The Zoological Education Trust is dedicated to develop interests in Zoology. At every Annual Meeting, ZET organizes discussion panels and invites well recognized zoologists to talk about new trends in Zoology. The target publics are mainly the youth and the public in general interested in these matters.
The Zoological Education Trust, or ZET, was registered in Canada as a charitable organization on May 1, 1986. Annual reports are filed with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. It is a small but active charity devoted to advancing Zoology in Canada.
Excerpted from the constitution of ZET… “The objectives of ZET are to promote the advancement and public awareness of all branches of zoological science, including the relationship of man to the environment in which we live and assessment of the responsibilities of man to wild and domestic animals. In the pursuit of these objectives, ZET will endeavor to:
- Generate funds by means of public appeals, subscriptions and any other fund-raising method available to a registered charity;
- Organize and sponsor lectures, publications, seminars, workshops, scholarships, grants, media reports and any other activity that is consistent with the attainment of the objectives of ZET;
- Retain a close working relationship with the Canadian Society of Zoologists (CSZ) but to function independently of that organization.”
Although ZET operates on a small budget, it works towards meeting its objectives through a variety of programs. These mainly include public lectures and workshops, and a number of annual awards, prizes and scholarships recognizing excellence in the pursuit of zoological knowledge. There is also some support made available to conferences on a zoological theme, particularly those that stress student involvement, in an effort to stimulate interest and careers in zoological sciences.
Many of the activities of ZET are conducted in association with the CSZ because of the overlapping objectives of the two organizations, but any program that advances the objectives of ZET is considered by the Board of Trustees.
Announcements for ZET awards appear from time to time in the CSZ Bulletin, in registration materials for the annual meeting of the CSZ, and on the CSZ web site. The CSZ web site contains details on eligibility, application procedures and deadlines.
Several awards are made in conjunction with the annual meeting of the CSZ. The Fry Medal (medal, scroll, expenses) is presented annually to a Canadian zoologist who has made an outstanding contribution to knowledge and understanding of an area of Zoology. The T. W. M. Cameron Outstanding Ph. D. Thesis Award recognizes the author of an outstanding Ph. D. thesis in Zoology submitted to a Canadian university within the previous year. At each Annual Meeting of the Society, the Hoar Award recognizes the best student oral presentation, the Helen Battle Award recognizes the best student poster presentation, the Bryan Hall Prize recognizes the best student presentation in the field of comparative morphology and development, the George Holeton Prize recognizes the best student presentation in the field of comparative physiology and biochemistry, the Cas Lindsey Prize recognizes the best student presentation in the field of ecology, evolution and ethology, and the Murray Fallis Prize recognizes the best student presentation in the field of parasitology.
Other awards are more general in nature. The Canadian Society of Zoologists Student/PDF Research Grant is open to students and post-doctoral fellows attending a Canadian university, to assist with expenses incurred during collaborative visits to conduct zoological research at other laboratories, research facilities, field stations or sites. It is intended to foster enhanced research opportunities beyond those in the student’s core program. The Leo Margolis Scholarship is open to any Canadian registered in a graduate studies program at a Canadian university, whose research is in the field of fisheries biology. A Regional Conference Support Program provides support to conferences of a zoological nature that primarily involve undergraduate and graduate students.
Two Public Awareness Prizes are available. A Public Education Award recognizes excellence in public education in zoology. As encouragement for CSZ members to directly participate in educating the public about zoology, there is also recognition for the Best issue-driven popular press article by a CSZ member on environmental, biological or zoological issues and appearing in a newspaper or periodical readily available to the public.
Public Lectures and Workshops
ZET sponsors annual public lectures or workshops, usually held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the CSZ. Examples:
- Brock Fenton gave a public lecture on bats at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario in 2002.
- John Acorn, the “Nature Nut”, spoke to a packed house at the Yates Theatre in Lethbridge, Alberta in 2001.
- Sarah Adamowicz, Tom Herman and Tom Moon teamed up to discuss careers in Zoology with students at the Sir James Dunn Academy in St. Andrews, New Brunswick in 2000.
ZET has also sponsored workshops of a more scientific nature on many “hot topics” or emerging trends in Zoology, such as restoration of damaged ecosystems, environmental endocrine disruptors, the role of computers in zoology and zoological education.
Collectively, lectures and workshops such as these have presented a zoological message to hundreds of people from the general public.
The ZET Board of Trustees
ZET is administered by a board of trustees comprising the executive members of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, and other appointees at the discretion of the chair. The Board considers suggestions received from the public, or from the council of the CSZ, for activities to further the objectives of ZET.
Funding and Fundraising
Some awards are funded through annual grants from the CSZ to ZET, but most expenses are met by private donations and interest income from endowed funds.
ZET operates on an annual budget of about $6,000. The Trust prides itself on operating efficiently, and making the most of its small budget. It is run by volunteers and most administrative expenses are covered through the CSZ. In fact, from 1999-2003 over 98% of expenses went directly to the above-listed awards and programs.
As a registered charity, ZET issues official receipts for income tax purposes for donations.
Most will find it convenient to make a donation on their annual CSZ membership renewal form, but donations can be sent to the CSZ Treasurer at any time. These donations can be targeted towards specific award funds, or simply to general revenues.
Any questions concerning ZET, including suggestions for programs to fund, should be directed to the CSZ Secretary.