Events – Annual Symposium and Workshops

In 1994, approximately 30 zoo and aquarium Life Support System (LSS) professionals met in Las Vegas to discuss water filtration systems. By sharing ideas and pooling their knowledge, the attendees hoped to benefit individual operators and entire facilities. What started as a meeting for a few individuals turned into an annual symposium attended by over 400 life support operators, water quality technicians, curators, aquarists, researchers, managers and equipment manufacturers.

AALSO has expanded greatly in the last 20 years. The organization now has over 1,000 members, 500 certified operators, and roughly 300 vendor members. These vendor members supply the zoo and aquarium industry with pumps, valves, filters, heat exchangers, sensors, and every other piece of equipment that keep animals and their habitats healthy.

Upcoming Event

March/April 2025
March 29th – April 2nd

Hosted By

Oregon Zoo

The 31th annual AALSO Symposium & Workshops will be hosted by the Oregon Zoo in Portland Oregon and take place March 29th – April 2nd 2025.

Our Past Symposiums & Workshops


Hands-on Training

Our hands-on training sessions cover a wide range of topics between dry workshops that are small group based and the Big Automated Water Loop (B.A.W.L.) workshops that are based on a recirculating 3,000 gallon system. Learn more about our workshops.

Facility Lectures

Themed sessions each day are dedicated to facility lectures. These lectures cover a wide range of topics such as:

New Exhibits and Systems
Exhibit and System Retrofits
Green Practices
Innovative Practices
Life Support Techniques and Equipment
Water Quality Techniques and Equipment
Project Management
System Failures
Veterinary and Animal Health Issues
Diving Operations
Disaster Recovery
Laboratory Best Practices

The symposium provides attendees the opportunity to obtain the following certifications:

Life Support Operator Certification
Level 1, 2, and 3
Water Quality Technician Certification
Level 1, 2, and 3
NSPF CPO, Certified Pool Operator
(additional fee applies)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) 10-hour training
PVC/CPVC Pipe Bonding Certification

Sponsorship Opportunities

Need a little help getting to the Event?

Not able to attend the AALSO Symposium and Workshops due to financial problems? Consider applying for one of our sponsorship opportunities. With the support from a few valued vendors, AALSO offers sponsorship opportunities each year. Any Operator Member can apply for sponsorship to attend the annual Symposium and Workshops. Sponsorship can cover your registration fee, lodging, airfare or everything. Sponsored Members are required to do a presentation in the form of a lecture or poster.