Practical Zoo Nutrition Management course through the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) in Front Royal, VA. The course runs from 4-8 May 2020 and enrollment is currently open.
Although we’re making slow progress, very few zoos around the world currently employ full time nutritionists or maintain professional nutrition support on staff. There exists a critical shortage of zoo-based nutrition expertise across the board. Long-term sustainability of an animal collection and the successful reproduction of our animals relies heavily on proper nutrition, yet this can be a serious challenge. Many of our facilities care for hundreds or thousands of species, all with specific dietary needs that likely vary across individuals, seasons, and all life stages.
This course is designed to provide knowledge and hands-on experience within one of the oldest zoo nutrition programs in the US. Because of the complexities and extensive experiential learning involved in the profession, this course is not designed to create a zoo nutritionist in 5 days. But participants will become familiar with a wide variety of topics in the field of zoo and wildlife nutrition, as well as some of the nuances of managing a commissary (food procurement and preparation) operation to support a zoo.
For more information regarding the course and registration, please use the link:https://smconservation.gmu.edu/programs/graduate-and-professional/practical-zoo-nutrition-management/
The course curriculum includes, but isn’t limited to, topics such as: taxa-and foraging strategy-based nutrition principles, life stage nutrition management, commissary operations principles (sustainable and cost-effective feed sourcing, practical finance management of feeding exotics, etc), practical diet formulation principles and practices (how to create a “balanced” diet and what that means), practical commercial feed manufacturing details (how our feeds are made and what we need to know about the process), food service sanitation and HACCP, hay/browse/bamboo management, and many more!