Technology Transfer

Technology Transfer

Technology transfer and education are an intrinsic part of every research and conservation program at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. The scientific staff at the Zoo is engaged in a variety of education programs preparing the next generation of conservation leaders.

Our programs are offered to colleges currently working in conservation, professional staff, graduate and undergraduate students, all in collaboration with universities in Omaha and around the world. These programs can range from focused 10-day tiger immobilization workshops provided to colleagues in Indonesia, Thailand, China and Russia, to more advanced, long-term programs in training, advising and mentoring U.S. and overseas graduate students. In 2005, more than 109 students received training at the Zoo in areas ranging from animal management to research.

Field Programs

Giraffe Genetics Project

Namibia, Uganda (R. Brenneman)
A project to determine and clarify subspecies questions concerning giraffe involving field work and molecular genetics techniques.

Field Biologist Immobilization Training Program

North America (D. Armstrong)
A program to train North American field biologists in techniques of safe anesthesia.

Siberian Tiger Capture Training Project

(D. Armstrong, K. Quigley)
A program to train field biologists and park guards in safe techniques of anesthesia for Siberian tiger field studies and personnel that deal with problem tigers.

Siberian Tiger Field Study

WCS- direct donation of camera traps

Jaguar Field Study

Pro Carnivoros- Brazil- direct donation of camera traps

Western Prairie Fringed Orchid Micropropagation and Reintroduction

(M. From)
A program to determine the most successful techniques for propagation of the Western Prairie Fringed orchid in the laboratory and then to reintroduce plants back to orginal habitat.

Madagascar Project

(E. Louis)
A diversity study of the national parks, special reserves, and strict reserves compared to the non-protected areas of Madagascar. The project utilizing molecular markers is a population genetics, systematics, and ecological monitoring study of the following taxa: Amphibians, Bats, Boas, Carnivores, Chameleons, Geckos, Lemurs, Orchids, Rodents (and Insectivores), Tortoises, and Turtles. An extensive project to examine genetic diversity and in part directed at applying the techniques and information from molecular genetics to the decisions to be made in country in the conservation of these species.

South African Centre for Conservation and Research 

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium maintains a research facility at the Johannesburg Zoo. This facility at the Johannesburg Zoo is the base for a broad based collaborative program active since 1994 involving diverse species and projects. These projects include assisted reproduction studies with lions, cheetahs and other species as well as improved disease management studies intended to reduce the impact of disease on the conservation of wildlife. These projects involve a number of South African collaborators. Examples of some projects are described below. (N. Loskutoff).

Disease Management in Cape Buffalo Through Assisted Reproduction

(N. Loskutoff, D. Armstrong and M. Hofmyer)
This field project in Kruger National Park in South Africa focuses on testing various technique to remove bacteria and viruses from semen as part of a conservation genome resource banking program for free ranging Cape Buffalo. In situ component.

In-vitro Embryo Production and Cryopreservation in African Lions

(N. Loskutoff)
A collaboration between Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the Wag 'n Bietje Private Nature Reserve and the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa to develop assisted reproduction techniques for the conservation of African lions.

Cryobanking Semen from African Elephants for Use in Artificial Insemination Programs

(D. Schmitt, M. Hofmyer and N. Loskutoff)

Elimination of Foot and Mouth Disease Virus and Brucella abortus from the Semen of Infected African Buffalo

(L. Schwalbach and N. Loskutoff)

Monitoring Ovarian Activity via Fecal Hormone Enzyme Immunoassay and Sperm Cryopreservation in the African Lion (Panthera leo)

(H. Stander, N. Loskutoff, et.al)

Training

Equipping professionals in range countries with the skills and knowledge they need for conservation programs at home is an intrinsic part of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium's conservation philosophy. The training of peers and students in specific techniques in reproductive physiology, genetics or veterinary medicine is often provided on-site at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, as well as in country. Individual programs are more focused and intensive. These programs range from graduate and professional school students learning detailed protocols in their field of interest to professionals currently working on conservation projects in their own countries who want to learn specific techniques that we use at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Since 1990 training has been provided at the zoo or in-country for over 100 people from the following countries as well as a large number of people from within the United States. 

