2019 conference program

Join us for two full days 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

The majority of the talks at this year’s conference will focus around two main topics – cues and behavior chains. Our speakers will explore a variety of different ideas that relate to both the science behind these topics and how we can improve our training when we are teaching cues and chains.

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 22
5:00-6:30 Opening reception 

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 23
9:00-9:10 Welcome and announcements
9:10-10:30 Dr. Alliston Reid (Keynote)
From behavior chains to behavioral skills: Animals learn more than previously expected
10:30-10:50 Morning break
10:50-12:00 Dr. Joe Layng
Sequences of behavior: They are not always chains

Panel discussion – The science of behavior chains

12:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:50 Steve White
LOOK OUT! It’s a runaway chain! The how and why of problem chains
2:50-3:15 Afternoon break
3:15-5:00 Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz
Cues in context 

Emily Larlham
Sculpting the cue

6:30-8:00 Banquet dinner
Presentation of the 2019 Anderson Award
After dinner Evening Conversations – Hotel Lobby 

Join us on the second floor of the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn 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 24
9:00-10:15 Hannah Branigan
Close the loop: Training reinforcement as behavior
10:15-10:35 Morning break
10:35-12:15 Alexandra Kurland

Kay Laurence
Thinking Laterally: The Influence of Anticipation

12:15-1:45 Lunch
1:45-2:50 Barbara Heidenreich
Training to improve welfare of orangutans in Borneo
2:50-3:10 Afternoon Break
3:10-4:15 Ken Ramirez
Common trainer errors: How to avoid them and why we make them
4:15-4:30 Break
4:30-5:00 Panel discussion