The Zoological Lighting Institute


The Zoological Lighting Institute seeks to advance the WAZA mission by emphasizing the value of applied photobiology. We are a charitable organization pursuing a set of clear programs to aid this work. Animal welfare, wildlife conservation, education, and even entertainment benefit greatly when light is taken into account, and we are dedicated to helping aquariums and zoos to do so.

The Zoological Lighting Institute (ZLI)’s charitable strategy is to gather, distribute, and advocate for funding necessary for pure and applied photobiology research. Monies raised go to scientific research support.  As a 501 c(3) organization we offer tax rebates to facilitate corporate participation, partnerships for grant applications, and an in-kind donation program to encourage wildlife friendly products and architectural/development strategies. We are dedicated to aligning fundraising with our mission, and to move forward as a trusted partner of the community.

We have established a number of practical offerings to serve you, in partnership with our associated for-profit partners.

ZLI SYMPOSIA© offer events dedicated to creating leaders, aligning host facilities with science in the service of animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Opportunities are organized by ZLI Campaigns, which feature different classes of animals including cetaceans, sharks, bats, bears, sea turtles, insects, and birds. Symposia stress photobiology, and so are linked to community welfare issues such as food security, mental health, reproductive health, developmental biology, urban wildlife, and healthy aging. They maintain a strong commitment to DEIA principles, and so engage issues such as scientific bias, social inequity, along with the challenges of international wildlife management and migration. WAZA facilities are welcome to host a ZLI SYMPOSIA© to consolidate funding and outreach efforts.

ZLI’s ZALA Stations© offer a standardized approach to animal welfare monitoring as a franchised ‘exhibit’. These follow the Five Domains Model of Animal Welfare but prioritize physical light at every step of the way, including mental functioning, nutrition, health (developmental and reproductive), behavior, and individual / species based environmental assessments. ZLI’s ZALA Stations© require a five year commitment, and are available as a franchise opportunity.

ZLI’s AWASH© Design Initiatives offer a unique animal welfare approach to planning, exhibits, and products. Of utmost importance are the reduction of light pollution and the facilitation of bird-friendly design. We offer independent planning and product specification services to put animals first in service to your audiences.

ZLI’s partnership with PHOTODIVERSITY FILMS LLC creative media services can position WAZA aquariums / zoos within an audience’s daily lives. Sponsorships, pre-sales, and creative participation are available within our science driven anime, PSAs, and meaningful character driven documentaries.  Fronted by our ‘Inhumanities’ anime projects, which include The Afterlife of Whales© (cetaceans), The Green Year© (birds), Fear of Faith© (bears), Infertility© (sharks), Roosting Roger© (bats), Appu & Arriba© (sea turtles), and Night Bloomers© (insects), each PHOTODIVERSITY FILMS LLC production seeks to inspire behavior change by deeply respecting audience emotions, perspectives, and situations. WAZA Members and their constituents are eligible to participate at all phases of development from pre-production to distribution and beyond.

ZLI INITIATIVES© also include one-off events such as New Moon Dining in the Dark© and NLET Tours© to help reach out to audiences and reacquaint them with the natural cycles of night and day. Contact us directly to host an initiative!

+01-212-317-2927 (New York)
+01-213-320-2020 (Los Angeles)

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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