for ammonia nitrate,
nitrate, salinity temperature, all of that. You know, we’ve been doing that for years. Before we had digital record keeping we — our first in digital record
keeping was keeping track of our environmental measurements
in Microsoft Excel. Really easy to do, but it was
separate from the animal collection. Now those animal records are constantly
tied in to our environmental records and it’s really helpful to
have them tied in together. So really nice you can graph them really nice
in the database as well, but it’s nice to kind of always have that association where if there
ever is a problem we can go back and look, kind of a cool thing with those neon gobies. When I had them in quarantine the
water was a little cold, 72 degrees. We moved them into their
current breeding lab and as soon as the temperature at 78, everyone had babies. Pretty neat. So we can see that definite
change and tie those in exactly to the water chemistry, those breeding events. Of course we can know which animals are in
which enclosure, which is really important again for breeding, but also knowing which
species can live together peacefully or not. In an aquarium a lot of the times you’re
essentially keeping, you know the lions in within the antelopes and with the
African wild dogs in with the jackals. At a zoo you have the ability
to spread everything out. But in an aquarium we’re keeping the
predators with their prey a lot of the times. And we need to know when that’s
OK and when that’s not OK. And by keeping track of that in
this database, we’ll know, you know, these animals do coexist peacefully. We can take great notes and know how we allowed,
you know provided for them the exist peacefully or if it doesn’t work and they
don’t work together peacefully. And then we can also keep track
of moves between enclosures. So if I have Tank A and Tank B and I
move that animal from Tank A to Tank B and then three months later I have a parasite
outbreak in Tank A, I’ll know well I should look out for Tank B too because that
animal was just in that other one and maybe some hitchhikers went with it. So it allows us to better track
those transmission of disease. Now individual animal or also group husbandry. ZIMS does a good job of keeping
track of both individuals or groups. We use groups a lot in aquariums, because
take for example these three cuttlefish here, it might be difficult for me to tell them apart. I can’t tag them. I can’t put a transmitter inside of them. So I will probably most likely
manage those as a group. So either an individual or that group is going to have its own unique what Species360 calls
their global accession number, their GAN. And that’s unique worldwide. It’s like a social security number that’s
always associated with that animal. And that gives us that global connectivity. Kind of cool, we sent some jellyfish
to — or it was Florida Aquarium — we sent Florida Aquarium jellyfish a long time
ago and they gave some back to us and then ended up giving us back the same
jellyfish we gave them and we knew it through the global accession number that these
are the ones that we had sent hem awhile ago. I may have been the other way around with that. But either way the story is the same, that we
can keep track of those individuals and know, oh these are the ones that we
initially got from Tennessee Aquarium. We can track their whole parentage that way. It’s really need. We can also, of course, through the
husbandry track food consumption, any training or enrichment, and of course the
welfare of the animals as well. There’s a really nice welfare module that we can
go right on our phone even, take it out and talk about the welfare and document the welfare. Any questions on welfare, if any of our animals, we monitor that really well
through the application . So it’s very, very broad. And now our health records, I mentioned
quarantine because that’s what I do. I had to put that first. I had to put some pictures
of some fish parasites on there because it’s what I like most. We can keep track of any of these
medical treatments and procedures. Any medical notes or physicals, our veterinarian
she can go out and put any notes she wants on any animal and have it
associated with the animal forever. It’s amazing. You know we don’t have to, you know,
have an issue with an animal know if that was the same one, we’re not really sure. Do I have to go look in the
file and see what’s going on? Not, it’s always going to be
right there and accessible. So it’s really easy to use. Josh was holding up a [laughing]
it was something I made, it’s a laptop sleeve is what
they’re using it for. I use it as a hat, but Josh
uses it as a laptop sleeve, it’s this picture on the right,
very similar, our uronema. So that’s what he’s holding up there. We can keep track of medications,
the growth of animals and even parasites they have
through their medical records.>>I know a better way to keep your laptop safe
