Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BMZA 100
Course Title:
Introduction to Zoo Science
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines the history and mission of zoos, their roles in conservation, zoo structure and governance, and career opportunities. Introduces the taxonomy and general characteristics of animals with a focus on taxa commonly encountered in zoos. Department permission required. Prerequisites: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Explain the history and missions of zoos to a variety of audiences.
  • Present, to a variety of audiences, career opportunities available through zoos and the specific role animal keepers play within the zoo context.
  • Articulate the critical importance of zoos in conservation efforts through outreach programs and personal interactions.
  • Present information to a variety of audiences on the characteristics and relationships of zoo animals belonging to a wide diversity of taxa.

Course Activities and Design

The format for this course is traditional lecture presentations and class discussions.  Lecture will be presented utilizing a variety of multimedia and interactive presentations.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Exams
  • Written homework assignments promoting exploration of activities at a variety of zoos and deeper understanding of specific topics within the zoological profession
  • Participation in class discussions

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, & Issues

  • History, mission, and operation of zoos and related organizations
  • Laws relevant to animal facilities
  • Captive animal welfare ethics
  • Zoo conservation biology
  • Zoo Careers - animal care, education, facilities
  • Taxonomy/Zoology - classification and characteristics of invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals
  • Oregon Zoo species classification and identification

Process Skills

  • Identify species, classification, and general characteristics of all animals at the Oregon Zoo.
  • Web research regarding current activities at zoos and clear written presentation of information
  • Actively participate in discussions regarding career field