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Applied Animal Biology
APBI 496
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Class Schedule:
Important Course Pages
Listing of practicum placements

To see the current listing of practicum placements for this course, click here .

Course Objectives

This practicum is designed for students to gain experience in potential fields of future employment working with animals. Students will apply knowledge from previous coursework in Applied Animal Biology to careers in wildlife rehabilitation, animal shelter management, research, and farm animal management.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply key principles and concepts of Applied Animal Biology to the professions of wildlife rehabilitation, animal shelter management, research animal management, and farm management;
  2. Understand the professional field in which the practicum takes place, including its governance, operations, and standards of performance;
  3. Relate animal welfare and animal management to practical situations in animal care and human-animal interactions;
  4. Recognize and discuss the complex ethical issues within the practicum field;
  5. Create an applied communications piece for use at the field location; and,
  6. Summarize and communicate experiential learning.

Course Format

This is an experiential learning course where students will get hands-on experience with general animal husbandry and facility operations, animal health and welfare management, and learn from professionals and collaboration with other practicum students. The practicum can take place in any term, as based on the needs of the field location.

The 6 credit practicum is 300-400 hours of experience plus a half-term progress report, 5,000 word final report, and an applied communications piece such as a poster, brochure, or webpage that can be used at the field location.

The 3 credit practicum is 150-200 hours of experience plus a half-term progress report, 2,500 word final report, and an applied communications piece such as a poster, brochure, or webpage that can be used at the field location.

Course Requirements

3rd year standing or higher, APBI 314 and/or APBI 315 recommended. APBI 496 is an undergraduate elective course.

Students will be required to apply to APBI496 and be accepted by an Academic Supervisor within Applied Animal Biology. Academic Supervisors are UBC faculty members, and can include adjunct faculty.

Field locations will be recommended by the Academic Supervisor, or they can be proposed by the student and approved by the Academic Supervisor. Field Supervisors are recognized professionals in their area of expertise who work permanently at the field location.

Students are expected to complete readings relevant to the practicum area (examples below) and any health and safety training required of the practicum location prior to commencement.

Course Schedule

The student's weekly work schedule is agreed upon in advance by the Field and Academic Supervisors and the student, and is set out in writing before the student starts their work experience. No room is required on campus and teaching assistants are not required.

Assessment, Evaluation, and Grading

The course assessment will include successful completion of experience hours (within 8 consecutive months) as evaluated by the Field Supervisor, plus satisfactory completion of the respective reporting requirements. The final report should be submitted within 30 days of completion of the experience hours, unless otherwise agreed to in advance by the Academic Supervisor.

The final report should include:

  • a description of the student's reasons for selecting this experience
  • a summary of the experience; location, hours worked, duration, contact information of field supervisor, basic duties/task/responsibilities
  • an analysis of the success in achieving course learning outcomes, including a description of any challenges encountered in achieving those outcomes
  • was the student able to apply knowledge gained in their studies to the practicum (give examples); and if gaps between knowledge from the classroom and their application in the field existed, what were they
  • what "new" knowledge was gained from the practicum experience
  • an emphasis on comprehension of the applied concepts and critical thinking about the practicum experience
  • a discussion on the ethical issues and the challenges currently faced by the profession, with additional references from the literature to demonstrate independent research abilities

An applied communications piece can include:

  • a brochure or poster for practitioners or the public
  • a manual or guidelines for practitioners
  • a website, blog, digital presentation for practitioners or the public
  • any other communications piece that can be used at the field location, agreed to by the student and supervisors


Activity Percentage of Grade
Field Supervisor evaluation 40%
Half-term progress report (form will be provided) 10%
Final report 40%
Applied communication piece 10%
TOTAL: 100%

Required and Recommended Readings

Here is a list of example readings based on four practicum areas.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Practicum

  1. Dubois, S; Fraser, D. 2003. Defining and measuring success in wildlife rehabilitation. Wildlife Rehabilitation, 21, 123-132.
  2. Dubois, S; Fraser, D. 2003. Conversations with stakeholders, part 1: Goals, impediments, and relationships in wildlife rehabilitation. Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, 26(1), 14-22.
  3. Dubois, S; Fraser, D. 2003. Conversations with stakeholders, part II: Contentious issues in wildlife rehabilitation. Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, 26(2), 8-14.
  4. Molony, S.E.; Baker, P.J.; Garland, L.; Cuthill, I.C.; Harris, S. 2007. Factors that can be used to predict release rates for wildlife casualties. Animal Welfare, 16, 361-367.
  5. Wimberger, K.; Downs, C.T. 2010. Annual intake trends of a large urban animal rehabilitation centre in South Africa: a case study. Animal Welfare, 19, 501-513.
  6. Wimberger, K.; Downs, C.T.; Boyes, R.S. 2010. A survey of wildlife rehabilitation in South Africa: Is there a need for improved management? Animal Welfare, 19, 481-499.

