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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Appendix A SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL PARK STRATEGIC PLAN SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL PARK STRATEGIC PLAN May 28, 2004
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Table of Contents INTRODUCTION 3 COMPONENTS OF THE PLAN 6 MISSION 7 CORE VALUES 7 TEN-YEAR VISION 8 GOALS AND PERFORMANCE MEASURES Ten-Year Vision 9 Animal Management 10 Science 12 Education 14 Public Impact 16 Financial Strength 18 Staff and Organization 20 Facilities 22 STRATEGIES 24 APPENDICES A. Strategic Planning Process 25 B. Timeline for Strategic Planning 27 C. Input and Feedback Sessions 30 REFERENCES 41 GLOSSARY 44
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Introduction The first bold vision A bold vision led to the founding of the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in 1889 in Washington, DC. The Zoo was to be “a home and a city of refuge for the vanishing races of the continent,” and its mission “the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people.” Beginning with a few bison, a pair of borrowed elephants, and a few keepers, the Zoo grew to be a beautiful 167-acre urban park designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, along with a 3,200-acre research center in rural Virginia, and dozens of field sites around the world. The national collection of animals now includes nearly 2,500 individuals of 400 species, many that are quickly “vanishing” from the wild. Hundreds of staff care for the animals, exhibits and grounds, educate the public, and study animals and their habitats. The Zoo has the distinction of being the only zoo in this country that represents a partnership between the federal government and the private sector. Its membership and support organization, Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), has more than 30,000 family members and 1,000 volunteers, and generates funds for Zoo programs. The Zoo has been internationally recognized for its exhibits and animal collections as well as for its science, conservation, and education programs. Despite its long tradition and impressive history, the Zoo faces considerable challenges as it enters the 21st century. For the most part, its facilities are old. Financial investment has been insufficient for several decades, and operating budgets are lean. As a result, the number of staff and animals declined for many years. The Zoo’s science and conservation activities are reflected in just a handful of exhibits. While changes are underway to reverse these trends and rejuvenate the organization, the Zoo needs direction. Staff and supporters recognize that now is the time to develop a comprehensive, forward-looking strategic plan. A vision for the “nation’s zoo” In the broadest sense, the strategic plan for the Zoo hinges on two questions: What does it mean to be the “nation’s zoo?” And, what are the key elements of a “great” zoo? The strategic plan also builds upon the original vision: The Zoo’s founders understood that threatened species
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report needed a place of refuge. This need is even more urgent today: Animals and their habitats are disappearing while scientists continue to gather necessary information to conserve biodiversity. The problem is global, and the list of endangered species is growing. To be the “nation’s zoo” means setting and meeting the highest standards for animal care and exhibition, zoo-based education and research programs, national and international professional training programs, and field-based research and conservation activities. The Zoo’s animals are national treasures - like the Hope Diamond and the Star-Spangled Banner – and yet they are not one-of-a-kind objects. They serve as ambassadors for their species in the wild. Thus, the stewardship responsibility of the Zoo extends beyond its front gates. Staff reach out to the whole world, working to inspire and teach others to discover and understand animals. The National Zoo is considered by many to be among the great zoos of the world. Great zoos motivate people to care about animals and to take action to help them, rather than harm them. They collaborate with each other, and with non-governmental organizations involved in wildlife management, science and conservation all over the world. The Zoo is highly respected for its scientific discoveries, multidisciplinary research programs, and commitment to training the next generation of zoo and conservation professionals. Great zoos create exhibits that provide animals with modern homes, inspire and educate visitors. They provide naturalistic habitats that encourage natural behavior and breeding, and allow visitors the opportunity to see animals they might never see in the wild. Great exhibits also serve as laboratories, where long-term studies of animal health, reproductive biology and behavior yield results that help their management and conservation. Many of the National Zoo’s newer exhibits – Amazonia, Think Tank, Golden Lion Tamarins, Giant Panda Conservation Habitat, and the emerging Asia Trail – are excellent examples. Zoos have the potential to shape public opinion regarding the need to protect wildlife. If not for zoos, many people would never experience wild animals first-hand or develop the personal bonds that touch hearts and inspire minds. Just as all zoos strive to be great stewards of the animal world, the nation’s zoo must lead by example.