Sue Crissey Animal Nutrition Residency Fund – SCARF



Sue Crissey Animal Nutrition Residency Fund Proposal

Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation

April 2017

The ZWNF Sue Crissey Animal Nutrition Residency Fund Grant

 The Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation (ZWNF) in conjunction with the Nutrition Advisory Group (NAG) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) would like to announce a call for zoos interested in participating the in the Sue Crissey Animal Nutrition Residency Fund (SCARF).  This call extends to any AZA-accredited facility that has an experienced zoo nutritionist, appropriate funding, and a well-developed nutrition program with the ability to provide a robust 2 year training experience for a future zoo nutritionist.  At the end of the experience, the resident is expected to be capable of securing a zoo nutritionist position at another AZA accredited facility and the residency will be aimed at that final outcome.

The inclusion of an animal nutrition professional on a zoo’s staff represents a commitment to the best animal welfare, increased operational efficiency, and appropriate management of the financial resources to feed the animal collection.  This program couples cutting edge zoos with nutrition professionals and the next generation of zoo nutritionists.

As part of this program, the ZWNF and the NAG will: (1) assemble an evaluation/selection committee to select a host zoo / nutrition program manager from those applying for the funds (criteria detailed in the following section), (2) provide support for the resident’s salary ($28,000 annually for 2 years), and (3) participate in the development of a training syllabus for the mentee.  If requested, the organizations can also participate with the host nutrition program manager, to select a qualified resident based on criteria mutually agreed upon by the professional organizations and the host zoo.

Criteria for the host zoo and nutrition program manager follow.


In 2006, the Chicago Zoological Society in cooperation with the AZA Nutrition Advisory Group (NAG) established the SCARF fund to acknowledge and honor the significant impact that Sue Crissey had on the field of zoo nutrition during her 15 years of service at Brookfield Zoo. In 2012, the administration of the SCARF fund was transferred to the Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation (ZWNF).  The goal of the Fund continues to be the support of residencies in nutritional studies that will improve the welfare of animals in zoos and aquariums. Since its inception, there have been two residents that have completed the program, and this will be the third.

The Process

1 – Solicitation for qualified INSTITUTIONS to host the residency.

2 – Selection of the qualified training institution by ZWNF/NAG.

3 – Solicitation for qualified resident applicants.

4 – Selection of the next zoo nutrition resident,

The process begins with the selection of a qualified institution and nutrition program manager capable of providing a well-rounded experience for a nutrition resident.  The details of institution/program requirements are listed in the following/attached application materials.

Once an institution and nutrition program manager are selected, that manager utilizes established basic criteria (listed below) to select a qualified nutrition resident to train for the ensuing two year period.

Requirements of a qualified nutrition resident candidate include:

  • an advanced degree in nutrition and/or physiology from an accredited university,
  • a professional commitment to becoming a zoo nutritionist,
  • ability to function professionally in a typical zoo atmosphere
  • prior on site zoo experience is preferred

Guidelines for this program and the application/review process were developed the ZWNF and NAG. Application and background information can be obtained by emailing Mike Maslanka at or Barbara Henry at Each institution application will be evaluated by a panel of ZWNF and NAG leadership, and an award will be made based on the evaluation of that panel with feedback to the applicants. Applications may be submitted electronically or via standard U.S. mail by 2 June 2017 to:  Barbara Henry, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45220.