2016 Conference Program

Join us for two action-packed days full of educational lectures, thought-provoking question and answer sessions, and many opportunities to meet like-minded trainers and talk all about animal behavior and training.

Program Overview

Saturday, February 20. We’ll be talking all about shaping. Presentations will address theoretical issues, practical strategies, and fascinating case studies.

On Sunday, February 21. We’ll discuss the welfare and well-being of our animals. We will examine concepts and tools to help us understand the needs of individual animals and help us design optimal human-animal interactions.

Our unique format will allow you to explore these topics in a way much different from the “typical” conference experience. Each presentation will be followed by a short discussion period for the other speakers to ask questions and discuss the topic with the presenter. This will be followed by a question and answer period where the audience will be able to ask additional questions.

Daily Schedule

Time Friday, February 19
5:00-6:30 Opening reception – The Crosswinds Room

Join us for conversations and refreshments as we kick off the conference weekend! You’ll get to meet our speakers, talk with other attendees, and see research posters from the ORCA graduate students. A cash bar and light refreshments will be available.

Time Saturday, February 20
9:00-9:10 Welcome and announcements
9:10-10:40 Dr. Iver Iversen
Selection and creation processes involved in shaping of novel behavior: Method and theory
10:40-11:00 Morning break
11:00-12:30 An exploration of shaping concepts & techniques

Part 1: Mary Hunter
Good and not-so-good paths to learning

Part 2: Kay Laurence
Communicating through silence

Part 3: Ken Ramirez
Bubble rings and beluga whales

12:30-2:00 Lunch
2:00-3:20 Kay Laurence
Microshaping explained
3:20-3:40 Afternoon break
3:40-5:00 Steve White
The training triad: Taking training to the power of three
6:30-8:00 Awards dinner
After dinner Evening Conversations – The Crosswinds Room

Join us in the Crosswinds Room for conversations and discussions. Catch up with old friends and make new friends while chatting about training and discussing the day’s talks.

Time Sunday, February 21
9:00-10:20 Dr. Joe Layng
A comparative behavior analysis of emotions in humans and animals
10:20-10:40 Morning break
10:40-12:00 Alexandra Kurland
“Feel” – Art or science?
12:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:50 Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz
Constructional interactions between humans and other animals
2:50-3:10 Afternoon break
3:10-4:10 Ken Ramirez
Conservation connection: Training to save wildlife
4:10-4:30 Steve Aibel
Learning to bond: The successful reintroduction of a beluga whale calf
4:30-5:00 Closing

Our speakers will share their final thoughts for the weekend and we’ll have one last opportunity for audience members to ask questions