than to wrap it up in some sort of disease.>>Exactly [laughing]. Thanks Josh. So the Individual Health Management in
the Medical Records, just to show this. Josh all ready kind of mentioned this
about sharing information globally. He showed that they had the
blood values and keeping track of that and sharing that worldwide. What really helps with fish also are some of
the medical — let’s see where I have it here — medical resources, the summaries,
the drug use, the drug summaries. It’s the drug use extracts. I think I highlighted the
wrong one on the bottom there. But it’s great if we have a question, we
have an animal, and our veterinarian wants to know what drugs it worked well
on in the past and what hasn’t. So you can do a search on that animal and
Species360 is all this information together to know what types of antibiotics have
been used on let’s say a bonnethead shark. What types of anti-parasite drugs have been used on a queen angel fish and
how successful they were. So all that, you know, work we’re
putting in here is useful for us, but it’s also useful worldwide to any
other aquarium that’s using this stuff. So I should thank Josh for that
because I probably never have and it’s very, very helpful for us. And the data in here is also super important. There’s different ways of us doing it either through a centralized data entry
or a distributive data entry. I’m either entering the data myself and my team
and with that I could have errors transcribing, errors of penmanship, you now, some of the
aquariums I work with have terrible penmanship, and it puts some of us at
having a lot of computer time, but with that distributed data
entry, with decentering data you end up with some inconsistent
verbiage, a lot of smiley faces, you know some incorrect data
every one and awhile. And it requires a lot f training
to train a lot of these people. I tend to use a distributed data entry a
lot more just to try to get them tied more to the data and more invested in it. But ultimately as a registrar
I’m responsible for that data. That picture I have in the lower right was
basically the amount of data points put in by probably ten or so
of our aquarium biologists. Go ahead into the next slide there. And data out is where we get
buy in from the biologists. This is where they’re motivated. So they can put in data all day,
but if they’re not getting anything out of it they’re not going to care. They just think they’re just
putting it into oblivion. So the reports that Josh mentioned are huge. We can look at trends in food consumption,
we can look at the genetic diversity as I mentioned many times, we can
find the sourcing of the animal. So let’s say if we need to find some lemon
tangs, or unicorn tangs and I don’t have to look through a bunch of records here. I can search, well where did we
get our lemon tangs in the past and call up that supplier right there. I don’t have to start over. Or if somebody twenty years from now wants to
do that and I’m not working here anymore maybe, they can know where it is here in our data. If someone does an inspection or we have to
do a report, rather than me spending weeks on that report, the report is done,
don’t tell my boss it was in here. I can do most of it in just a few minutes. It’s really nice, the reporting. So that’s really helpful. The water chemistry tends down here. The picture I have shows a salinity
trend for one of our exhibits. We call it our E-1. I’ve given that a description of “Florida
Reef”, but it used to be a fresh water exhibit with some sturgeon and you can see right in the
records there, right around end of May 2016, probably actually is more June I guess,
it went from fresh water to salt water and now you can see our saltwater
values kind of bouncing around. I’m pointing at the screen
like you guys can see [laughs]. Anyways, doing a census, looking at sensitivity
to medications is really easy to find, that can exhibit compatibility and whether
animals are compatible with each other, and then PR, marketing and education
find a lot of use in this as well. I’ve shown them how they can run a census and
find out what animals we have in our collection. And it works really nice through
our education team if they want to know what animals are in what exhibit. They can just look at the census of that
exhibit and see exactly what’s in there if they want to write up a program. Or if they’re doing a program on
Atlantic blue tangs, they can run a query on where are all the Atlantic blue
tangs, they’ll know where they’re at. They usually call me anyway, but you
know this would work in practice. I know where they can find those animals. That might be, yeah that’s all I got for those. I have a big manatee. And this is Hugh who likes to crunch his nose
against the glass and make all the kids excited. But if you guys have any questions — and I can also go and bring up my
ZIMS if you guys wanted to see that. But if you have questions for Josh
