IADISC History 

International Animal Data Information Systems Committee

Representatives from national and regional zoo and aquarium associations (AMACZOOA, ARAZPA, AZA, CAZA, EAZA, FUNPZA, PAAZAB), WAZA, ISIS, and other conservation organizations (SSC’s SIS, BCIS) met 14-16 February 2002 in Costa Rica to discuss further how to organize and coordinate efforts to develop and maintain a global animal information database system that will best meet the needs of the world’s zoological institutions. Delegates to this GADG (Global Animal Data Group) meeting identified the need to form an international committee to further the development of a global zoological information management system (ZIMS). The purpose of this committee will be to provide technical guidance on a project to develop and maintain a comprehensive information system that supports a wide range of animal management and conservation activities associated with zoological institutions (aquariums and zoos) and the zoological community worldwide.

The group suggested that this committee be named IADISC, International Animal Data Information Systems Committee. IADISC will serve as a global mechanism for managing the technical processes necessary to move forward with the planning, design, development, and deployment of a new zoological information management system. In addition, the group agreed that the efforts of AZA’s Animal Data Information Systems Committee (ADISC) be used as the basis for the international project while emphasizing that international participation is necessary to ensure its success.  GADG also recommended that each regional association set up their own ADISC committee to ensure that the animal data management needs of each region are appropriately addressed.

IADISC consists of representatives from each of the regional zoo and aquarium associations who have scientific and/or technical expertise in the care and management of zoological collections. Each region may appoint as many representatives to serve on IADISC as they deem necessary. 

IADISC members coordinate many of the ZIMS project related activities including:

  • Promoting the ZIMS Project and increasing participation

  • Communicating project activities to regional stakeholders

  • Interacting with regional ADISC committees

  • Participating in data standards and system design workshops  

  • Establishing training opportunities to ensure the success of ZIMS

  • Assessing current and future technology capabilities within regions

  • Reviewing technical documentation associated with system design

GADG representatives agreed that Bruce Bohmke, the chair of AZA’s ADISC, should serve as the IADISC Chair until committee membership was formalized and a process for appointing a Chairperson identified.  An IADISC steering committee will also be elected from committee members to facilitate decision-making and administrative processes. The charge of the steering committee is to guide the committee toward the completion of project objectives, ratify strategic project decisions, communicate decisions to regional ADISC members, and serve as a liaison to ISIS, WAZA, and international conservation organizations. The GADG representatives agreed that, although there are aspects of the governance that must evolve, it is important to maintain the momentum of projects begun by other regions. Once IADISC is fully formed and functioning, the purpose of GADG will be met by this more formal committee, and GADG itself was dissolved.