Student Environmental Enrichment Courses (SEEC), are lead by Mark Kingston Jones and Chris Hales. Mark has been involved in the animal welfare field since 2004. He is a self-employed SHAPE Workshop Coordinator and Co-founder of Team Building with BITE. Previously he worked at Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, as Head of Education and Research. In addition to running 25+ previous SEECs, he has been involved in 17 SHAPE keeper workshops, in the UK, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa, and is the SHAPE-UK & Ireland Events Co-ordinator. As well as being an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent and an external adviser on the PASA Captive Care Committee, he has presented 40 talks and workshops on topics relating to animal welfare at conferences, both nationally and internationally. Chris has also been an Instructor on 25+ SEECs, having been a Keeper at Port Lympne Reserve for over 18 years, with experience working with a multitude of taxa. Chris is a SHAPE Instructor having taught on 6 SHAPE workshops, including a small carnivore workshop in Brazil. With a wide range of experience in the field of husbandry and enrichment, he specialises in carnivore enrichment, which he has presented on at 5 national and international conferences. He is the SHAPE-UK & Ireland Facebook Group Co-ordinator.
This course is designed around the SHAPE format and accredited by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). It is aimed specifically at college and university students (past or present) who do not currently work within a zoo setting, but are looking to do so as a career.
Please note, to keep course costs down, delegates are required to provide their own lunches and can either bring their own or purchase food from the on site catering facilities. The workshop registration fee includes workshop materials, entry to the Park, and tea/coffee and biscuits during the breaks.
What you will learn
Over 3½ days students will gain a background in animal welfare and enrichment, as well as providing practical skills in designing, building and testing enrichment within the settings of a working animal collection. Our aim is to provide valuable experience and an overview of additional useful skills to a would-be keeper’s CV. Please note you must be 18 or over to attend this course.
The course is roughly split between lecture and practical components. Lecture topics include: Animal welfare, enrichment overview, husbandry and learning, and zookeeping. Additionally, there will be practical’s involving animal learning, and working with rope and fire hose. The final day of the course will result in the application of all these principles as delegates are split into groups, allowing you the opportunity to design, build and test enrichment with the collections animals.