2020 AALSO & RAW Joint Symposium & Workshops are CANCELED

Due to travel and meeting restrictions surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic, the AALSO Board of Directors have decided to cancel this years Joint AALSO/RAW Symposium.

Due to the federally mandated international travel restrictions, CDC recommendations on public gatherings and local legislation restricting public gatherings the first ever joint AALSO/RAW will be cancelled.

We appreciate all the hard work the RAW leadership and our committees put in to helping us plan, what was shaping up to be, a tremendous Joint Symposium, but we have to place the health of our membership above all else.

We fully understand there has been a lot of uncertainty in the last couple of weeks and we have answered many of your email inquiries with vagueness. Please understand that the decision to keep our membership safe is of the highest importance but there are also legal and binding contractual obligations that needed to be negotiated and finalized before we could actually publicize any of those decisions. We will provide much more detail on this subject to you all when we are together at our 2021 Symposium in Pittsburgh as it is too much to go into in this format.

Vendors and Attendees alike will receive a communication shortly inquiring how you wish to proceed with refunding expenses paid to date.

If your facility is in a position to help our organization out, we will accept donations of registration fees, or deferments of refunds as credit towards next year, however, we understand that many facilities will have significant financial impacts caused by COVID-19 related closures, and will refund your registration fees. Please understand that $20 annual membership dues are not refundable. Most airlines are offering assistance with flight waivers in light of the situation. You will need to personally cancel hotel reservations you have made and please note you must do this by phone.

Please call 417-864-7333to contact the University Plaza Hotel. Please call 417-862-0070 to contact the Q Hotel & Suites.

We greatly appreciate your patience as we have worked through this process, admittedly it took longer than we would have liked. Feel free to email treasurer@aalso.org with any financial questions or questions in general, you can reach out to info@aalso.org as well.

March 28th – April 1st 2020

The 26th Annual Aquatic Animal Life Support Operators Symposium and Workshops will be a joint symposium with RAW (Regional Aquatic Workshop) and hosted by Wonders of Wildlife. The Symposium will be held in Springfield, Missouri.

Registration will include access to:

  • All workshops, lectures, TAG Meetings and AALSO Exams
  • Hot breakfast and lunch Monday – Wednesday
  • Appetizers at the Ice Breaker Sunday Night
  • Dinner during the Monday evening event at Wonders of Wildlife and the Wednesday Certification Banquet.

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The Registration

You must be a current AALSO Operator Member before registering as an Attendee for the 2020 Joint Symposium & Workshops for taxes and liability purposes.

There will be 4 types of registrations this year, Attendee, Exhibitor, Non Exhibiting Vendor and Guest.

Attendee Registration: OPEN NOW

  • Click here to register NOW
  • Become an AALSO member now by clicking here
  • Early Bird: $395.00 until Sunday March 1st, 2020 at 11:59 PM
  • Late Registration: $495.00 after March 1st 2020
  • Attendee Day Pass: $125.00
  • Attendee Sponsorship Applications will open in the fall with a deadline of February 1st, 2020.
  • This registration is open to all operators, technicians, biologists, aquarists, curators, directors and students
  • Attendee Attendee Cancellation Policy: Attendees can cancel with a full refund up to seven (7) days before the start of the Symposium. Substitutions from the same facility can be arranged without penalty. Please send an email to treasurer@aalso.org to initiate a cancellation or substitution.

Exhibiting and Non-Exhibiting Vendor Registration:

All Booths for 2020 Symposium have been sold!

If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, Click HERE to be taken to the vendor symposium page.

  • For more information regarding booth layout, click here
  • Exhibiting Vendor Registration: $2000 one booth with 2 staff
  • Additional Booth Attendees: $500/attendee
  • Non-Exhibiting Vendor: $1000
  • Non-Exhibiting Vendor Day Pass: $350/day
  • Exhibiting Vendor Cancellation Policy: Exhibiting vendors can cancel with a full refund up to forty-five (45) days before the start of the Symposium. Within forty-five days of the start of the Symposium, registration fees are non-refundable. Please send an email treasurer@aalso.org to initiate a cancellation.
  • Non-exhibiting Vendor Cancellation Policy: Non-exhibiting vendors can cancel with a full refund up to seven (7) days before the start of the Symposium. Substitutions from the same company can be arranged without penalty. Please send an email to treasurer@aalso.org to initiate a cancellation or substitution.