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report The planning process After months of careful preparation, strategic planning began in December 2003 with the formation of a 12-member planning team. The team members, nominated by their peers, represented the wide range of functions, tenures, and demographics of the Zoo’s large and diverse staff. During the next five months, the team crafted the strategic plan that follows. The planning team did not work in a vacuum; it received extensive feedback from both internal staff and external stakeholders, including the public and members of the professional zoo, animal science and conservation communities. As a result, this plan belongs to the whole Zoo and its various stakeholders. (For details about the strategic planning process, see the Appendices and References.) This strategic plan is designed to firmly establish the National Zoological Park in its pre-eminent role as the nation’s zoo and an international leader in zoo-based science and conservation. It outlines a challenging journey that will require a sustained effort on the part of many. And it includes performance measures designed to drive change and track the Zoo’s accomplishments. The nation’s zoo begins its second century with a new, bold vision – a vision with a global reach, inspired by the success of the first 100 years and crafted by the Zoo’s dedicated staff and supporters.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Components of the Plan Strategic Plan: The strategic plan is a roadmap for the future that addresses where the Zoo is going and how it will get there. Mission: The mission is the Zoo’s reason for being; what would be lost if it did not exist. Core Values: The core values are the set of beliefs that drive everyday behavior at the Zoo. Ten-Year Vision: The 10-year vision is what Zoo staff and supporters really want to achieve -an exciting, compelling, and attainable future state. One- and Five-Year Goals: The one- and five-year goals are a description of results to be achieved at the Zoo by a particular point in time. Strategies: The strategies are the basic approach to achieving the Zoo’s goals. Rather than develop strategies for every goal, the plan includes a small set of strategies, each of which addresses multiple goals; the limited number of strategies is intended to keep the strategic plan tightly focused. Performance Measures: The performance measures are the indicators used to determine if progress is being made toward the Zoo’s vision; these are the benchmarks that will be used during the first year of implementation of the plan. At the end of one year, the measures will be assessed based upon the starting point and the degree to which they drive change and reflect accomplishments. As unit plans are developed during implementation, each will include additional performance measures to determine progress within the unit toward the vision.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Mission We are the nation’s zoo, providing leadership in conservation science. We connect people with wildlife through exceptional animal exhibits, explore solutions through science-based programs, build partnerships worldwide, and share our discoveries. We educate and inspire diverse communities so they become part of this commitment to celebrate, study, and protect animals and their habitats. Core Values UNITY We are one Zoo. Our various organizations and departments work in unity toward a common vision. CONSERVATION We are environmentally responsible. Our actions, practices, and programs contribute to conservation. STAFF We invest in our staff. We value diversity and provide the resources, training, and skills needed to excel in our jobs. Every role is clearly defined and respected. COMMUNICATION We communicate effectively. We ensure that the voices of our staff are heard and information is shared throughout all levels of the Zoo. EXCELLENCE We are professionals. We set the highest standard in caring for our animals and providing service to our visitors, communities, colleagues, and collaborators. We take responsibility for our actions. FUN We make being at the Zoo fun. Our positive attitudes contribute to an enjoyable experience for everyone.