The Operations Unit of the Division of Animal Resources (DAR) is responsible for ensuring the humane care of the monkeys at the Oregon National Primate Research Center by developing and providing procedures and facilities necessary for exceptional animal husbandry; providing technical expertise supporting primate-related research; and providing staff training concerning laboratory animal husbandry care and use to animal care and research investigative staff.  The Operations staff works closely with other units in DAR to tend to the physical and psychological well being of the monkeys.

The unit is composed of approximately 50 Animal Care Technicians, 3 Animal Care Supervisors, and a Colony Manager.  Because the Animal Care Technicians are the foundation of our animal care program and the first line of support for the animals we recruit dedicated and caring individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to animal care for these positions.  We strongly encourage and support membership in professional organizations such as the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), and many of our animal care staff have achieved AALAS certification at the Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician level or higher.  

Some of the responsibilities of this unit include:

  • Provide daily husbandry for the monkeys, including feeding and sanitization of the animals’ environment. Monkeys are fed a balanced diet twice a day.
  • Provide daily enrichment, such as produce and grains that promote foraging behavior.
  • Working closely with the Clinical Medicine Unit (CMU), conduct daily health observations on all animals.
  • Work closely with the Behavioral Services Unit (BSU) to develop and implement the animal enrichment program and to train animals to participate in research and husbandry procedures.
  • Manage infant nursery.
  • Provide research support services (e.g. preparing special diets for monkeys on specific research protocols).
  • Provide training concerning proper laboratory animal husbandry care and use to animal care and research investigative staff
  • Develop and maintain facilities, equipment, and techniques for housing non-human primates (NHPs) that promote their physical and psychological well-being. (e.g. designing new cages to promote social housing of animals, expanding enrichment for group-housed animals)
  • Ensure that the ONPRC meets and exceeds various local, state, and federal regulations and guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals.
  • Develop and revise Standard Operating Procedures for husbandry protocols