The purpose of this course is to provide zoo and aquarium staff involved in the daily care of animals with a background and skills necessary to enrich animal environments and to continue to advance enrichment in zoos and aquariums. This 5-day course will include classroom time that provides a historical perspective of environmental enrichment as well as an overview of enrichment concepts, focusing on aspects of the SPIDER framework. Classroom time will also focus on communication skills, using resources wisely, safety, behavioral observation skills, problem solving techniques and other programmatic considerations. In addition to classroom time, selected enrichment concepts and skills will be taught during group activities and individual hands on skill development opportunities. Students will have also have hands-on experience using the SPIDER framework in developing, presenting and evaluating an enrichment initiative to animals housed at the zoo.
After completion of the Environmental Enrichment in Zoos and Aquariums Course:
Michelle Skurski, Zoological Manager of Behavioral Husbandry - Disney's Animal Kingdom®
Angela Miller, Zoological Manager of Behavioral Husbandry - Disney's Animal Kingdom®
Tim Sullivan, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry - Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo
Mark Kingston Jones, Workshop Coordinator - The Shape of Enrichment / Co-Founder - Team Building with BITE
The typical students for this course are those involved in the daily care of animals. Keepers and aquarists will find this course particularly useful, as the course provides an understanding of and practice with the skills necessary for animal care staff to create and maintain successful enrichment programs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
- Student registration
- Opening Icebreaker
- Class meets all day
- Review of class projects
- Closing Reception
Attendance for course participants is for the duration of the course until the afternoon of the last day. As a result, individuals generally depart later that evening or the following day.
The course does not include free time in the park. Once you have recieved your official admission acceptance notification, we recommend students plan to arrive prior to the course or plan to stay past the course event to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom. Course tuition does not include a ticket to the park. A separate ticket for your day of visit will need to be purchased.
Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the closest airport. Course participants will stay at a designated hotel in Kissimmee and will be transported to Disney's Animal Kingdom each day.
General Hotel Pricing*:
$129 - King Bed
$139 - Double Queen Bed
Tuition & Expenses*
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.
Scholarship funding for courses is available through a competitive process. AZA scholarship applications are due by mid-July and are awarded by early September.
Please note tuition rates do not include theme park admission to Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Early Bird Rates:
$1025 for AZA Individual Members
$1125 for Non-members
Registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
$1125 for AZA Individual Members
$1225 for Non-members
Final registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date
Accepted forms of payment for registration are by: credit card, check or purchase order.
*Prices are subject to change
For information regarding our code of conduct, registration, and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page.