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Ten-Year Vision It takes people to save wildlife. We inspire, train, and empower each generation to care for animals and conserve wildlife. Our impact is global. IN 10 YEARS: As visitors enter our urban oasis, they will be inspired by state-of-the-art, innovative animal exhibits that reflect our commitment to animal care, science, and public engagement. Exhibits will connect visitors with the natural world and immerse them in our real-life stories of wildlife conservation. Our outstanding volunteer, education, and international outreach programs will enable people to learn more and take a personal role in the future of wildlife. Our professional internships and training programs will be sought-after by highly motivated individuals, locally and internationally. Our apprentice programs will attract people from diverse backgrounds to learn the professions of a modern zoo. The National Zoo’s facility in Front Royal, Virginia will be fully utilized as a center of excellence in science-based conservation. We will be renowned for developing leaders in the fields of zoo management, veterinary care, conservation science, and education. The National Zoo will be known for its long-term commitment to capacity building and training. We will share science-based tools and information, empowering local communities to conserve habitats and animals. Our staff will be respected as leaders and mentors in zoo and conservation sciences nationally and internationally.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Ten-Year Vision It takes people to save wildlife. We inspire, train, and empower each generation to care for animals and conserve wildlife. Our impact is global. Performance Measures: Vision Number of exhibits (new and renewed) based on agreed-upon standards for animal care, scientific accuracy, interpretation and exhibitry. Number of training programs offered by Zoo staff covering topics related to zoo-related management, conservation and wildlife issues at various levels (K-12, undergraduate, graduate, professional). Number of certificates awarded to staff and others trained at the Zoo or by Zoo staff in zoo-related management, veterinary care, conservation science and education through internships, apprenticeships, fellowships, residencies. Percentage of staff serving in professional leadership positions or receiving recognition from professional organizations. Number of presentations and publications that connect and inform the general public and the professional community about Zoo animals and science. Number of sites (states/countries/communities) where there is a continued Zoo presence.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Goal Category#1: Animal Management ONE-YEAR GOALS We have prepared our existing animal data to transition our databases to the new Zoological Information Management System. Cross-departmental interactions for animal management are standard practice and are effective. Roles, responsibilities and decision-making processes are clear. Our collection and exhibit planning process has been established as one of our core management tools, guiding decision making on species acquisitions and animal movements/relocations. This process is criteria-driven, cross-departmental, expeditious, and transparent. FIVE-YEAR GOALS We use comprehensive, integrated electronic record-keeping systems. Our animal collection is a dynamic expression of our conservation, science, animal management, and education priorities. Our animals thrive in environments that are consistently well maintained and renewed through effective use of resources and animal management practices. Our staff are valued as experts and innovators in the practices of animal health sciences, husbandry, and management. We have expanded our training programs in animal management in two ways: 1) by formalizing staff development, and 2) by increasing internships, apprenticeships, and residencies. These programs attract professionals from around the globe and cultivate future leaders.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report We have capitalized on our Front Royal land and facilities to expand our collaborations in animal management and conservation with other organizations. Performance Measures: Animal Management Number of staff participating in Species Survival Plans (SSPs), Taxon and Veterinary Advisory Groups (TAGs, VAGs) and other related national/international organizations. Percentage of scheduled preventive medicine procedures accomplished monthly. Number of sick/injured animals NOT receiving curatorial and veterinary attention within 24 hours of problem reported. Percentage of decisions about animal moves and species acquisition made based upon collection plan that reflects integration of science, education, exhibit and facility priorities.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDER INPUT SESSION: AZA AND SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY WEB-BASED SURVEY (FEB 6-8, 2004) Comments solicited by email using a dedicated list-serve: Mission What do you particularly like about the National Zoo's mission? What else (if anything) is needed to express the National Zoo's unique value? What does it mean to be 'national'? What would be lost if the National Zoo didn't exist? Ten-Year Vision What can you imagine NZP being in ten years? What would you physically see or hear about? What positive impact, achievements, stature would be attributed to the National Zoo (in the world of conservation; in the zoo world; in your world)? What would be a “ten-times bolder” vision than your answer to the previous question? What seems impossible now, but if it were possible, it’s the future you want to see for the National Zoo? How could a bold future for the National Zoo positively support you in your goals? NUMBER OF SESSIONS HELD: 1 OVER 4 DAYS TOTAL NUMBER OF ATTENDEES: 40
