Summer Courses

COMPMED 11SC: Life in the Zoo: Behavior, Welfare and Enrichment

 2 units | Class # 21955 | Section 01 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP) | SCS

Instructor:  Joe Garner, DPhil

What makes for a good life in a zoo? For that matter, what makes a good zoo? The psychological and physical wellbeing of the animals? The contribution to research, conservation, and education? The guest experience? Students will learn first-hand how animal welfare science provides an evidence-based approach to optimize and balance each of these demands so that "good welfare is good business." Through a unique experience at San Francisco Zoo students will learn how to apply principles of animal behavior to design environmental enrichments which benefit both the animals and the complex mission of a zoo. Students will be guided through the process of assessing an exhibit from the point of view of the animal's behavior and wellbeing, educational opportunities, and guest experience; developing an enrichment plan; designing and building enrichments for the animals; interacting with the public as docents; and assessing the overall effectiveness of a new enrichment; before finally presenting their work at a "mini-conference." The course will be taught with an emphasis on self-guided learning, student-led class time, hands-on experience, and service-learning. Most days will begin with students presenting what they have learned the previous day to the class, followed by student-led discussion, preparation time for the day's activities, and then time out in the zoo. The course will be taught by Dr. Garner (whose introductory seminar in Animal Behavior is strongly recommended, though not required) and Dr. Watters (Vice President of Animal Wellness and Animal Behavior, San Francisco Zoological Society).

 

Joseph Garner, DPhil is an Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine, and Associate Professor, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He received his doctoral degree in (abnormal) animal behavior at the University of Oxford, Great Britain, conducted his postdoctoral training at UC Davis, and began his faculty career at Purdue University. His research interests include the development of refined methods in behavioral research; abnormal behaviors in animals and their relationships with abnormal behaviors in humans; mouse well-being and enrichment; and the scientific impact of well-being problems in lab animals.

Applications due 12 noon April 2, 2017; apply at http://soco.stanford.edu.