2020 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

Our unique format will allow you to explore these topics in a way much different from the “typical” conference experience. In addition to the presentations, we will have several panel discussions throughout the weekend. This will include opportunities for our speakers to discuss the presentations with each other and for you to ask questions about the presentations.

Daily Schedule

Time Friday, February 21
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 22
9:00-9:10 Welcome and announcements
9:10-10:20 Dr. Philip Hineline (Keynote speaker)
What the textbooks don’t tell you about negative reinforcement (abstract)
10:20-10:40 Morning break
10:40-12:15 Dr. Joe Layng
Coercion without aversive stimuli (abstract)


Alexandra Kurland
Shaping on a point of contact (abstract)

Panel discussion – With Dr. Philip Hineline, Dr. Joe Layng, and Alexandra Kurland

12:15-1:45 Lunch
1:45-2:40 Steve White
Epic fails! How I learned to stop worrying and love to bomb (abstract)
2:40-3:00 Afternoon break
3:00-5:00 Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz
C.A.T. rules 


Barbara Heidenreich
Exotic animal training: The constructional approach to addressing extreme fear and aggressive behavior (abstract)

Panel discussion – With Steve White, Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, and Barbara Heidenreich

6:30-8:00 Banquet dinner
Presentation of the 2020 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 23
9:00-10:15 Ken Ramirez
Adduction: Combining cues conceptually (abstract)
10:15-10:35 Morning break

Mary Hunter
Planning your shaping from a non-linear perspective (abstract)

Hannah Branigan
From the ground up: Building a skills hierarchy for competition 

Panel discussion – With Ken Ramirez, Mary Hunter, and Hannah Branigan

12:15-1:45 Lunch
1:45-2:55 Al Kordowski and Dr. April Becker
What cooperative hunting with Harris’s Hawks can reveal about principles of social interaction, patterns of coordination, and group behavior training (abstract)
2:55-3:15 Afternoon Break 1
3:15-4:15 Emily Larlham
Combining the Behavior of Two or More Dogs (abstract)
4:15-4:30 Afternoon Break 2
4:30-5:00 Panel discussion – With all speakers