Managing Animal Enrichment and Training Programs

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September 25-30, 2016
Denver Zoo in Denver, CO 

Please note, payment is now due at the time of registration. Please do not submit a registration form without payment, as it will not be processed.

To pay by check or purchase order:
Download the MAETP COURSE REGISTRATION FORM and return by mail with check or purchase order

To pay by credit card:
You can now register and pay online with a credit card! Just log in to our new website. Non-members can log in too after creating an account. After logging in, choose "Upcoming Events" 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. 

Early bird registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
Final Registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date

Course Description

Managing Animal Enrichment and Training Programs provides students with the tools and skills needed to set up and manage a successful enrichment and training program that meets AZA accreditation standards.

While some time will be spent on the concepts of training and enrichment, this course is not a workshop to develop enrichment ideas or learn animal training skills. This course focuses on developing the components of a successful program and learning the leadership skills needed to successfully implement that program.

Tuition & Expenses (Subject to change)

Early Bird Rates: 

$950 for AZA Individual Members 
$1050 for Non-members 

Regular Rates: 

$1050 for AZA Individual Members 
$1150 for Non-members 

The AZA registration fee above covers tuition for the course as well as breakfast and lunch each course day. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and other meals. Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.

Target Audience

This course is designed for managers, curators, and directors that currently are or will be managing an enrichment program at their institution. Keepers, aquarists, trainers, and educators will find this course useful in implementing programs in their work areas.


Employment at a zoo or aquarium.  Priority is given to AZA members.  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

Denver International Airport (DEN) is the closest airport, approximately 40 minutes from the Denver Zoo. 

Course participants stay nearby the Denver Zoo and are transported to the classroom on Zoo property in vans each day.

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 Objectives & Instructors

  • Students will understand the AZA accreditation standards related to animal welfare, enrichment and training. This includes:
         a. Understanding what to expect during an inspection
         b. The components of a successful program
         c. The documentation required for accreditation

  • Students will understand the history and concepts of animal welfare, enrichment and training. These include:
         a. Definitions of commonly used terms
         b. The importance of considering natural history and the background of
              individual animals
         c. Basic concepts of enrichment and animal training
         d. Discussion of new ideas and trends relating to animal welfare, training,
             and enrichment

  • Students will understand and learn how to implement the SPIDER framework in their program. This will include:
         a. The importance of goal setting, planning, implementation, documentation,
              evaluation, and readjustment
         b. Safety considerations for training and enrichment
         c. Problem solving process for addressing behavior issues and animal
             management challenges

  • Students will understand the importance of leadership skills in developing a successful program and be able to demonstrate and apply those skills at their institution. These skills include:
         a. Feedback and coaching
         b. Meeting facilitation
         c. Team Building
         d. Effective communication skills

  • Students will develop a structured action plan to accomplish both their personal goals and those identified by their institution. In addition to one on one time with the instructors during the course, students will be provided with resources and contacts to provide continued support after the course is complete.

Hollie Colahan, VP for Animal Care - Denver Zoo
Don Moore, Ph.D., Director - Oregon Zoo
Dawn Neptune,  Behavioral Programs Coordinator

Cory Nordin, Zoological Manager - Saint Louis Zoo
Beth Posta, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry & Research - Toledo Zoo


For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department or call (301) 562-0777 ext. 251