2012 Webinar: The IACUC's Role in Environmental Enrichment Programs

Webinar Archives - Members  Webinar Archives - Non-Members


The goal of environmental enrichment programs is to provide research animals with housing that promotes species-specific behaviors and enhances overall well-being. This webinar focused on the role of the IACUC in the development and operation of environmental enrichment programs.

Topics for discussion included:

  • Ensuring that IACUC members know the behavioral repertoires of and best enrichment practices for the species that are housed at your institution
  • Developing an enrichment program and determining best enrichment practices with a focus on nonhuman primates (NHP) and rodents
  • Interpreting the regulations in the 8th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and European Union directive on enrichment and behavioral husbandry
  • Identifying the IACUC’s role in reviewing the environmental enrichment program and exemptions
  • Educating personnel responsible for animal care and husbandry to monitor the effects of enrichment and identify adverse or abnormal behaviors
  • Reporting requirements pertinent to environmental enrichment such as noncompliance, deviation, and activity suspension


This intermediate-level webinar was of interest to IACUC members or administrators seeking guidance on the IACUC’s responsibilities around providing environmental enrichment.


Jennifer Camacho, LVT, RLATG
Jennifer Camacho is the environmental enrichment program manager for the Center for Comparative Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. Jennifer is the 2011 recipient of the AAALAC International Fellowship Award that made it possible for her to travel to the UK to learn laboratory and enrichment practices abroad. As a part of her work and research at Mass General, Jennifer uses innovative technologies to take an evidence-based approach toward environmental enrichment. Jennifer is a graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Technology in Delhi, NY. She has authored and coauthored many articles on topics related to animal enrichment and behavior management for publications including the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). Jennifer is the organizer of the Innovative Environmental Enrichment Symposium, an annual satellite to the National AALAS meeting.

Christina Winnicker, DVM, MPH, DACLAM
Christina Winnicker is the director of enrichment and behavioral medicine at the Charles River Laboratories, where she works with sites worldwide to harmonize environmental enrichment practices and development of behavioral husbandry programs. Christina earned her DVM from Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine and completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. After three years of small animal private practice, completing a master’s in public health with a focus on toxicology and a residency in laboratory animal medicine, she became the Chief of Comparative Clinical Services in Columbia University’s Institute of Comparative Medicine.