NAG Bylaws

Nutrition Advisory Group Bylaws

Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Nutrition Advisory Group (NAG) BYLAWS – HISTORY

  • Original document 1993
  • Revision generated from 2007 Steering Committee (SC) meeting
  • Comments from September 2008
  • New review began March 2010
  • Completed September 2011
  • Sent out January 2012 to the general NAG membership but had more discussion on rotation of members on SC and officer position due to objections from membership. Decided to send out a survey and have membership complete then develop updates based on that.  This took place in the spring of 2012.
  • In January 2022, the Steering Committee discussed and agreed to remove reference to the Treasurer position, as the NAG does not manage any financial resources (financial resources managed by ZWNF).

 Functions of the NAG Steering Committee

  • Champion the primary goals and objectives of the general membership (listed on
  • Liaise with other groups and organizations on behalf of the NAG
  • Make decisions concerning the NAG and its activities
  • Coordinate and disseminate information

 Steering Committee (SC)

  • 9 members that are elected by the NAG active general membership.
  • 5 members must be nutritionists employed by AZA accredited zoos for the specific purpose of a nutritionist
  • No more than 4 non-zoo related personnel may serve on the SC simultaneously
  • Must be active full members of the NAG
  • Five members that are the non-officer positions serve 3 year terms – elected by the NAG membership unless they are elected to an officer position.
  • At end of the term those whose positions rotate off will be voted on by the active general membership.  Those rotating off can be re-nominated and serve again.
  • The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary are the officer positions on the SC.  These positions are voted on by the other members of the SC and follow a 6 year term from the date of election.  If an existing SC member is voted to an officer position during their term, that 6 years are added from the time of election.
  • Elections for the SC and any vacant officer positions will take place in sequence, such that newly voted SC members are eligible immediately for vacant officer positions.
  • Must have institutional support to ensure institution understands expectations of a SC position including attendance at 1 meeting annually.
  • 3 officers
    • Chair – must be a zoo nutritionist at an AZA accredited institution
      • Must be a member of the SC
      • Must have institutional approval for serving this capacity
      • Is elected by the SC.
      • Primary coordinator and facilitator for the NAG SC and general membership.
      • Liaisons with AZA structure including but not limited to Animal Health (AH), Animal Welfare Committee (AWC), Behavior Advisory Group (BAG), Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee (WCMC), etc.  Provide an annual report to our supervising committee (AH).
      • Facilitates NAG SC representation at AZA national meeting annually.  Attendance is in part supported by the NAG ($1000).
      • Runs the NAG reporting session at AZA annually.
      • Suggested AZA membership at the professional fellow level to facilitate serving on board appointed committees as well as for voting privilege (minimal requirement is membership).
      • Receives requests from SSP/TAGs for nutrition advisors and forwards to Vice Chair updates on status of nutrition advisors.
    • Vice Chair
      • Must be a member of the SC.
      • Must have institutional approval for serving this capacity.
      • Is elected by the SC.
      • Assists Chair coordinating and facilitating for the NAG.
      • Facilitates links with AZA structure working with the Chair
      • Coordinates the review process, animal care guidelines, and links with AWC on AC guidelines.
      • Maintains Nutrition Advisor list.
      • Assists the Chair as needed.
      • Does not automatically replace the Chair, but is not excluded from the elections to the Chair position if open.
    • Secretary
      • Must be a member of the SC.
      • Must have institutional approval for serving this capacity.
      • Is elected by the SC.
      • Assists Chair coordinating and facilitating for the NAG
      • Records meeting notes.  Upon chair approval, circulates notes to SC and general membership as needed.
      • Keeps a manual of NAG policies and procedures
      • Assists as needed with NAG mailings/emails and other communications
      • Maintains the historical documents of the NAG
  • Website Manager (hereafter, Webmaster)– Under the direction of the SC the Webmaster is an appointed/volunteer position that is responsible for all aspects of web design and up keep including but not limited to the following:
  1. Web Budget: The Webmaster will prepare a budget annually for the NAG including all expected expenditures for the following Fiscal Year.  The SC will approve those portions of the budget deemed important and fundable by the NAG.  The web-master will keep an accounting of all web expenditures.
    1. Payment for host site is due in April and is currently $240.00 (as of 09/2011).  The webmaster is responsible for ensuring the host site is paid on time and submitting proof of payment to the NAG Treasurer.
    2. The domain name is currently renewed at the time the host site is paid.  The webmaster will be responsible for ensuring the domain name remains active regardless of the host site.
    3. The webmaster will recommend software and software upgrades to the SC.  Approved software upgrades will be incorporated into the budget.