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report NZP STAFF FEEDBACK #1 ON DRAFT MISSION, CORE VALUES, VISION STATEMENT (FEB 23-25, 2004) For each component of the draft Mission, Core Values and Ten-Year Vision: Please rate the component on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 = "Don't like it at all"; 10 = "Wow!" What do you really like? (Please do not change.) What needs more work? (We like the direction you're going, but please go further.) What do you not like? (Here is why.) (For the Core Team: Showstoppers – is there anything that the core team can not live with?) NUMBER OF SESSIONS HELD: 3 TOTAL NUMBER OF ATTENDEES: 100
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report NZP STAFF INPUT SESSION #2: FIVE YEAR GOALS, STRATEGIES, PERFORMANCE MEASURES (MAR 17-19 2004) Identify goal categories Input question: To get ‘half way there’, what are the four to six general categories we need to succeed in over the next five years? Describe strengths and weaknesses for each category Input Question: what are our current strengths and weaknesses in each of these categories? Performance Measures Mini tutorial on performance measures (5-7 min.) Input Question: What are at least two to three ways meaningful ways you could measure progress and/or success in each of your categories? Closing Input Question: How can we immediately implement our values? (Individuals, units, system-wide) NUMBER OF SESSIONS HELD: 5 TOTAL NUMBER OF ATTENDEES: 110
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report NZP STAFF FEEDBACK ON GOALS AND STRATEGIES (APR 23-27, 2004) For each Strategy and Goal: Please rate the component on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 = "Don't like it at all"; 10 = "Wow!" What do you really like? (Please do not change.) What needs more work? (We like the direction you're going, but please go further.) What do you not like? (Here is why.) (For the Core Team: Showstoppers – is there anything that the core team can not live with?) NUMBER OF SESSIONS HELD: 4 TOTAL NUMBER OF ATTENDEES: 90
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report References PUBLICATIONS Collins, Jim. 1999. Turning Goals into Results: The Power of Catalytic Mechanisms. Harvard Business Review, July – August: 70-82. Diebold, Ed. 2004. Why we must have Collection Plans? The Impact of Collection Planning on AZA Institutions. Included as part of the AZA Development Program, Institutional Collection Planning. Hamel, Gary. 1996. Strategy as Revolution. Harvard Business Review, July – August: 69-82. Hutchins, Michael. 2001. Zoo and aquarium animal management and conservation: current trends and future challenges. Zoo Challenger, November. Hutchins, M. and B. Smith. 2001. Characteristics of a world-class zoo or aquarium in the 21st century. Zoo Challenges, Past, Present, and Future. January. Kaplan, Robert S. and David P. Norton. 1996. Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System. Harvard Business Review, January – February. Kaplan, Robert S. and David P. Norton. 1993. Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work. Harvard Business Review, September – October. Kaplan, Robert S. and David P. Norton. 1992. The Balanced Scorecard – Measures that Drive Performance. Harvard Business Review, January-February. Miller, Brian; William Conway, Richard P. Reading, Chris Wemmer, David Wildt, Devra Kleiman, Steven Monfort, Alan Rabinowitz, Beth Armstrong, and Micheal Hutchins. 2004. Evaluating the Conservation Mission of Zoos, Aquariums, Botanical Gardens and Natural History Museums. Conservation Biology, 18(1): 86-93.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Odum, R. Andrew. 2004. Conveying the Message. Included as part of the AZA Development Program, Institutional Collection Planning. Senge, Peter M. 1990. The Leader’s New Work: Building Learning Organizations. Sloan Management Review, 32(1):7-23. REPORTS American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). 2002. Final Report of the Visiting Committee to the Accreditation Commission (CRC), December 2002. American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). 2003. Report of the Visiting Committee to the Accreditation Commission (Rock Creek), January 2003. National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). 2002. Scientific Research at the Smithsonian Institution. National Research Council. 2004. Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo. (Interim Report) National Research Council. 2003. Funding Smithsonian Scientific Research. National Zoological Park (NZP) Science Advisory Group meeting minutes. June 12-13, 2003; July 31 – August 1, 2003; and October 30-31, 2003. Smithsonian Institution Science Commission Report, December 2002.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report OTHER STRATEGIC PLANS REVIEWED: National Audubon Society Conservation International Fujifilm USA Nature Conservancy National Aeronautics and Space Administration San Diego Zoological Society Wildlife Conservation Society Smithsonian Education Strategic Plan, 2004 Smithsonian Institution Strategic Plan, March 2003
