Animal Welfare: Evidence-Based Management

Hosted by Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield, IL
Spring 2022 - TBD

Course Description 

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 Objective

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 animals.

  • Demonstrate ability to develop strategies to improve the welfare of individual animals.

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

Course Schedule

First Day
 - Student registration
 - Opening evening ceremony

- Class meets all day

Last Day
- Class meets
- Closing evening 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)
Jill Mellen, Ph.D., Education and Science Director - Disney's Animal Kingdom (Retired)
Lance Miller, Ph.D., Sr Director of Animal Welfare Research - CZL - Brookfield Zoo
Beth Posta, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry and Research - Toledo Zoo
Greg Vicino, Associate Curator of Elephants and Welfare - San Diego Zoo Global  
Sharon Joseph, Director of Animal Welfare and Research, Denver Zoo

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

Chicago's Midway Airport (MDW) and O'Hare Airport (ORD) are both about 30 minutes from the hotel and Zoo. This course takes place at the Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL. Course participants stay at the designated hotel and a shuttle will transport participants to and from the Brookfield Zoo daily.

General Hotel Pricing*:
$109+ One/Two Queen Bed(s)

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.

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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