  • Australia: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Chile: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • China: An ongoing multi-faceted program which has included work with conservation organizations involved in preserving the South China tigers as wells as work with the Giant Panda.

  • Colombia: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Ecuador: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Germany: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Indonesia: A multiyear, multidisciplinary collaborative training program was carried out with Indonesian zoos and government agencies and multiple US collaborators to assist the country in developing more effective Sumatran Tiger conservation programs.

  • Kenya: Investigation of the genetic impact of game ranch practices on impala, gazelle, zebra and giraffe.

  • Korea: A long term program in assisting zoos and universities to develop a conservation infrastructure in country primarily through training in veterinary medicine, molecular genetics and animal management.

  • Laos: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Malaysia: Support of programs to protect Indochinese tigers in their natural habitat.

  • Mexico: Reproductive study of the Mexican Montane rattlesnake.

  • Namibia: A study of genetic differences between populations of giraffe, addressing questions of subspeciation and speciation on a molecular level.

  • Philippines: Assistance in developing a captive conservation plan for the tamaraw.

  • Puerto Rico: Captive propagation and reintroduction of the Puerto Rican crested toad.

  • Russia: Multiple in-situ and ex-situ training programs in immobilization and medical management of the Amur Tiger enabling wildlife biologists in the animals' range to capture and deal with problem tigers in villages and other human habitations without destroying the animal.

  • Scotland: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Spain: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Sweden: Training of students in conservation tools.

  • Thailand: Multiple programs have been carried out with Thailand including Masterplanning and developing assisted reproduction protocols in captive gaur.

  • Uganda: A study of genetic differences between populations of giraffe, addressing questions of subspeciation and speciation on a molecular level.

  • Vietnam: A program carried out to assist biologists in formulating a conservation program for the kouprey as well as other wild cattle species. Masterplanning for Saigon Zoo.

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium also offers internal expertise in a multitude of fields, which can enhance the educational outreach for both students and scientists within Nebraska and visiting researchers. Zoo employees who serve as Association of Zoos and Aquariums program leaders and studbook keepers or have assumed advisory roles are as follows:
 

Unmanaged Species - Registrar

 

  • Sulawesi Macaque - Christie Eddie, Since 2004

Red Program Leader and Studbook Keeper

  • Madagascar Buttonquail - Kendal Wessel, Since 2011

  • Ringed Map Turtle and Yellow-Blotched Map Turtle - Sara Plesuk, Since 2011

  • Crocodile Monitor - Andy Reeves, Since 2013

Yellow SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

  • Fossa - Mandi Krebs, Since 2005

  • Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine - Lindsay North, Since 2009

  • Galapagos Tortoise - Dr. Edward Louis

  • Pygmy Hippopotamus - Christie Eddie, Since 2012

  • Atlantic Puffin - Stephanie Huettner, Since 2013

TAG Chair

  • Prosimian - Christie Eddie, Since 2013

TAG Vice Chair

  • Felid - Dr. Cheryl Morris

Green SSP Vice Coordinator

  • King Penguin - Stephanie Huettner, Since 2013

Steering Committee Members

  • Old World Monkey TAG, New World Monkey TAG, Small Carnivore TAG, Otter SSP - Christie Eddie

  • Galliformes TAG - Bob Lastovica

  • Penguin TAG - Stephanie Huettner

  • Lizard TAG, Crocodilian TAG, Cryptobranchid Interest Group - Jessi Krebs

  • Aquatic Invertebrate TAG (Secretary) - Mitch Carl

  • Pangolin, Aardvark, Xenarthra TAG - Lindsay North

Advisory Positions

  • Veterinary Advisor for Amur and Generic Leopards (Yellow SSP) - Dr. Julie Napier

  • Veterinary Advisor for all Tiger SSPs - Dr. Doug Armstrong

  • Education Advisor for Penguin TAG - Elizabeth Mulkerrin

  • Reproductive Advisor for Okapi and Gorilla SSPs - Dr. Naida Loskutoff

  • Nutrition Advisor for Felid TAG - Dr. Cheryl Morris