Course Content and Outcome Guide for BMZA 260

Course Number:
BMZA 260
Course Title:
Exhibit Design
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores the design process of zoo exhibits to ensure that the physical and psychological well-being of captive animals is considered as well as safety and aesthetic issues. Department permission required. Prerequisites: BMZA 101. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Provide input into the design of zoo exhibits, considering all of the following: water features; plantings; the anatomical, behavioral, social, environmental enrichment, feeding, and loco motor styles of the animals; needs of zoo staff (e.g. keepers, veterinarians, etc.) including husbandry, sanitation, capture, restraint, introductions, observations, sight lines and separations; public viewing and messaging.
  • Ensure compliance with all USDA and other governmental and accrediting body regulations and recommendations during the design process of zoo exhibits.

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

  • Participate in and contribute to all class and team discussions and activities.
  • Complete homework assignments and projects
  • Write all scheduled examinations and quizzes

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • The nature of the design process and working with group dynamics to ensure the design of an exhibit that will enhance the well being of the
    animals while including considerations of the keepers, veterinary and education staff plus zoo visitors.


  • Zoo design process
  • Animal considerations €“ anatomical, behavioral, social, environmental enrichment, feeding, locomotion, multi-species exhibits
  • Keeper considerations €“ barrier construction, off exhibit holding, sleeping, maternal and juvenile areas. Husbandry, sanitation, capture, restraint, introductions, observations, access, sight lines, separations.
  • Veterinary considerations including sample collections and treatment areas
  • Public viewing and educational consideration including safety, viewing, messaging and interpretative considerations
  • Materials, substrates, water features, plants, play structures.


  • Successfully balancing the needs of the animals, keepers, veterinary staff, and the public
  • Working within limited physical locations and with budget considerations


  • Working effectively as a team member and advocate for the animals in the design process
  • Demonstrate and apply the design process to the zoo setting including knowledge of the animals to assure their well building, building materials,
    and blending the considerations of the keepers, veterinary staff, educators and public.