or I maybe we should take those first in case there’s any burning questions.>>Do we have any questions? I could take a quick look at the chat
and you could also grab your mic. Emily Mercer said, “If someone wanted
work in this field would a background in records management be enough or would we
need to have animal biology knowledge as well? Any other subjects or experiences you recommend
we study or pursuit move into this field?>>You want me to mention
or you want to talk to Josh?>>Well, I think we could take
it from two different directions. So I have a bit of a background in biology. So my road in was sort of one of luck and
also, you know I had the right combination of technical skills and software as well as some
you know, light animal management experience. The vast majority of folks
in the registrar I roll, which is folks who will be using our
software or veterinarian technicians. You now more and more as Matt noted, you
know we’re doing direct entries of folks who are actually also the animal care
specialists are also doing direct entry of records. It kind of depends on which
audience you’re talking about. Is it the veterinarian? Is it the records management person? Those all have different track records
— you know, sorry tracks into the field. So when we’re talking about our core
user base, the records management people, it absolutely helps to have some
foundations in data management. You know, it’s becoming more and more of a
professional job over the last 30 plus years, meaning that you know, the actual knowledge
of information management is, you know, more and more of an understood
and respected field. But it definitely is not the same as being a library records manager
or a corporate records manager. Having that touchstone with biology and maybe
more than that is having a want to learn it because there is so much to learn as
there is in any industry but the zoo and aquarium field is one where, you know,
maybe Matt you can add a little bit of like on the ground experience but it’s one
where — I liken it almost to mission, you know being a missionary who is wiling to
go anywhere where God calls you and working for relatively small amounts of money. It’s not a terribly lucrative industry. You have to be called to do it and that’s
something that I don’t think is necessarily as shared with other records management fields. But Matt, I don’t know if
you have anything to add?>>I know a lot of the registrars that
I’ve met, maybe not the ones that are — well, it seems like we’ve all started as some
time of a keeper, something like that as a — I started as an aquarist mostly doing the
quarantine type stuff and then kind of stepped into the registrar role, because
I just had a big interest in it. And that sort of seems a lot of them have
started on that side, but that’s not to say that you need to start on that side
and to be a registrar you don’t have to have that zoology background. I think having the data management
background, if you know you want to be a zoo aquarium registrar is even
more important to have that background that you’re getting I believe through
the coursework you’re doing now and records management. And you know, you just take that strong
background and records management and apply it to being, you know, the zoo world as opposed to me taking my zoo knowledge
and learning how to manage data. It seems a little bit more challenging. What you’re learning there is much more
technical skill and I think you can apply it to the zoo field like you would any other field. So if you knew that’s what you wanted
to do, work in a zoo or aquarium, having that records background is really solid. I would say.>>And if you don’t have the specific
industry experience, you know, depending on where you’re located, your local
zoo, aquarium, you know sanctuary, rehab clinic, whoever it might be, if you have a
love to want to work with and serve, you know species conservation most places
take volunteers very readily at some level. Be it a dose, be it a volunteer educator,
that was my first job was a wolf research — sorry wolf sanctuary doing anything that
helps an organization out will get your foot in the door and then you figure out if you
really like it too, which is a benefit. And then, you know, if you come in with
records experiences as Matt mentioned, you sort of become the defector expert at your
organization too, because there’s not a lot of duplication of efforts in that space. So if you’re the records person, if you’re
the registrar, if you’re the like the curator of data at your place you’re
probably the go to for everything. So it’s kind of empowering. It also means that it’s your job and there’s
not a lot of people to help you all the time but that sometimes is a good thing
for people who like to control things and I think data records people like
to control things so that works.>>I have the ability and I’m doing records
but I also, you know share an office with two baby alligators right now. There was an indigo snake in there a couple
