AAZK Professional Certificate Courses

Each of the three (3) Professional Certificate Courses will be limited to thirty (30) participants. A waitlist of five (5) spaces will be set aside. Those on the waitlist must check in with the Course Manager on Day One of the Course to see if any spaces are available.

Each Professional Certificate Course consists of 12 hours of Instruction time and an exam at the end. Participants who pass the test will receive a certificate of completion and a letter of confirmation sent to their host institution.

AAZK Professional Certificate Course in Keeper Excellence In Research (sponsored by CLR Design)

SESSION FULL: Waitlist available

Instructors

Erika Bauer, PhD – Assistant Curator of Asia Trail, Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park & Chair of AZA’s Behavior Advisory Group
Jilian Fazio, PhD – Research Fellow, Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park & Clouded Leopard SSP Coordinator & ISB
Betsy Herrelko, PhD – Assistant Curator of Animal Welfare & Research, Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park

Course Description

Zoo-based scientific research provides essential information to the fields of animal husbandry, health, reproduction, welfare, behavior, nutrition, conservation, and visitor studies. Zoo keepers are integral to the research process not just by supporting and participating in research with the animals in our care, but also by identifying questions that have yet to be answered. Zoo keepers are ideally positioned to increase our knowledge base by initiating new research projects focused on topics related to animal management, welfare and behavior. Zoo keepers also have a unique perspective allowing us to understand the applied value of new research findings in our daily job. We have the power to transform the lives of the animals in our care by making management decisions based on the latest science. Getting involved in research at a deeper level can be incredibly rewarding, but it can be a daunting prospect, especially for individuals who are new to the research process. This 12-hour course will highlight the value and importance of research in the zoo keeping profession, introduce participants to behavioral research methodology from the development of a research question through to data analysis and presentation of results, and provide useful tips about engaging in zoo-based research.

Topics Covered Will Include:

The Value of Zoo-Based Research
Developing a Research Question
Behavioral Research Methodology
Developing Behavioral Research Tools
Preparing to Conduct a Research Project
Working with Your Data
Interpretation and Application of Results
Dissemination of Your Research Findings
Behavior Training to Support Research
Making Research a Part of Your Zoo Keeping Career

AAZK Professional Certificate Course in Reptile & Amphibian Husbandry (sponsored by Zoo Med)

SESSION FULL: Waitlist available

Instructors

Alan Peters, Curator of Herpetology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Matthew Evans, Assistant Curator of Herpetology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Lauren Augustine, Animal Keeper, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Kyle Miller, Animal Keeper, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Matthew Neff, Animal Keeper, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Robin Saunders, Animal Keeper, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Michael Miller, Animal Keeper, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Dr. Brian Gratwicke, Research Biologist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Dr. Donald Neiffer, Head Veterinarian, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Chawna Schuette, Animal Keeper, St. Louis Zoo

Course Description

This course will concentrate on the topics of the exhibiting, breeding, researching, treating, training, and developing field studies involving reptiles and amphibians. This certificate course will touch on some of the basic understanding of reptiles and amphibians, but focus on more advanced considerations of keeping reptiles and amphibians.  The course will be taught by the staff in the Department of Herpetology at the National Zoological Park, and two guest speakers. Four of the hours of this course will be taught on National Zoological Park grounds.

Topics Covered Will Include:

Husbandry 201
Research
Working with Dangerous Animals
Recognizing Reptile and Amphibian Illness
Training of Reptile and Amphibians
Fieldwork and Research

AAZK Professional Certificate Course in Zoo Nutrition (sponsored by SR Scales)

Instructors

Mike Maslanka, MS, Senior Nutritionist and Head, Department of Nutrition Science, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Erin Kendrick, MS, Clinical Nutritionist, Department of Nutrition Sciences, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Dr. Donald Neiffer, Head Veterinarian, Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Course Description

Designed for keepers that are interested in learning more about nutrition of the animals in their care, this course will concentrate on the topics associated with the nutrition of all zoo species.  This certificate course will cover some of the basic tenants of zoo nutrition, as well as addressing some of the specific “hot topics” most pertinent in today’s zoos.   The course will be taught by the nutritionists and nutrition staff in the Department of Nutrition Science at the National Zoological Park. Four of the hours of this course will be taught on National Zoological Park grounds.

Topics Covered Will Include:

Nutritional physiology & biochemistry
Nutritional Pathology
Life Stage Nutrition
Current Hot Topics in Zoo Nutrition
Body Condition Scoring
Principles of Feeding Herbivores