2021 Symposium & Workshops Pittsburgh

Symposium Update

We have rescheduled our 2021 Symposium 

The new dates are October 16th – 20th 2021,

and will be hosted by Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Pittsburgh, PA

Operator registration is now open.

Click Here to Register!



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.

The Registration

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

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 treasurer@aalso.org to initiate a cancellation or substitution.

The Host Facility

This years host facility is:

The Hotel

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.  

The Airports

The local airport is the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

The Agenda


2021 Call for Abstracts!

Click Here to Submit your Abstract

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.

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

Abstract submission deadline:  August 8th, 2021.

Notification of acceptance: August 31st, 2021

Send submissions to the following: http://www.123formbuilder.com/form-5685866/form

For Symposium & Workshop information including Hotel, Registration, Attendee & Vendor Information please refer to the AALSO Website: http://new.aalso.org/ 

The 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.

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 2020 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

2022: Albuquerque NM, March 5th – 10th 2022

The Past

Past symposia…

Feedback from previous years:

  • “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 »