Crocodilian Biology and Management Course

This week-long, intensive course is team-taught by experts from colleges and universities, zoos and aquariums, and the private sector to provide thorough and balanced coverage of the crocodilian captive management. Students learn the latest techniques, information, and tools available through discussion, group projects, hands-on work, and lectures with experienced professionals. The course is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network with the current and future leaders in crocodilian conservation.

During this 9-day course, students will concentrate on captive maintenance techniques, husbandry, breeding, and special requirements for the care of crocodiles, caiman, gharials, and alligators in zoos and aquariums. Relevant topics on basic crocodilian biology such as taxonomy, reproductive biology, behavior, anatomy, physiology, and conservation are included as the foundation for captive management practices. Animal capture is included in this course! You will gain capture experience from St. Augustine Alligator Farm staff and CBM instructors.

CBM COURSE OBJECTIVES:

After completing this course participants will:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of professional maintenance techniques, husbandry, breeding, nesting, egg incubation, training, and more
  • Demonstrate knowledge of crocodilian biology such as taxonomy, reproductive biology, behavior, and anatomy
  • Assess issues in conservation and in the management of crocodilian populations
  • Apply a specialized skill set for crocodilian care developed through lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on wet labs
  • Facilitate optimal social grouping and introductions through effective enclosure designs
  • Demonstrate ability to develop specialized strategies to benefit comprehensive requirements in caring for crocodiles, caiman, gharials, and alligators in zoos and aquariums

2024 CBM COURSE SCHEDULE:

First Day: Friday, May 10

  • Students check into hotel by 3:30 PM
  • Welcome & Introductions 5:30 – 9:45 PM

Saturday, May 11 through Friday, May 17

  • Classes meet 8:30 AM – 9:30 PM

Last Day: Saturday, May 18

  • Classes meet until 4:00 PM
  • Evening Social at St. Augustine Alligator Farm 6:00-9:00 PM
SCHEDULE NOTE:

Attendance is required for course participants for the duration of the course through the evening of Saturday, May 18. As a result, individuals generally depart the following day, Sunday, May 19. Attendees will receive a detailed schedule for their course after their registration is confirmed.

2024 CORE FACULTY:

John Brueggen, Director – St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Jim Darlington, Curator of Reptiles – St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Gen Anderson, Geneal Curator – St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Trevor Mia, Curator of Education – St. Augustine Alligator Farm
John Groves, Curator Emeritus of Amphibians and Reptiles – North Carolina Zoo
Jessi Krebs, Curator of Reptiles & Amphibians – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo
Greg Lepera, Curator of Reptiles – Jacksonville Zoo (retired); Greg Lepera Photography
Matt Shirley, Ph.D., Florida International University
Kevin Torregrosa, Curator – Herpetology – Bronx Zoo
Kent A. Vliet, Ph.D., Coordinator of Laboratories – University of Florida

2024 ADDITIONAL LECTURERS:

Arianna Bailey, Chief Development Officer – Natural Encounters, Inc.
Steve Featherstone, Director – Reptile Adventure Camp
Jen Brueggen, Crocodilian Biologist – St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Curt Harbsmeier, J.D., Executive Board Member – Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
Darryl Heard, B.V., Ph.D., Service Chief in Zoological Medicine – University of Florida: College of Veterinary Medicine
Elliott Jacobson, D.V.M., Ph. D., University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine
Bruce Shwedick, Director – Crocodile Conservation Center of Florida
Bill Zeigler, Vice President – Aquarium & Zoo Resources, Inc.

APPLICATION INFORMATION:

Application Prerequisites
This program accepts students by application only due to the limited number of slots. Students must be at least 21 years of age. Priority will be given to AZA members, but volunteers and private herpetologists are welcome to attend. Those not affiliated with an AZA-accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis; please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course to tmia@alligatorfarm.com for consideration.

REGISTRATION PRICING:

Notification of acceptance/wait list status will be sent to registrants after the Early Bird deadline. The registration fees below are for May 2024 and cover tuition and lunches each day. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and other meals (not included in price below). Registration prices are subject to change each year.

The registration fees below are for May 2024 and cover tuition and lunches each day. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and other meals (not included in price below). Registration prices are subject to change each year.

AZA ACCREDITED / CERTIFIED INSTITUTIONS*

Early Bird Rate: Deadline 12 weeks prior to course start date (February 10th).

  • $1,550 with Individual AZA Membership

Regular Rate: Deadline 4 weeks prior to course start date (April 10th).

  • $1,750 with Individual AZA Membership

*This pricing is for anyone currently employed at an AZA accredited/certified institution. Registration Prices are subject to change.

NON-AZA INSTITUTIONS*

Early Bird Rate: Deadline 12 weeks prior to course start date (February 10th).

  • $1,750 with Individual AZA Membership

Regular Rate: Deadline 4 weeks prior to course start date (April 10th).

  • $1,950 with Individual AZA Membership

*This pricing is for anyone who is not currently employed at an AZA accredited/certified institution. Registration prices are subject to change.

REGISTRATION PAYMENT:

For information regarding our registration and refund policies, please email tmia@alligatorfarm.com. You will receive an acceptance email or waitlist notification once acceptance decisions are made. Notification of acceptance/wait list status may be sent to registrants after the Early Bird deadline. Accepted forms of payment for registration are by credit card, check, or purchase order.

TO REGISTER WITH A CREDIT CARD

Once accepted into the course, you may pay online with a credit card. Please do not submit payment until you receive an acceptance email from tmia@alligatorfarm.com.

TO REGISTER WITH A CHECK OR PURCHASE ORDER

Please email your request to register, specifying the course and the name of whom you would like to register, to tmia@alligatorfarm.com. Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices. Please do not send a check or purchase order without being accepted into the course first.

REGISTRATION POLICIES:

Registration and payment does not constitute acceptance in the course. Registration secures a spot on the waiting list only.

 

Enrollment priority is given to current AZA Professional Affiliate and Professional Fellow members, and other groups as indicated by course. If a course fills, applicants will be placed on a waiting list and contacted if space becomes available. Registrants will be notified of acceptance decisions prior to the course start date. Course registration closes 4 weeks prior to the course start date. Substitutions from the same institution will be accepted without penalty but must be provided in writing and approved by St. Augustine Alligator Farm staff. Please email cancellation or substitution requests to tmia@alligatorfarm.com.

 

Payments

All payments must be made in U.S. funds, drawn on by a U.S. bank, and payable to St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Credit card payments will be processed in U.S. funds, in accordance with effective exchange rates. Statement to show a charge by the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Check payments must be received by St. Augustine Alligator Farm within 30 days of submitting your registration or four weeks prior to the course start date, whichever comes first. In order to receive the Early Bird rate, payment must be postmarked before the Early Bird deadline. If payment is not postmarked by this date, registrant will be re-invoiced at the Regular rate. Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices. Cashing your check does not indicate that you have been accepted into a course.

 

Refunds

Refund requests must be received in writing no later than 4 weeks prior to the course start date. No refund consideration will be given for cancellations after this date or for no-shows. Approved refunds will be issued within 45 business days after the course ends and a $50.00 processing fee will be deducted. Wait-list applicants who are not admitted into a course will automatically be refunded the full registration amount without the $50.00 processing fee.

TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS:

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations.

You will receive an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.

AIR TRAVEL:

The Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) is the closest airport at 57.8 miles away (approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes) from the hotel and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

LODGING:

Room block for students reserved at:
Holiday Inn Express: St. Augustine Downtown – Historic
601 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080

  • Total Cost for 9 nights (5/10/24 – 5/19/24): $1,581