The purpose of this course is to provide zoo and aquarium staff involved in the daily care of animals with the 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 for animals housed at the zoo.
After completion of the Environmental Enrichment in Zoos and Aquariums Course:
- 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 received 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 the visit will need to be purchased.
Mark Kingston Jones, Workshop Coordinator - The Shape of Enrichment / Co-Founder - Team Building with BITE
Angela Miller, Zoological Manager of Behavioral Husbandry - Disney's Animal Kingdom®
Michelle Skurski, Zoological Manager of Behavioral Husbandry - Disney's Animal Kingdom®
Tim Sullivan, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry - Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo
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 email@example.com for consideration.
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
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.
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.
AZA Accredited / Certified Institutions*
Early Bird Rate: Deadline 12 weeks prior to the course start date
$1050 with Individual AZA Membership
$1250 without Individual AZA Membership
Regular Rate: Deadline 4 weeks prior to the course start date
$1250 with Individual AZA Membership
$1450 without Individual AZA Membership
Individual Membership must be Professional Affiliate or Professional Fellow to qualify.
Early Bird Rate: Deadline 12 weeks prior to course start date
$1250 with Professional Associate Membership
Regular Rate: Deadline 4 weeks prior to course start date
$1450 with Professional Associate Membership
Individual Membership Requirement
Staff from non-AZA accredited institutions 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.
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.