Companion Animal Practicum

  1. Arluke, A. 2003. The no-kill controversy: Manifest and latent sources of tension. The state of the animals II: 67-83.
  2. DiGiacomo, N.; Arluke, A.; Patronek, G. 1998. Surrendering pets to shelters: The relinquisher's perspective. Anthrozoös 11, 41-51.
  3. Fantuzzi, J.M.; Miller, K.A.; Weiss, E. 2010. Factors relevant to adoption of cats in an animal shelter. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 13(2), 174-179.
  4. Fournier, A.K.; Geller, E.S. 2005. Behaviour analysis of companion-animal overpopulation: A conceptualization of the problem and suggestions for intervention. Behaviour and Social Issues 13(1), 51-68.
  5. Neumann, S.L. 2010. Animal welfare volunteers: Who are they and why do they do what they do? Anthrozoös 23, 351-364.
  6. Orihel, J.S.; Ledger, R.A.; Fraser, D. 2005. A survey of the management of inter-dog aggression by animal shelters in Canada. Anthrozoös 18, 273-287.
  7. Taylor, N. 2010. Animal shelter emotion management: A case of in situ hegemonic resistance? Sociology 44, 85-101.
  8. Weiss, E.; Miller, K.; Mohan-Gibbons, H.; Vela, C. 2012. Why did you choose this pet? Adopters and pet selection preferences in five animal shelters in the United States. Animals 2, 144-159.

Lab Animal Practicum

  1. Long, M.E.; Griffin, G. 2012. Challenges and opportunities for the implementation of the Three Rs in Canadian vaccine quality control. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 63, 418-425.
  2. Makowska, J.I.; Weary, D.M. 2013. Assessing the emotions of laboratory rats. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 148(1), 1-12.
  3. Ormandy, E.H.; Schuppli, C.A.; Weary, D.M. 2013. Public attitudes toward the use of animals in research: effects of invasiveness, genetic modification and regulation. Anthrozoös 26, 165-184.
  4. Ormandy, E.H.; Schuppli, C.A.; Weary, D.M. 2012. Factors affecting people's acceptance of the use of zebrafish and mice in research. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals: ALTA 40, 321-333.
  5. Schuppli, C.A.; Molento, C.F.M.; Weary, D.M. 2013. Understanding attitudes towards the use of animals in research using an online public engagement tool. Public Understanding of Science doi: 10.1177/0963662513490466
  6. Wong, D.; Wakowska, J.I.; Weary, D.M. 2013 Rat aversion to isoflurane versus carbon dioxide. Biology letters 9.1.

Farm Animal Practicum

  1. Bradley, A.; McRae, R. 2011. Legitimacy & Canadian farm animal welfare standards development: the case of the National Farm Animal Care Council. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24(1), 19-47.
  2. Sandoe, P.; Nielsenz, B.L.; Christensen, L.G.; Sorensen, P. 1999. Staying good while playing god: The ethics of breeding farm animals. Animal Welfare 8, 313-328.
  3. Sorensen, J.T.; Fraser, D. 2010. On-farm welfare assessment for regulatory purposes: Issues and possible solutions. Livestock Science 131(1), 1-7.
  4. Spooner, J.; Schuppli, C.A.; Fraser, D. 2012. Attitudes of Canadian beef producers toward animal welfare. Animal Welfare 21, 273-283.
  5. Spooner, J.; Schuppli, C.A.; Fraser, D. 2013. Attitudes of Canadian pork producers toward animal welfare. Submitted.
  6. Spooner, J.; Schuppli, C.A.; Fraser, D. 2013. Attitudes of Canadian citizens toward farm animal welfare. Submitted.
  7. Ventura, B.A.; von Keyserlingk, M.A.G.; Schuppi, C.A.; Weary, D.M. 2013. Views on contentious practices in dairy farming: The case of early cow-calf separation. Journal of Dairy Science 96, 6105-6116.
  8. Von Keyserlingk, M.A.G.; Rushen, J.; de Passillé, A.M.; Weary, D.M. 2009. Invited review: The welfare of dairy cattle - Key concepts and the role of science. Journal of Dairy Science 92(9), 4101-4111.