2020 AALSO & RAW Joint Symposium & Workshops

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.

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.

The Host Facility

Host facility is:

The Hotel

  • University Plaza Hotel
  • 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

Book your room HERE

  • If you would prefer calling the hotel at 417-864-7333, please mention AALSO for the group rate. 

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.




The Airports

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

  • United
  • Delta
  • American Airlines
  • Allegiant

Other airports in the area:

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

web Outline Agenda Summary 2020.docx (1)

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

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. “


  • Past Symposia

Agendas, abstracts, and presentations from symposia past. Find More »

  • Application To Host

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