The webmaster will recommend training for self and appropriate SC members to stay current with software package and improve the quality of the site for the general membership.  The SC will approve training deemed appropriate and fundable by the NAG.  Approved training will be incorporated into the budget.

  1. Web design: The webmaster is responsible for all website design, design changes and updates.  The webmaster will present site designs, changes and updates to the steering committee for approval prior to posting.    When possible, participation from the general membership will be solicited for website design changes.
  2. Posting of information: Information posting: The webmaster is responsible for posting all information approved by the steering committee in the appropriate web location.  Responsible steering committee members must submit documents in a post ready format.
  3. Removal of information: Information removal: The Webmaster is responsible for the removal of outdated information.  With the exception of job postings and personal membership information-requested by the member, the webmaster will obtain SC approval prior to the removal of information from the site.
  1. SC approval:  The Webmaster will provide, one week in advance of steering committee monthly meeting (call), all web changes/updates.  The SC will be responsible for reviewing all site changes and voting on approval as part of the monthly meeting (call).  Approval for site changes will be made by attending SC members. Members who will be absent for the monthly meeting but would like to have their vote counted must make their vote known to the NAG Chair prior to the monthly meeting.
  1. SC website access:  The web master will have direct access to the website and will hold the user license.    This position will be responsible for website oversight and the posting of information.  A backup person or persons will be designated in the event the webmaster is absent.  SC members may not make postings in lieu of the webmaster.  All posting must be made by the active webmaster except under special circumstance.

Nominating Committee

  • 3 members
  • Nominating Committee Chair and 2 committee members
    • Chair must be a member of the SC
    • Maintain membership list including providing updates to website manager
    • Solicits nominations and coordinates voting for steering committee members
    • Receives applications, based on membership criteria, forwards status to SC


  • General member responsibilities
    • All members are encouraged to do the following:
      • Become a nutrition advisor or co-advisor for SSP/TAG
      • Participate in subcommittees/working groups
      • Serve on SC if meet qualifications
  • Full
    • Demonstrated interest and commitment to zoo animal nutrition (as evidenced by):
      • Designation as a nutritionist in a zoo
      • Regular attendance at nutrition meetings
      • Provision of nutritional advice to zoos/collaboration on projects with zoos
    • Expertise in nutrition/diet management:
      • Advanced degree
      • Demonstrated expertise in zoo or wildlife nutrition/dietary husbandry/feeding management
    • No substantial financial interest in animal food manufacturing
      • Individuals who possess significant interests in animal feed manufacturing, who perform consulting for feed manufacturers or those employed by feed companies, will be considered on a case by case basis as to the extent of their financial interest.  These applicants may be considered for full corporate membership if their financial interests are deemed by the committee to present a possible conflict of interest.
    • Approved by nominating committee
      • Those not meeting membership criteria, including students with an interest in the field, or those who have limited time to commit, are eligible for Affiliate status
    • Involvement in fulfilling the mission of the NAG
      • Must be an advisor or co-advisor of at least one SSP/TAG and/or a member of at least one subcommittee within the NAG itself to be considered active.
      • Only active, full can be nominated for the SC
      • Only active, full members are considered voting
      • Can head working groups, subcommittees, etc.
      • Those who are interested in the field of zoo and wildlife nutrition, but not necessarily in the service role of the NAG can join as inactive members.
    • Those who do not meet all of these criteria may be considered for affiliate or corporate membership, as appropriate.
  • Affiliate
    • Does not fulfill full membership criteria
    • Are not voting members of the NAG, nor are eligible for positions within the SC
  • Corporate
    • Can be involved as an advisor/co-advisor of SSP/TAG and/or as a member of subcommittees within the NAG itself
    • Are not voting members of the NAG, nor are eligible for positions within the SC.
    • Individuals who possess substantial financial interest in animal food manufacturing.
  • Status – any of the membership designations can be active or inactive
    • Active NAG member
      • Are involved as an advisor/co-advisor to an SSP/TAG


  • Are on an active subcommittee
  • Only actives members can vote in elections for steering committee members
  • Inactive
    • Are interested in zoo and wildlife nutrition but do not have the time to commit to being advisors or part of a subcommittee within the NAG
    • Are not voting members of the NAG, nor are eligible for positions within the SC
    • If fulfill active criteria, should contact nominating subcommittee to change status