The shape of enrichment, inc.

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Student Environmental Enrichment Courses (SEEC)

The Course

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. Over 3½ days, students will gain a background in animal welfare and enrichment, dealing with welfare needs of different species, and providing practical skills in designing, building, and testing enrichment within the settings of a working animal organization. Our aim is to provide valuable experience and an overview of 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, animal husbandry and learning, and breaking into the zoo world. Short talks focus on carnivore, primate, and ungulate enrichment. Additionally, there will be practicals involving animal learning, and working with rope and fire hose. The final day of the course applies these principles, as delegates are split into groups to design, build, and test enrichment with the host organization's animals. To see photos and videos of the practicals from previous courses, visit the SEEC Facebook page HERE.

For Course Leaders/Lecturers 

If you are interested in booking a private SEEC as part of your College or University course please email Mark Kingston Jones directly for more details at We have links at multiple zoos across the UK, so can identify a facility that meets the needs of you and your students.


The course registration fee of £150 includes: all workshop materials over the 3.5 days, materials for practical sessions, and drinks and biscuits during the scheduled tea breaks. Please note delegates are required to provide their own lunches during the course to keep registration costs down.

SEEC Instructors

SEECs are organised and run by Mark Kingston Jones (left). Mark has been involved in the animal welfare field since 2004. He now works under SHAPE as a Workshop Coordinator, having previously worked at Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, as Head of Education and Research. In addition to running SEECs, he has been involved in SHAPE workshops as a Level 1 Instructor, in the UK, Romania, Croatia, Russia, Lithuania, Indonesia, Vietnam, Uganda, and South Africa, and is the SHAPE-UK & Ireland Events Coordinator. As well as being an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, an external adviser on the PASA Captive Care Committee, and a Trustee for Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary, he has presented more than 40 talks on topics relating to animal welfare at conferences, both nationally and internationally. He is also an author/co-author on more than a dozen publications related to animal welfare and enrichment.

Chris Hales (right) also teaches SEECs, having been an instructor on more than 25 previous courses. Previously a keeper at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park for over 14 years, Chris has experience working with a multitude of taxa. Chris is a Level 2 SHAPE Instructor, involved in several SHAPE workshops including a small carnivore SHAPE workshop in Brazil. With a wide range of experience in the field of husbandry and enrichment, he specializes in carnivore enrichment, which he has presented on at national and international conferences. He is the SHAPE-UK & Ireland Facebook Group Coordinator. He is also an author/co-author on 4 publications related to animal welfare and enrichment.

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