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Glossary of Terms Animal Health Sciences – Functions and areas of the Zoo addressing animal health and health assessments including veterinary medicine, pathology and nutrition. Animal Management – All functions and areas of the Zoo focusing on animal well-being. Includes husbandry, enrichment, veterinary medicine, pathology, nutrition, reproductive sciences, behavior and small population management. Boards – The Zoo Advisory board, Friends of the National Zoo board, and Conservation and Research Center Foundation board. Capacity building – To increase the technical and professional skills of people in the U.S. and abroad through a broad range of training activities and through sharing science-based tools and scientific knowledge. Conservation Science – Natural and social science disciplines that advance species and biodiversity conservation through basic and applied research, training, and education. At the Zoo, conservation science includes all programs based on captive and free-ranging animals and their habitats. Cross-departmental – Activities that reach across all of the Zoo’s departments, units and functions. Core Team - The Zoo’s senior management team. Development – Income generating activities focusing on individual donors, corporate donors and gifts. (See also, Fund Raising.)
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Extinction prone – Species that face greater risk of disappearing because of characteristics that make them more susceptible to changes in the environment. These may include species that are only found in a few places, have a large body size, have small populations, are at the top of the food chain levels, or have poor abilities to spread and colonize new areas. Field-based – Research and science programs that are oriented to studying and conserving animals in their natural habitats and that take place in these habitats, rather than in a lab or zoo setting (also called in situ research). FONZ – Friends of the National Zoo. Fund raising – Development activities that focus on generating support from private foundations and private or corporate donors. (See also Development.) Individual Development Plan (IDP) – Training plans, updated annually, developed to encourage professional growth and improve job-related skills of individual employees. Managers – Staff who supervise both people and programs. Master plan – The planning process and document that describes future development of land, facilities and infrastructure at the Zoo; this is the physical expression of its strategic plan. Organization design – Comprehensive term for all of the elements that make up an organization, including: mission, values, vision, goals, strategies, work processes, structure, systems, people, skills, and culture. Organization redesign – The process of analyzing and revising the formal structure of an organization.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Research - Acquisition of new knowledge. Basic and applied investigations or experimentations aimed at the discovery or interpretation of facts. In the case of the Zoo, facts about the biology and conservation of species and their habitats. Revenue-generating activities – All business and membership activities that raise money for the organization: concessions, memberships, camps, parking, gift shops, and special events. Funds generated are typically unrestricted as to purpose. Science -- Science at the Zoo encompasses all activities/programs focusing on the knowledge about the biology of animals in captivity or the wild, based on basic and applied research that deals with observing and testing facts about the biology and conservation of animals and their habitats. Smithsonian Center for Conservation Biology – A proposed Smithsonian-wide science initiative, based at the Zoo’s Front Royal facility, which will address research issues on extinction-prone species. Strategic Planning Team - A team of 12 Zoo staff nominated by their peers to draft the strategic plan based upon multiple rounds of input and feedback with internal and external stakeholders. Supervisors – Staff who oversee people. ZIMS – Zoological Information Management System – a data management system in development by the International Species Information System (ISIS) for the broad zoological community. Zoo – Facilities, staff and functions of Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, Office of Facilities, Engineering and Operations and Friends of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. (Rock Creek and the National Mall), and Front Royal, Virginia.
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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report Zoo-based – Research and science programs that take place in a lab or zoo setting, rather than in animal habitats (also called ex situ research). Zoo-wide – All of the various organizations, departments/units and functions of the Zoo.
Representative terms from entire chapter: