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  • Being a zoo designer is a job that reaches across fields. Many are trained architects, engineers, or landscape architects, but they are not usually biologists, so they’ll collaborate with keepers, ecologists, and specialists on exhibit designs. They take into account everything from the personality of the individual animals to the "story arc" as a visitor walks through an exhibit. The designers also have to make sure exhibits meet the USDA’s safety and welfare standards, which are required of all institutions that have animals on display, and the more stringent guidelines from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which detail exhibit specifications for accredited zoos and set the tone of modern zoo keeping philosophy. "These projects are very complex, so it helps to be able to apply these different disciplines seamlessly," says Mario Campos, a partner at Jones & Jones, an architecture firm based in Seattle.
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