The Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents and Volunteers (AZADV) is a growing international not-for-profit association whose purpose is to facilitate communication and the exchange of information between zoo and aquarium docents. AZADV promotes this free exchange of ideas between members to enhance educational presentations and to renew enthusiasm for the invaluable service docents contribute to their individual institutions.
We are an international organization of volunteer zoo and aquarium guides and interpreters. We currently number over two thousand members, including members from Canada. Annual conferences are held in an AZADV Organization member’s city. Click on the conferences link to see where we will be in future years.
The word docent is derived from the Latin word meaning “to teach.” Zoo and Aquarium docents are special volunteers who are committed to educating school children and the general public about our natural world. Docents receive special educational training at their member institutions which prepares them to act as exhibit interpreters, to deliver talks about specific exhibits, display and explain animal biofacts, and to provide zoo and aquarium visitors with valuable wildlife and ecology information. At many of our zoos and aquariums, the docents conduct on-site and off-site educational programs to children and adults on such topics as habitat, endangered species, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, marine mammals, fish, and insects.