Guest Pass Cancellation Policy:

Guest passes can be canceled with a full refund up to seven (7) days before the start of the Symposium. Please send an email to treasurer@aalso.org to initiate a cancellation or substitution.

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The Host Facility

Host facility is:

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The Hotel –

Our final overflow hotel has sold out. You can find one of the many other hotel offerings in the Springfield area and commute to the 2020 AALSO & RAW Joint Symposium & Workshops programming at the University Plaza Hotel.

  • University Plaza Hotel – SOLD OUT
    • 333 John Q. Hammons Parkway Springfield, Missouri 65806
    • Rates with hotel block code
      • Single King or Double Queen: $121.00/night
      • King Suites: $141.00/night

Overflow Hotels- SOLD OUT

  • The Q Hotel & Suites- SOLD OUT
    • 1117 E St Louis St, Springfield, MO 65806
    • Rates with hotel block code
      • Single King or Double Queen: $141.00/night

  • Tru by Hilton, Springfield Medical Mile SOLD OUT
    • 17 E Elm St, Springfield, MO 65806
    • $140.00/night
      • Call 417-249-1400 EXT:0 and request the AALSO rate

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The Conference Center

  • Springfield Expo Center
  • Located across the street from the University Plaza Hotel
  • The Lecture Hall and Banquet will be held in the Convention Center, and the Exhibiting Vendor Hall, Registration, and AALSO Store can be found in the Expo Center.



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The Airports

The local airport is the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF)

  • United
  • Delta
  • American Airlines
  • Allegiant

Other airports in the area:

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The Agenda

Call for Abstracts

Instructions for Authors

Apply HERE

This year’s agenda will include topics such as:

  • Dirty Laundry
  • LSS Making It Work
  • Water Quality
  • Aquatic Animal Husbandry
  • Animal Enrichment and Conditioning
  • Aquatic Animal Medicals Cases
  • Biological Advancements
  • Dive Support
  • And many more topics!
  • Registration is FREE for all lecture presenters! *One per presentation.
  • Intent to present: October 25, 2019
  • Abstract submission deadline: November 15, 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: December 13, 2019

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The Workshops

The Big Automated Water Loop (BAWL) set up workshop on Saturday the 28th. Sign up to come early and take the BAWL Set up workshop. BAWL Attendees will be able to work on several different components such as actuators, probes, flow meters, sensors, heat exchangers, pumps and many others all while the system is operational. Once again we will offer an assortment of hands on workshops this year. Workshop registration will open one month before the Symposium. We received a lot of great feedback in the workshop surveys and wish to thank all who took the time to provide us with input.

Learn more about our WORKSHOPS

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The Certifications

AALSO offers a multi-level competency acknowledgment program for Attendee’s based on test scores received from exams administered by the AALSO certification committee. AALSO believes that the proficiency program’s recognition criteria is based on practical, on-the-job applications and encourages Zoo and Aquarium institutions to incorporate this training into their employee development program. For more information, please see the Exam Handbook. To purchase the 2019 AALSO Field Guide, visit Amazon here.

  • AALSO LSS Operator Levels 1-3 Certification
  • AALSO Water Quality Technician Levels 1-3 Certification
  • ASME B 31.3 Certification
  • OSHA Certification
  • NSPF Certified Pool Operator Certification- pending class size restrictions*

* additional fee applies (contact treasurer@aalso.org for more information)

For workshop related questions: workshops@aalso.org

For agenda related questions: agenda@aalso.org


The Future

2021: Pittsburgh, PA March 28th – 31st 2021

The Past

Past symposia…

Feedback from this year:

  • “I very much lacked hands-on experience in life support and AALSO provided me that experience in plentiful amounts. The certification exams were an additional bonus that greatly aids my own professional development.”
  • “Workshops were AMAZING. It is one thing to read white papers and look at tech sheets but it’s another thing to be able to do it. The only wish I have is to have more time to do more workshops.”
  • “Really appreciated the “choose your own adventure” pacing of the conference. I felt like I had the opportunity to shape my week’s schedule in a way that best suited what I needed versus getting stuck in one track. Offering the hands-on workshops multiple times through the week was appreciated. “


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[icon icon=”star” color=”white” circle=”#666″]Past Symposia[/icon]

Agendas, abstracts, and presentations from symposia past. Find More » [/one_half] [one_half_last]

[icon icon=”document” color=”white” circle=”#666″]Application To Host[/icon]

AALSO wants your facility to host upcoming symposia. Show off your innovative systems and exhibits your animals call home. Learn More » [/one_half_last]

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