ASPDP Content & Methods in Animal Behavior Field Studies

ASPDP Content & Methods in Animal Behavior Field Studies
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614 Broadway
Staten Island, NY 10310, US
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Participants will explore the steps to an animal behavior field study through the animals and exhibits at the Staten Island Zoo.  We will learn the unique ways of collecting data in the field of animal behavior research as we also learn the evolutionary concepts that influence animal behavior.  Participants will, over three weeks, conduct their own scientific investigation that will lead to a deeper understanding of both science practices and science content that can be repeated both in their classrooms and using the Zoo as a field trip.  Participants will learn biological and ecological concepts while modeling the behavior of an animal behavior researcher in the field.  We will cover how to introduce the Zoo as a study site, whether using in-person or virtual resources.  Participants will learn the steps and skills necessary to design and conduct an animal behavior investigation from generating engagement through curating a scientific explanation.  In this workshop, participants will learn the about the data collection methods unique to measuring animal behaviors when conducting field research.  Using the resources of the Zoo, participants will complete an entire animal behavior study and learn techniques to help students develop their own field investigations.  Participants will also learn about the many careers that exist in the fields of biology and zoology, including captive management.  Each session will include an animal presentation and/or tour for background content in adaptations and animal behavior.

After researching a species in our collection, participants will observe the animal’s behavior in a captive setting through online videos and livestreams and compare this to what they would expect to see in a natural setting.  Participants will learn about the concept of “enrichment” and allowing species to display natural behaviors in a zoo setting.  Working with a team, participants will design an enrichment item for their animal given our Zoo’s parameters and approved items lists to promote any natural behaviors they expected to see but did not.

This course will take place entirely online over three weeks, with three days to complete each of the six sessions. Course includes scheduled synchronous meetings for lessons and questions, and asynchronous work for discussions and assignments.  Participants will receive guidance and feedback from the instructors on asynchronous work.


Session One:  Monday, July 20 - Wednesday, July 22

Session Two:  Thursday, July 23 - Saturday, July 25

Session Three:  Monday, July 27 - Wednesday, July 29

Session Four:  Thursday, July 30 - Saturday, August 1

Session Five:  Monday, August 3 - Wednesday, August 5

Session Six:  Thursday, August 6 - Saturday, August 8


Instructors:  David Zaitz, Pearl Cales, & Jessica Hartmann


Eligible for 45 CTLE hours and 3 P-Credits

In order to receive P-Credits, you must also register with ASPDP.  There is an additional $125 fee from ASPDP for this course.

Click here to register with ASPDP.


Click here to view course syllabus.

$250.00 per Participant