The Veterinarian's Role in Exhibit Design and Development: A Panel Presentation and Discussion
IAAAM 2005
Leslie Dalton

Sharks! Frogs! Jellies! The titles of our new exhibits scream off of billboards, magazine and newspaper pages, radios and TV ads. Attracting people to our facilities has never been just about a return on mission--return on investment has always been a significant driver as well. With these two sometimes conflicting goals in mind, the dynamic and evermore complicated exhibit development process has increasingly important roles for veterinarians to play.

Regardless of how well designed an exhibit is, strip away the glitzy graphics and what do you find? Animals. It's not surprising that those in our profession focus their attention on the residents of new exhibits. Yet veterinarians who work in this arena find quickly that their practice is about much more than just medicine and animals. There is an important role for clinicians in everything from "blue sky" exhibit design to "value engineering"; from animal selection, to collection, to de-accession; and from cost containment to animal containment.

This session will highlight emerging exhibit concepts and associated challenges and solutions. Panelists will address specific issues and put context around the role that veterinarians play in the exhibit development process.

Whether working in a small facility, or one that rolls out annual blockbusters, consider how your voice as an aquarium or zoo veterinarian is being heard on these topics:

 Exhibit concept

 Exhibit design

 Story line development

 Lighting and lighting schedule

 Ambient sound management

 Life-support system design and build out

 Schedule of construction, animal acclimation and opening

 System commissioning (testing LSS equipment, seeding filters, establishing test parameters, etc)

 Animal selection

 Animal sourcing

 Quarantine protocols

 Animal holding

 Mixed-species exhibits

 Animal contact programs

 Use of exhibit space for additional programming

 Special events--evening events, catering

 Media events

 Pest management

Speaker Information
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Leslie M. Dalton, BA, DVM
Sea World of Texas
San Antonio, TX, USA