Adult Education

Western Lowland Gorilla Tool Use

Observing Animals: Behavioral Studies in Zoos (UCLA Extension)

The successful study of the behavior of animals, whether in zoos or their natural environment, 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 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. Credit students receive homework assignments each week and are required to engage in at least 15 hours of observational study at the Zoo.

Instructor information:
Cathleen R. Cox, PhD.
Director of Research, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
For information, contact Dr. Cox and (323) 644-4204.

Dates and registration information for the Fall 2014 class will be posted here once they are available.

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