Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings

Hosted by Natural Encounters
Winter Haven, FL
October 7-12, 2023

Animal Training Applications provides zoo and aquarium staff with a background in training theory and an understanding of the skills necessary to train animals. It includes a historical perspective of animal training as well as terminology and an overview of training techniques. Selected training concepts and skills will be taught via animal demonstrations, group activities and individual skill development opportunities.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, participants will be better able to:

  • Articulate and properly use terminology and framework involved in the training process

  • Select and test for effective reinforcers

  • Demonstrate specific hands-on skills involved in animal training

  • Articulate the importance of and skills necessary for working as a team

  • Use a systematic problem-solving process and develop effective action plans

  • Articulate and apply concepts around animal welfare in relation to training, and understand how behavior and training can enhance and support our welfare programs

Schedule

First Day
 - Arrival on Saturday
 - Opening evening reception
 - Courses meet for individual opening session/class

Mid-Week
- Class meets all day at Natural Encounters

Last Day
- Class meets all day at Natural Encounters
- Students transported back to hotel

Attendance for course participants is required for the duration of the course until late afternoon on the last day (typically by 4 PM, but schedules are subject to change - students will recieve scheduled times once admitted to the course).

Instructors

Lisa Davis, Zoological Manager of Behavioral Husbandry - Disney's Animal Kingdom/The Seas
Emily Insalaco, General Curator - Denver Zoo
Steve Martin, President - Natural Encounters, Inc.
Ken Ramirez, VP & Chief Training Officer - Karen Pryor Clicker Training
Melissa Nelson Slater, Assistant Curator of Behavioral Husbandry, Bronx Zoo
Tim Sullivan
, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry - Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo

Is This Course Right For You?

This course is designed for animal keepers, aquarists, and other animal care staff. Education staff who handle animals or discuss animal training may benefit as well. 

Prerequisites

None. Priority will be given to AZA members, but volunteers and private animal trainers are welcome to attend. 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 azatraining@aza.org for consideration.

Registration

The AZA registration fee below covers tuition and lunches for each day of the course. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and other meals. Registration prices are subject to change. 

AZA Accredited / Certified Institutions*
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline June 2, 2023
$1150 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1350 without Individual AZA Membership

Regular RateDeadline August 22, 2023
$1350 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1550 without Individual AZA Membership

*This pricing is for anyone currently employed at an AZA accredited/certified institution.
Individual Membership must be Professional Affiliate or Professional Fellow to qualify.


Non-AZA Institutions*
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline June 2, 2023.
$1350 with Individual AZA Membership

Regular RateDeadline August 22, 2023.
$1550 with Individual AZA Membership

*This pricing is for anyone who is not currently employed at an AZA accredited/certified institution.
Individual Membership must be Professional Associate to qualify.

Registration prices are subject to change.


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. 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. 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

Travel & Accommodations

Air Travel

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is about 1 hour 5 minutes from the Hampton Inn & Suites Lake Wales (that estimate includes tolls). Tampa International Airport (TPA) is about 1 hour 15 minutes from the Hampton Inn & Suites Lake Wales (that estimate includes tolls).

Lodging

AZA has a room block for students at the Hampton Inn & Suites Lake Wales, located at 22900 Highway 27, Lake Wales, FL 33859. 

Nightly AZA Group Rate: $179

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.

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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