No, you can't pet the pandas!
(offered every other year in odd years)
Principles of Program Animal Management exposes students to the range of opportunities for program animal use and provides students with the knowledge to effectively develop and manage formalized programs utilizing animal ambassadors. By focusing on a range of methods, rather than teaching a single "recommended" approach, students will be better prepared to develop an approach that fits their institution's mission and philosophy. Group exercises and discussions will engage the participants as they share ideas and brainstorm new methods of management practices. Each day's instruction will lead to a final project in which teams will present their original program animal collection, animal handling policy, management practices, animal handling training.
Tuition & Expenses (subject to change)
Early Bird Rates:
$850 for AZA Individual Members
$950 for Non-members
$950 for AZA Individual Members
$1050 for Non-members
The AZA registration fee above covers only tuition for the course. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and meals. For more information about costs and logistics for courses hosted by Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV, visit our Wheeling Courses Travel Information page.
Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.
This course is designed for program animal managers and coordinators; education staff who utilize program animals; program animal and interpretive keepers; and museum professionals who handle live animals.
None. Priority will be given to individuals associated with AZA accredited institutions. International applicants and those not affiliated with an AZA accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis; please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course.Course Registration
Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices. Cashing your check does not indicate that you have been accepted into a course. You will receive an acceptance email or waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made.
Travel and Accommodations
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is the closest airport. Airport Limousine Plus and First Class Limo provide a shuttle service between PIT and the hotel.
Course participants stay at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia and classes meet on-site.
Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will receive an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.
Course Topics & Instructors
Participants will come away with a battery of information on all aspects of managing a program animal collection including:
- Creating a program animal policy for your institution
- Training staff and volunteers to handle animals
- Creating a Program Animal Collection Plan
- Creating and utilize Training Plans
- Creating and utilize Training Logs
- Creating and utilize Animal Training Progress Forms
- Creating a Program Animal Enrichment Program
- Creating and utilize enrichment forms
- Recording and tracking program animal enrichment
- Interfacing between departments
- Tracking program animal use hours and how to manage
- Managing and developing staff
- Volunteer management
- Principles of operant conditioning
- Program animal health management
- Guidelines for handling all the STUFF we deal with !
Luis Padilla, Veterinarian - Saint Louis Zoo
Alice Seyfried, Curator for Children's Zoo - St. Louis Zoo
Tarren Wagener, Director of Animal Programs & Conservation - Fort Worth Zoo
For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Training Department or call (301) 562-0777.