Principles in Elephant Management I focuses on the foundation necessary for developing comprehensive and proactive elephant management programs. Students will take away skills for creating self-sustaining elephant management programs. AZA accreditation standards require that all elephant care professionals (keepers, managers, and directors) at institutions keeping elephants attend this course.
Bryan Amaral, Senior Curator, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Karen Gibson, Savanna Curator, Dallas Zoo
Daryl Hoffman, Curator of Large Mammals, Houston Zoo
Sharon Joseph, Director of Welfare, Denver Zoo
Mike McClure, General Curator & Elephant Collections Manager, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Nick Newby, Supervisor of Pachyderms, Oklahoma City Zoo
Tracy Clippinger, Veterinarian, Smithsonian National Zoo
This course is designed for elephant managers, curators who oversee elephant programs and elephant handlers. At least one elephant manager at each institution keeping elephants is required to attend this course.
None. Priority will be given to individuals associated with AZA accredited institutions. If you are not employed by a zoo or aquarium, please submit a letter describing your interest in taking the course to email@example.com for consideration.
- Student registration
- Opening evening ceremony
- Courses meet for individual opening session/class
- Classes meet all day
- Classes meet
- Closing Ceremony
Attendance for course participants is required 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.
Travel & Accommodations
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is the closest airport. Airport Limousine Plus and First Class Limo provide a shuttle service between PIT and the hotel.
Course participants stay at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia and classes meet on-site. All lodging reservations are priced per person at a package rate. Your accommodations wil include all: breakfast, lunches, dinners, and snacks throughout the entirety of your stay.
General Package Pricing*:
$1105+ Standard Double Room Package
$1340+ Standard Single Room Package
$1140+ Premium Double Room Package
$1545+ Premium Single Room Package
$1105+ Cottage Package
*Package pricing rates are all-inclusive and are subject to change
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.
Tuition & Expenses
The AZA registration fee below only covers tuition for the course. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and meals which are included at a package rate with lodging accommodations. For more information about costs and logistics for courses hosted by Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV, visit our Wheeling Courses Travel Information page. 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.
Early Bird Rates:
$875 for AZA Individual Members
$975 for Non-members
Registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
$975 for AZA Individual Members
$1075 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.
To register with a credit card
You may now register and pay online with a credit card! Non-members can log in too, after creating a free account. 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. When registering online, there is no need to submit the registration form. You will receive an acceptance email or wait list email once acceptance decisions are made.
To register with a check or purchase order
Download the PEM I Course Registration Form and return by mail with a check or purchase order. 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 wait list email once acceptance decisions are made. If you are not admitted into the course from the waitlist, a full refund will be issued within 45 days following the course event. For more information regarding registration and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page.
Questions? For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department .