Staff Roles Within The Behavioral Husbandry Program

Science Operations Manager

The Science Operations Manager (SOM) is responsible for directing program development and continuity for the animal training and enrichment programs, globally and in their respective parks.  To assist in maintaining and to keep the program progressing, the SOM provides support and leadership to Behavioral Husbandry Zoological Managers (BHZM) for:

  • Ensuring the BH vision, mission, philosophy, and commitments are followed by all partners

  • Effective communication and relationships between behavioral husbandry and the animal care teams including veterinarians and nutritionist, when applicable

  • Providing resources (time, budgeting, technical needs, etc.) that help maintain the programs and assist the progression of the BH programs

  • BHZM career development


Behavioral Husbandry Zoological Manager

The Behavioral Husbandry Zoological Manager (BHZM) is responsible for guiding development and continuity for the animal training and enrichment programs, globally and in their respective contact animal areas.  To assist in maintaining and to keep the programs progressing, the BHZM provides support and leadership to the animal care teams for:

  • Ensuring the BH vision, mission, philosophy, and commitments are followed by all partners

  • Effective communications and relationships between the animal care teams and BH, as well as veterinary and nutrition teams, when applicable

  • Providing resources (time, budgeting, technical needs, etc.) that help maintain the programs and assist in the progression of the BH programs

  • Creating cast development opportunities in the skills of animal training and enrichment, as well as promoting awareness of external learning opportunities

In partnership with specific animal area Zoological Managers (ZM), the BHZM will:

  • Assist the team in continuous goal setting and prioritization for training and enrichment projects

  • Review enrichment and training plans and provide feedback to the team, as requested

  • Observe animal enrichment and training in the areas

  • Coach keepers on training and enrichment techniques

  • Assure the team is following process for approval of training and enrichment initiatives

  • Assure the team is documenting training and enrichment initiatives, using agreed upon process

  • Facilitate effective meetings in regards to animal enrichment and training, including problem-solving or topic-specific workshops, when applicable

  • Attend routine veterinary contact meetings


Behavior Analyst

The Behavior Analyst, in partnership with the BHZM’s, provides support to animal care teams for:

  • Ensuring the BH vision, mission, philosophy, and commitments are followed by all partners

  • Effective communications and relationships between the animal care teams and BH, as well as veterinary and nutrition teams, when applicable

  • Providing resources (time, budgeting, technical needs, etc.) that help maintain the programs and assist in the progression of the BH programs

  • Creating cast development opportunities in the skills of animal training and enrichment, as well as, promoting awareness of external learning opportunities

  • Creating functional analysis as requested and assisting teams through the process

  • Translating scientific principles of behavior to practical applications

  • Ongoing contact with advances in the field of behavior analysis and their applications in the zoological field


Animal Operations Manager

The Animal Operations Manager (AOM) is responsible for the oversight of the implementation of the animal training and enrichment programs within their respective animal areas.  To assist in maintaining and to keep the programs progressing, the AOM provides support and leadership to the area ZMs and BHZM for:

  • Ensuring the vision, mission, philosophy, and commitments are followed by all partners

  • Effective communication and relationships between the animal care teams and BH, as well as veterinary and nutrition teams, when applicable

  • Providing resources (time, budgeting, technical needs, etc.) that help maintain the programs and assist in the progression of the BH programs in their area


Zoological Managers

The area Zoological Manager (ZM) is responsible for the daily operation of all aspects of training and enrichment for their area, providing leadership and support to their team.  To assist in maintaining and to keep the programs progressing, the area ZM provides support and leadership to the animal care cast for:

  • Ensuring the vision, mission, philosophy, and commitments are followed by all partners

  • Effective communication and relationships between the animal care teams and BH, as well as veterinary and nutrition teams, when applicable

  • Advocating and providing resources (time, budgeting, technical needs, etc.) that help maintain the programs and assist in the progression of the BH programs

  • Supporting and creating cast development opportunities in the skills of animal training and enrichment, internally and externally

  • Review enrichment and training plans and provide timely feedback to cast; request review by partners as needed

In partnership with BHZMs, the area ZM will:

  • Assist the team in continuous goal setting and prioritization for training and enrichment projects

  • Observe animal enrichment and training in the areas

  • Coach keepers on training and enrichment techniques

  • Assure the team is following process for approval of training and enrichment initiatives

  • Assure the team is documenting training and enrichment initiatives, using agreed upon process

  • Facilitate effective meetings in regards to animal enrichment and training, including problem-solving or topic-specific workshops, when applicable


Aquarist/Keeper/Trainer

This role is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the training and enrichment programs.  The aquarist/keeper/trainer:

  • Is involved in behavioral goal setting for the animals in their area

  • Initiates the planning and approval processes for training and enrichment initiatives

  • Trains and enriches the animals in accordance to the approved plans and initiatives

  • Documents training and enrichment utilizing agreed upon methods

  • Evaluates documentation and adjusts plans and initiatives with their team


Veterinarian Team

The veterinarian teams supports and participates in many aspects of the behavioral husbandry program.  The contact or case-specific veterinarian is responsible for:

  • Providing feedback for setting and prioritizing behavioral goals for animals within contact areas

  • Communicating with area ZMs and BHZM about any behavioral successes and/or challenges within contact areas

  • Ensuring veterinary team supports the BH vision, mission, philosophy, and commitments between animal area management and behavioral husbandry

  • Attending routine training sessions when agreed upon to assist the training process

  • Clarifying desired aspects of medical procedures to aid in proactive training


Nutrition Team

  • The nutrition team provides support to the behavioral husbandry program in a variety of ways.  The nutrition team is responsible for:

  • Determining appropriate diets

  • Answering questions regarding an animal’s nutritional needs, food processing and food availability

  • Offering feedback to teams with regard to desired changes of diet to meet behavioral goals