2015 IAATE Conference


Logo small for webDates to Remember
Paper and poster abstracts are due by October 1, 2013

Early Bird Registration by January 1, 2014

All mailed and online registrations by January 13, 2014

Conference Room Rates Guaranteed until January 13, 2014

Awards Entries submitted by January 15, 2014

IAATE Conference Texas!! February 5-8, 2014

If you have questions about any aspect of our annual conference, please contact usby clicking here and selecting "Conference Inquiry" from the drop-down menu.


Our annual conference paper sessions and workshops are eligible for CEUs necessary for maintaining your certification. Credits available are as follows:

IAATE Annual Conference – 9.5 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – Interpretation – 3 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop - Advanced Bird Training Skills – 3 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop - Operation Enrichment – 3 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop - Lure Swinging – 1.5 CEUs

You will need to provide signed proof of attendance to IATCB to get these credits. Workshop leaders can sign the forms for any workshops you attend. Our Vice President can sign any general conference forms. So please bring forms with you to obtain necessary signatures!


Joel’s assignments have taken him to some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging environments, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and he has photographed everything from the remote Amazon to beer-drinking, mountain-racing firefighters in the United Kingdom.

His focus is documenting endangered species and landscapes in order to show a world worth saving. His interest in nature started in childhood, when he learned about the very last passenger pigeon from one of his mother’s Time-Life picture books. His first National Geographic assignments introduced him to nature photography, and also allowed him to see human impact on the environment first-hand.

In his words, “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.”

Joel has written several books including RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species(which features several birds and animals from IAATE member’s zoos and facilities), Photographing Your Family, and Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky. His most recent book, Let’s Be Reasonable is now available wherever books are sold. In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Joel has contributed to Audubon Magazine, Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and numerous book projects. Joel and his work are the subjects of several na­tional broadcasts including National Geographic’s Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition and an hour-long PBS documentary, At Close Range. He is also a regular contributor on the CBS Sunday Morning Show with Charles Osgood.

Joel is always happy to return to home base from his travels around the world. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife Kathy and their three children.



Doubletree Dallas – Campbell Centre
8250 N. Central Expressway
Dallas, TX 75206

For hotel website click HERE

Our host hotel, Doubletree Dallas – Campbell Centre is the perfect site for our Texas conference. The meeting space is well equipped for our presentations and the hotel’s amenities are sure to be enjoyed by all. Situated within easy access of Central Expressway and Northwest Highway, this Dallas hotel is close to Park Lane and Lovers Lane DART rail stations. Discover nearby Dallas attractions within a three-mile radius via the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service – including a variety of dining and shopping opportunities.

This hotel is conveniently located near both of Dallas’ major airports. It is closest to the Dallas Love Field Airport, but is only 25 miles from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport as well. PLEASE NOTE: the hotel does NOT have a complimentary shuttle service from either airport. Shuttle fees from either airport are:

Dallas/Fort Worth - $35 (40 minute drive time)

Dallas Love Field - $28 (15 minute drive time)

Again this year, we managed to secure the bonus of breakfast coupons redeemable at the hotel restaurant for attendees reserving single/double occupancy rooms. **PLEASE NOTE: single-occupancy rooms will be allocated ONE breakfast coupon; double-occupancy rooms will be allocated TWO breakfast coupons. Attendees choosing to have additional guests in their room should note that TWO is the maximum number of breakfast coupons per room.

We have secured the discounted rates of $109.00 for single occupancy, $119 for double occupancy, $129 for triple/quad occupancy**. Please be sure to mention your affiliation with IAATE when making your reservation. The hotel will be holding a block of rooms for us until Monday, January 13, 2014. The special rate and room availability are guaranteed for the dates of February 1-12, 2014.

To book your room, call 1-214-691-8700.

You can also register online by clicking HERE.


Thursday, February 6

Ante Up! The Influence of Antecedents in Training.

