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San Diego Zoo Global Academy

The Academy: A Tool for New Employee Orientation

Congratulations! You are hired! These may be some of the most exciting, life-changing words any of us ever hear. And what takes place in the first hours of new employee orientation may be the most valuable opportunity any employer has to introduce the organization's culture, history, mission, values, operation, policies, and important training topics. First impressions certainly do matter. The San Diego Zoo Global Academy is a tool designed to help your organization energize your new employee on-boarding process.

In September, the San Diego Zoo and its sister facility, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, began to use the Global Academy to train new animal care staff in four prerequisite areas of animal care safety training, before the employee actually reported to their new department. During the past five years, San Diego Zoo Global has hired an average of 25 new animal care staff members each year. The majority of these new employees have already earned a four-year degree and come to us with some animal management experience. But early safety training for employees who may work in a potentially dangerous work environment is critically important to us. The Global Academy presented a new opportunity to streamline and enhance the Human Resources Department's on-boarding process.

Newly hired animal care staff can now take the required safety training from any computer. The online Global Academy efficiently provides high-quality, consistent training at the exact time it is needed. The Global Academy's learning management software tracks each employee's training records, including the courses taken, the dates of training, and all test scores. This record is invaluable for future accreditation verifications, regulatory inquiries, and a variety of other business purposes. At San Diego Zoo Global, we require that each Animal Care Training class is passed with a score of 90% or higher, or the class is re-taken.

Several other common on-boarding topics are on the way, including anti-harassment training and time and attendance policies. The new training initiative has been embraced by our managers and supervisors. Now that we have integrated online training with our animal care staff, operational integration with other departments is sure to follow and will become the new standard for how we do business.

Would you like to hear more about San Diego Zoo Global Academy in general? Please contact Linda Duca at (516) 815-2886, or LDuca@Cypherworx.com

New Course Highlights

Four new Animal Care Training Courses are now available on San Diego Zoo Global Academy. In addition, we have also now added the first module in a new series of Interpretation Training Courses. Click the links provided below each course to see sample previews.

Safe Handling and Restraint

The primary focus of this Animal Care Training Course is on the planning process that is necessary prior to a procedure that involves the capture and restraint of any animal. The class focuses on standard techniques for the safe handling and restraint of small mammals, birds, reptiles, and invertebrates, less than 50 pounds in weight, that are most often encountered by animal care workers in their first few years of employment at a zoological facility.

Safe Handling and Restraint Course Sample


Our industry is one at the forefront of the ongoing ethical dialogue regarding animals, particularly their uses, welfare, and conservation. This Animal Care Training Course is designed to help animal care workers and others better understand the role of ethics in their daily professional activity. The class explores the origins and evolving process for ethics in human-animal interactions, as well as a range of current ethical issues and challenges faced by animal care professionals.

Ethics Course Sample

Disaster Preparedness

This Animal Care Training Course will help participants identify the components of a disaster and understand what actions should be taken. A significant part of the instruction covers methods for averting disaster and ways to communicate during an event or emergency situation, including the most common catastrophes, fires and floods.

Disaster Preparedness Course Sample

Introduction to Enrichment

This Animal Care Training Course supports the best practice that providing enrichment for animals should be considered equally as important as the provision of food, water, and shelter for the animals in our care. The class establishes the components of an enrichment program, the approval process, and questions that should be considered before the provision of any enrichment.

Introduction to Enrichment Course Sample


Interpretation Training Courses: Interpretation Basics, Module 1

Interpreters work in a variety of settings and go by many names: guides, rangers, docents, and park naturalists, to name just a few. Whatever your job title, Interpretation Module 1 will show you how to apply the interpretive techniques that are most effective for each member of your audience. Online learners will gain an understanding of the characteristics of non-formal audiences and how these characteristics impact interpretive experiences. They'll explore the significance of audience, resource, and mission and practice connecting tangible resources to intangible ideas, concepts, and emotions.

Interpretation Basics, Module 1 Course Sample

Global Academy News

Partner Spotlight  

We are pleased to spotlight our Academy partner, the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA). ABMA is a membership organization of animal care professionals and others interested in enhancing animal care through training and enrichment. We are proud to partner with them to develop new content for their members and zoo and aquarium professionals and provide a collaborative learning environment for resource sharing and professional enhancement. Look for new courses from ABMA in the San Diego Zoo Global Academy in 2014.


Last Month's Webinar for November
Noninvasive Steroid Hormone Monitoring through Fecal and Urine Sampling
This topic is an important component of animal health care and management in the zoo environment. While each sample type can be collected without much effort, fecal samples are the easiest. However, when done improperly, fecal sample collection, processing, and hormone extraction present challenges that may affect the quality of the final data. This webinar addresses these challenges and demonstrates proper collection, processing, and hormone extraction using the aqueous ethanol boil technique.

For more information about webinars, or to be added to our webinar notification list, please contact: Debbie DiBacco at DDiBacco@Cypherworx.com.

Zoo & Conservation News Highlights

Scan through all of the Zoo & Conservation News compiled by the San Diego Zoo Global Library this week at the library website.

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Contact Linda Duca

San Diego Zoo Global Academy


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