Laboratory Animal Care and Enrichment
This summer, I will continue my apprenticeship with the Office of Laboratory Animal Care, learning all the different aspects that go into the proper care of the laboratory animals on UC Berkeley campus. During the school year, my role as a URAP is to assist my mentor, Dr. Frohlich, and the Animal Health Technicians, with triage and treatment of research animals. I have also been working with a population of training rats rat enrichment as part of my URAP duties. The URAP summer stipend will allow me to expand on the rat enrichment program, and to develop a more defined project with my mentor. Environmental enrichment aims to enhance animal well-being by providing them with sensory and motor stimulation and allow them to express species-typical behaviors and promote psychological well-being. Not only is enrichment important for animal well-being, but it can also improve the quality of research results gathered from laboratory rats by acclimating them to human handling via methods such as tickling, treating, and light exercise. My goal for the project is to focus in on a specific area of rat behavior using my experience with rat enrichment.