Animal Welfare: Evidence-Based Management

Hosted by San Diego Zoo
San Diego, CA
December 5-10, 2022

Animal Welfare: Evidence-Based Management is a facility-based course that includes hands-on experience learning about the science of animal welfare and the application of skills and knowledge for an evidence-based animal welfare management program. This course will expand upon the entry-level online animal welfare course developed by the AZA Animal Welfare Committee. Students will learn through hands-on experiences and build the skills necessary to implement an evidence-based management program that promotes high levels of animal welfare.

Course Objectives

After completing this course participants will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the science of animal welfare

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the AZA animal welfare requirements

  • Develop the skills and knowledge to assess the welfare of individual and groups of animals

  • Demonstrate ability to improve welfare programs by incorporating the latest in animal welfare research

  • Develop leadership skills and strategies to implement an evidence-based animal welfare management program

Course Schedule

First Day
 - Student registration
 - Opening evening ceremony
 - Courses meet for individual opening session/class

- Classes meet all-day

Last Day
- Classes meet
- Closing Ceremony

Attendance is required for course participants for the duration of the course until the evening of the last day. As a result, individuals generally depart the following day. Attendees will receive a detailed schedule for their course after their registration is confirmed.


Donald Janssen, DVM, Corporate Director of Animal Health - San Diego Zoo Global (Retired)
Sharon Joseph, Project Manager - Birmingham Zoo
Jill Mellen, Ph.D.
, Education and Science Director - Disney's Animal Kingdom (Retired)
Lance Miller, Ph.D., VP of Conservation Science and Animal Welfare Research - CZL - Brookfield Zoo
Beth Posta, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry and Research - Toledo Zoo
Greg Vicino, Curator of Applied Animal Welfare - San Diego Zoo Global  

Is This Course Right For You?

This course is designed for management-level animal care professionals (lead keeper, supervisor, manager, and curator) at AZA-accredited institutions. Other care professionals at AZA institutions may be considered on a case-by-case basis if space allows. Students enrolling in this course will benefit from having a basic understanding of animal enrichment and training theory and practice.

None. Priority will be given to individuals associated with AZA accredited institutions. 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 to for consideration.

Travel & Accommodations

Air Travel
San Diego International Airport (SAN) is about 15 minutes from the Zoo. This course takes place at the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, CA. Course participants stay at the designated hotel and a shuttle will transport participants to and from the San Diego Zoo daily.

Hotel information will be available soon.

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will reserve an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.

Course Registration

AZA Accredited / Certified Institutions*
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline 9 weeks** prior to course start date
$1200 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1400 without Individual AZA Membership

Regular RateDeadline 4 weeks prior to course start date
$1400 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1600 without Individual AZA Membership

Individual Membership must be Professional Affiliate or Professional Fellow to qualify.

Non-AZA Institutions
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline 9 weeks** prior to course start date
$1400 with Professional Associate Membership

Regular RateDeadline 4 weeks prior to course start date
$1600 with Professional Associate Membership

For information regarding our registration and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page. Accepted forms of payment for registration are by credit card, check, or purchase order.

To register with a credit card
You may now register and pay online with a credit card! Non-members can log in too, after creating a free account. After logging in, choose "Professional Development" from the menu on the left. Next, click on the title of the event for which you would like to register. Finally, choose "Event Registration" from the options at the top and complete the registration process. When registering online, there is no need to submit the registration form. You will receive an acceptance email or waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made. 

To register with a check or purchase order
Please email your request to register, specifying the course and the name of whom you would like to register, to the Professional Development Coordinator.
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 a waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made. If you are not admitted into the course from the waitlist, a full refund will be promptly issued.

*Prices are subject to change
** The early bird timeline has been modified due to the delay in opening registration

For information regarding our code of conduct, registration, and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page.

Questions? For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department.

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