Observing Animals: Behavioral Studies in Zoos

BIOLGY X 480.31

This course introduces methods and techniques of studying animal behavior. Topics include techniques of organizing and collecting data and accurately assessing and describing behavior. This course takes place at the LA Zoo.


What you can learn.

  • Yield meaningful and useful results in the study of animal behavior
  • Organize and collect numerical data
  • Produce accurate descriptions of behavior
  • Learn to recognize various components, categories, and contexts of behavior
  • Minimize artifacts and errors in studies

About this course:

The successful study of the behavior of animals, whether in zoos or their natural environments, requires organized functional methods of description and data collection (as well as dedication and patience) in order to yield meaningful and useful results. This course provides an introduction to these methods and techniques of studying the behavior of animals without experimental manipulation. Topics include techniques of organizing and collecting numerical data; methods of producing accurate descriptions of behavior; recognizing various components, categories, and contexts of behavior; and minimizing artifacts and errors in such studies. Instruction emphasizes practical firsthand application of such techniques to behavioral problems and studies. In addition to lectures and demonstrations, participants conduct a study project on selected species at the Los Angeles Zoo.

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