weeks ago and I’ve had crocodile in here. You know I get a lot of animals in my office
like that, which is pretty cool if you’re just into animals, having passion interest
and passion for animals and still want to do data management, working
at a zoo is a good way to do it.>>Thank you.>>So I think you said you
may have a little time to show us the actual records
management software there?>>Yeah, I can if you don’t mind Josh.>>That’s great when a member shares their data because we don’t technically
have rights to share their data.>>[laughs] See if I’m doing this right.>>His organization has approved it.>>I’m going to go quick. No screen sets. So just to show quick what I
mentioned about the enclosure here, I won’t go into my institution and all that. But just to show how the
utility of this and kind of go through the different steps that I mentioned. I can go and show a tree view here. And this is all of our enclosure groups. I’ll expand this, Go through
all of our enclosures here. I can pick an animal out. For example I’ll pick out or Florida Reef here. Open this up and it’s got all of our details. Oh meant to expand this. All of our water chemistry
measurements that I mentioned here, so I can go and graph those if I wanted to. That’s all under these pictures
so I don’t know how to do that. But anyways, I can go into
the occupants of this then. Mostly corals in this exhibit. Mostly what I mentioned before, I went with a
— it was the, I don’t remember who I was using. It was a clown wrasse I think is
the one I had mentioned earlier when I was kind of going through this. Here’s a clown wrasse. Click on this. We have 1.1 clown wrasse. We have a male and female. They were moved into the
closure July 19th, 2016. You can click on this and this will once again
— so now I’m out of the enclosure module and I’m in the animal, individual
animal’s module. I can open this up with — I
don’t expand all very often because it gets a little overwhelming. And any information here, I don’t have
any weights in this, we put it in there and we haven’t ever caught it out. Any notes that we have all in
here, which is really nice. And we have — there was a hurricane
on this day and there was a note. And then any transactions. So we got this from QP Aquatics on May
31, 2016 and then, you know, we had — we weren’t sure if it was a male or a female. We had a 0.0.2. And then February 26, we decided
it was a male and a female because we saw some breeding behavior with them. And there’s a lot. can go beyond that. There’s medical information and Josh reminded
me maybe Moat wouldn’t want me sharing all that [laughs]. Anyways, this is kind of just need to
see all this information that we have on every animal in our institution we have that. So it’s pretty great.>>Thanks Matt.>>Any questions about all that?>>If you do you could place a question
in the chat area or just grab the mic. No I don’t hear any. Well, you know, not hearing any I’m going to
thank you Matt and Josh for presenting today. This was fascinating to me. I really am quite amazed at
all that goes into your work. And the volume of data that
you’re responsible for.>>We really enjoy it.>>Yeah, it is. It’s a unique opportunity for sure.>>And that software looks so helpful and the
fact that you can use that across the world to as you said aggregate that
information is just wonderful.>>Yeah, a small plug for that we do have a
teaching partnership level, service level, I mentioned research partnerships, so we have
a lot of universities that are joining just to have access to that level data. We also have a teaching license program. We’re working with 26 different schools and
universities and colleges around the world. And they’re actually teaching records
managements within their curriculum now, which is you know that’s my pet project
as a global effort it’s a challenge, I wouldn’t say it’s difficult but it’s a
challenge to instruct everyone who needs to know at the highest level how to use a software
platform like this, and I get the joy to work with Matt once a year teaching
regionally at the AJ School. We actually spend six days together, 12 hour days you know teaching
registrars basically all the things that a registrar needs to
know including using ZIMS. But you know, having the ability to have
universities in schools assist in teaching us, we have partners all across Europe and
Australia and North America and it’s great to have schools actually considering it, you know relative information before
you actually enter the job field to have these skills. So that’s been a benefit to us as well.>>Oh that’s wonderful. I’ll have to learn more about that.>>And then how I met Katie, we have a
Zoological Registrar Association also. If anybody is interested in it you can go on. I don’t know just search “ZRA Registrar”. I don’t know the exact website.>>The website is zooregistrar.org.>>There you go, zooregistrar.org. Thanks, Katie.>>Hey Katie.>>Hey!>>Yeah, thanks for the notice about the talk. I’m glad it worked out.