Principles of Ambassador Animal Management

Hosted by Crowne Plaza Clayton
St. Louis, MO
November 2022

Course Overview

This course is designed for ambassador animal coordinators and managers; education staff who utilize animal ambassadors within their programs; ambassador animal and interpretive keepers; and museum professionals who handle live animals.

Course Objectives

Participants will come away with a battery of information on all aspects of managing anmbassador animal collection including:  

  • Creating an ambassador animal policy for your institution
  • Training staff and volunteers to handle animals 
  • Creating an Ambassador Animal Collection Plan
  • Creating and utilize Training Plans
  • Creating and utilize Training Logs
  • Creating and utilize Animal Training Progress Forms
  • Creating an Ambassador Animal Enrichment Program
  • Creating and utilize enrichment forms
  • Recording and tracking ambassador animal enrichment
  • Interfacing between departments 
  • Tracking ambassador animal use hours and how to manage 
  • Managing and developing staff 
  • Interpretation
  • Volunteer management
  • Principles of operant conditioning
  • Program animal health management 

Course Schedule

First Day
 - Student registration
 - Opening evening ceremony
 - Courses meet for individual opening session/class

Mid-Week
- Classes meet all day

Last Day
- Classes meet
- Closing 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.

Instructors

Nicki Boyd, Associate Curator of Behavioral Husbandry - San Diego Zoo
Jimmy Johnson, Staff Veterinarian - St. Louis Zoo
Jacqueline Menish, Curator of Behavioral Husbandry - Nashville Zoo, Inc.
Debra Swank, Training and Trends Coordinator - Akron Zoological Park

Is This Course Right For You?

This course is designed for ambassador animal coordinators and managers; education staff who utilize animal ambassadors within their programs; ambassador animal and interpretive keepers; and museum professionals who handle live animals.

Prerequisites

None.  Priority will be given to individuals associated with AZA-accredited institutions. 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.

Travel & Accommodations

Lambert Saint Louis International Airport (STL) is the closest airport.The hotel provides free airport shuttle service and is also accessible via MetroLink.

Course participants stay at Clayton Plaza in St. Louis, Missouri and classes meet on-site. 

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 Registration

Please note, these rates are higher than other course offerings because they include course registration, as well as breakfasts, lunches, break service, and two dinners during the course.  The hotel rate in St. Louis will be ~$110 plus taxes per room per night, with no surcharge for double occupancy. The overall resulting cost to participants will be similar compared to other less-inclusive courses.  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. 


AZA Accredited / Certified Institutions*
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline 12 weeks prior to course start date
$1125 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1325 without Individual AZA Membership

Regular RateDeadline 4 weeks prior to course start date
$1325 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1525 without Individual AZA Membership

Individual Membership must be Professional Affiliate or Professional Fellow to qualify. 


Non-AZA Institutions
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline 12 weeks prior to course start date
$1325 with Professional Associate Membership

Regular RateDeadline 4 weeks prior to course start date
$1525 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.

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