Integrating Behavioral Husbandry into Animal Welfare Programs

Integrating Behavioral Husbandry Best Practices into Your Animal Welfare Program

August 5 - September 16, 2021
Thursdays 2-4 pm ET

Virtual Course Overview

Advances in zoo and aquarium professional standards have resulted in the need to better develop animal welfare programs that include animal behavior.  Behavioral husbandry has evolved significantly over the last two decades and these programs must be integrated into an animal welfare program. In this course, current trends for behavioral husbandry programs will be discussed as a contributing factor to an institution’s holistic approach to animal welfare. This virtual course is a collaboration of instructors from four of AZA’s courses that include a focus on behavior and welfare: Animal Welfare: Evidence-Based Management; Managing Enrichment and Training Programs; Animal Training Applications, and Environmental Enrichment in Zoos and Aquariums.  The diversity of instructors will provide a unique and well-rounded perspective on behavioral husbandry and welfare for participants.

This course will meet weekly for seven sessions, August 5 through September 16, for 2-hour live course sessions via Zoom. Discussion, homework and other resources between courses will be hosted on Google Classroom.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will better understand:

  • AZA accreditation standards as they relate to welfare, enrichment and training

  • How to integrate a behavioral husbandry program into a welfare program

  • New approaches to enrichment that enhance welfare through experiences

  • The direct benefits of animal training to the welfare of animals.

  • The role of culture and staff training in a successful animal welfare and behavioral husbandry program


Hollie Colahan, ‎Vice President of Living Collections - Birmingham Zoo

Steve Martin, President and CEO - Natural Encounters, Inc.

Jill Mellen, Retired Education & Science Director - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Angela Miller, Zoological Manager of Behavioral Husbandry - Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Beth Posta, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry - Toledo Zoo

Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President and Chief Training Officer - Karen Pryor Clicker Training

Michelle Skurski, Zoological Manager of Behavioral Husbandry - Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tim Sullivan, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry - Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo

Greg Vicino, Curator of Applied Animal Welfare - San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Is This Course Right for You?

This course is designed for zoo and aquarium professionals who have oversite in any capacity of a behavioral husbandry program and/or welfare program. 

Course Registration

Staff at AZA Accredited/Certified Facilities*
Early Bird Rate:
 up to 4 weeks prior to course start date
$295 with Individual AZA Membership 
$365 without Qualifying Individual Membership

Regular Rateup to 2 weeks prior to course start date
$365 with Individual AZA Membership 
$435 without Qualifying Individual Membership

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

Individuals Not Employed at an AZA-accredited/Certified Facility**
Early Bird Rate:
 up to 4 weeks prior to course start date
$365 with Professional Associate Membership

Regular Rateup to 2 weeks prior to course start date
$435 with Professional Associate Membership

*Prices are subject to change.
**Individual Membership Requirement: Staff from non-AZA accredited facility must have an individual AZA membership to apply and register for an AZA course. 

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.  

I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site