Andy Hall, MBA, CPBT-KA

Arianna Bailey, Senior Trainer, Natural Encounter’s Inc.

Weight Management in Bird Training: Pitfalls, Ethical Considerations and Alternative Options.
Barbara Heidenreich, Barbara’s Force Free Animal Training (www.BarbarasFFAT.com)

New directions: Removing the Jesses from our Collection of Raptors.
Carina Ellebaek. Ree Park – Ebeltoft Safari, Stubbe Soevej 15, Ebeltoft, Denmark.

Training as Enrichment.
Dan Blair, Natural Encounters, Inc.

Free Flying Parrots in the Brazilian Amazon.
Dillon Horger, Co-Founder, Avian Behavior International, LLC

Lorikeet Flock Flies Free- Interactive Aviary Birds used in Free Flight Show.
Sharon Clay and Leah Albin. Curator of Animal Programs and Animal Trainer, Turtle Bay Exploration Park- Redding, CA

The Reasoning and Importance of Flying Multiple Birds and Species.
Graham Bessant, Gauntlet Bird of Prey, UK

The Development of a Flight Conditioning Program for a Rehabilitation Setting.
Jackie Kozlowski, Animal Behavior and Conservation Connections; Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc

Saturday, February 8

Training a Pair of Abyssinian Ground Hornbills for Voluntary Radiographs.

Jenyva Turner, Lead Animal Keeper, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, CO

Weight Fluctuations in Free-Flight Birds.
John Scott, Natural Encounters, Inc.

Group Managing Multiple Species of Birds in a Show Setting.
Kelly Pollard, National Aviary

Lights, Camera, Action: Creating a Culture of Success in the Studio.
Kit Lacy, Education Director, Cascades Raptor Center, Eugene, OR.

Teaching an Imprinted RTHA to be QUIET!
Madena Bennett Volunteer Supervisor at The California Wildlife Center, Malibu, CA.

Training Birds for Research.
Martina Schiestl, Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria; Animaltraining-MS, Vienna 1100, Austria

Peeping Tom: An Intimate Look Into the Lives of Bald Eagles.
Ryan VanZant, University of Oklahoma, George MIksch Sutton Avian Research Center

Reintroduction Program of the Scarlet Macaw in the Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico.
Fernando Mendoza, Xcaret Park, Mexico


Posters will be up throughout the conference with a Q&A viewing session during which authors will be present to answer questions during lunch break on both Thursday and Saturday.

Modeling Scientific Investigation through The Raptor Center’s Research into the Lead Poisoning of Bald Eagles.
Michael Billington, Interpretive Naturalist, The Raptor Center, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

Interactive and Educational Program with Zoo Zacango Faunal Collection Species.
DVM Oscar Mariscal Lopez, Zoo Zacango Head Training

Contacto Animal, A Company Helping to Educate.
Biol. Alejandro R. Millan Cervantes, Elide Yamileth E. Saucedo Sánchez, CONTACTO ANIMAL

From the bike to the flight: An Image of Change of Educational Program for Inspire the Nature Respect.
DVM Joel Romero Lujan, DVM G. Alicia Sánchez Peralta, MEDCAB (Medicine Clinic of Animal Behavior)

First Aid in the Avian Field: Common Basics for the Everyday Bird Trainer.
Hugo Alejandro González Jassí and José Miguel López Ramírez. Exotic Vet Puebla México

Overcoming Training Boundaries with Two Free Fed African Crowned Cranes.
Rachel Salant and Stacy Shubunka, Birds and Animals, Unlimited


Most conference activities (unless otherwise noted) are covered in the full-registration fee. However, it is possible to sign-up for any activity a-la-carte at the conference itself. Prices for activities if NOT registering for the full conference are noted below each activity. Please note: you cannot pre-register for activities individually; this has to be done at the conference. Only full-registration can be made in advance.

Pre-Conference Trips

Exciting opportunity for 2014! We only have one pre-conference trip this year, but it is covered in the cost of full-registration!

