2021 Symposium & Workshops Pittsburgh

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.

October 2021

Hosted By

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Pittsburgh

Sorry this event is over, but we look forward to seeing you next year!

The 27th Annual Aquatic Animal Life Support Operators Symposium and Workshops will be hosted by Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Registration will include access to:

  • All workshops, lectures and AALSO Exams
  • Hot breakfast and lunch Monday – Wednesday
  • Appetizers at the Ice Breaker Sunday Night
  • Wednesday Certification Banquet.
Event Registration

Register for the 2021 Symposium

You must be a current AALSO Operator Member before registering as an Attendee for the 2021 Symposium & Workshops.

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

  • Become an AALSO member now by clicking here
  • Registration: Click Here
  • 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 [email protected] to initiate a cancellation or substitution.
Exhibiting and Non-Exhibiting Vendor Registration
  • More information is coming soon!
  • Exhibiting Vendor Registration:
  • Additional Booth Attendees:
  • Non-Exhibiting Vendor:
  • Non-Exhibiting Vendor Day Pass:
  • 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] to initiate a cancellation or substitution.
VENDOR registration and booth selection COMING SOON.

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 [email protected] to initiate a cancellation or substitution.

Facility & Accommodations

This years Host Facility is: Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium

This years hotel is:

Wyndham Grand-Pittsburgh Downtown
600 Commonwealth Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

To book your hotel room at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh Hotel use this link.

If you would prefer calling the hotel at (412) 391-4600, please mention AALSO for the group rate.


2021 Symposium Agenda

Here is the Agenda for the 2021 Symposium. You’ll find registration information as well as the schedule for the Opening Ceremony, various Workshops, Lectures, Presentations and other events taking place over the 4 day event. Feel free to download a pdf of the most recent Agenda by clicking the link below.


2021 Call for Abstracts!

We are still accepting abstracts given the new dates.
Can’t attend in person? We are also accepting virtual presenters.
Presenters get free registration!

Topics should include but are not limited to:
Instrumentation, Green and Sustainable Technologies, Renovations, LSS and Exhibit Design, Innovations, Water Quality, and Dirty Laundry.

New for 2021:
Pandemic Pains: This section of the lecture series will highlight the impacts of the ongoing pandemic and ways we have adapted our procedures and processes in response.

Virtual Presenters: Due to the unpredictable nature of our present social climate, this year we are excited to make possible the opportunity to present virtually. If you have a presentation to share but are currently unable to commit to attending, this may be the option for you!

All verbal presentations will be video recorded by Animal Professional and will be available on their website: https://www.animalprofessional.com/

We thank you all for your participation!

Instructions for Presenters: Following the link below will allow attendees to submit their abstracts for committee review. We ask that completed abstracts be submitted by August 8th, 2021.

Abstract Directions


  • (1) Title: Presentation title should be short and succinct, but clearly represent the theme of the presentation.
  • (2) Authors: Include the full names and affiliations of all authors; with full mailing address, email address, and telephone number.
  • (3) Abstract text: Abstracts should be informative, stating the purpose of the work and summarize significant findings.

They should include an introduction, convey the main point, and outline results and conclusions. Contributions should be scientifically robust. Abstracts should not contain statements such as “this will be discussed”; instead, include information to make the abstract informative. Abstracts must not exceed 150 words.

Submissions & Deadlines


Registration is FREE for all lecture presenters! *One per presentation

Abstract submission deadline: August 8th, 2021.

Notification of acceptance: August 31st, 2021

For Symposium & Workshop information including Hotel, Registration, Attendee & Vendor Information please see Registration section above.

2021 Workshops

The Big Automated Water Loop (BAWL) set up workshop on Saturday the 27th. 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.


Get Certified

AALSO offers a multi-level operator competency acknowledgement program based on exams created and administered by the AALSO Certification Committee.

AALSO believes that it is appropriate to develop recognition criteria and a proficiency program that encourages Zoo and Aquarium institutions to incorporate these training criteria into their operator development program.


* additional fee applies (contact [email protected] for more information)

For workshop related questions: [email protected]
For agenda related questions: [email protected]

Previous Symposiums & Events

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.