Dallas World Aquarium
Opened in 1992, Dallas World Aquarium, with a wide variety of avian species to delight our delegates, is so much more than an aquarium. The upper level of the aquarium is an artificial reproduction of the Orinoco Rainforest, with birds such as Scarlet Ibis and toucans flying freely. Black-footed Penguins and Shoe-billed Storks await you in the outdoor South Africa exhibit. The Mundo Maya exhibit is home to many species of exotic eagle, including the beautiful Ornate Hawk-Eagle and magnificent Harpy Eagle, as well as a multitude of exotic passerines and Scarlet Macaws. And in the Borneo exhibit cockatoos, Fairy Penguins, Rhinoceros Hornbills, and more are waiting to be discovered. Transportation to the aquarium, as well as admission, are covered in your full registration. Lunch is on your own.

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member/Student: $30; Non-member: $35


Reservations will be made on a first come, first serve basis. Space permitting, payment reserves your space. Workshops are NOT covered in the full-registration fee.

This conference will offer four different workshops. Session lengths and maximum participants vary. Three of the workshops will be AM at the hotel, requiring a choice between them. The forth workshop is in the PM at the hotel but has no maximum attendance allowing for all attendees to experience this great workshop, should you choose to do so.

Lure Swinging: By popular demand! This one-and-a-half hour interactive workshop will be offered twice, and will focus on the basics fundamentals of lure swinging to fly falcons in shows. There will be a theory and practical component of this workshop, which will relate into a better understanding of the mechanics that go into this specialized dance. This workshop will be facilitated by IAATE Board members Gareth Morgan, Ryan VanZant, and IAATE President, Miguel Santos.

Operation Enrichment: The IAATE Enrichment committee is ready to meet your challenges with 3-hours of enthusiasm and fun! Work with the committee to create safe, effective enrichment opportunities for your collections. Review safety issues and effective management strategies for enrichment programs. Brainstorm innovative ideas for keeping enrichment fresh and appropriate for your particular facility. Join the Enrichment Committee, lead by IAATE President-Elect, Robin Shewokis, as they undertake Operation Enrichment. With your help this mission will be highly enriching!

Interpretation: Been thinking about taking the Professional Bird Trainer-Knowledge Assessed certification? A portion of the examination for certification covers the subject of public education. While many (if not most) bird trainers and handlers have presented public education programs for most of our careers, few of us have had any formal training in researching, developing, and presenting programs. This workshop will give IAATE members an introduction to interpretation as a profession and an opportunity to learn more about interpretive skills. Facilitated by the IATCB, with help from the National Association for Interpretation.

Advanced Bird Training Skills: This three-hour workshop is for anyone who wants to take his or her bird training skill to a higher level. The topics covered in the workshop include:
1. Schedules of reinforcement.
2. Conditional reinforcers.
3. Problems with punishment.
4. Two-way communication.
5. Control as a primary reinforcer.
6. Motivating operations.
7. Trust accounts.
The workshop will include lectures as well as group activities, problem solving real life scenarios, and video examples. Facilitated by IAATE Past-President, Steve Martin.

Cost: $10 each


This year’s hospitality suite is a large room, perfect for mingling. We also have access to a large outside patio for those who would like to venture out for fresh air, but continue the networking. The hospitality suite presents great opportunities to share information and unwind after a long day of intense learning experiences. This is one of the best ways to share ideas and become inspired by your peers. Please consider bringing video of your show or programming to play in the hospitality suite.

Icebreaker, February 5

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

Enjoy an evening of catching up with old friends and a chance to meet new ones. Our icebreaker is always a great opportunity to make new contacts and meet fellow IAATE members and likeminded people. An activity will be planned to allow people to work in groups to showcase their bird identification skills in a fun and challenging way. Our icebreaker also includes a light buffet dinner and a cash bar. This year, each Icebreaker attendee will also receive one drink voucher redeemable for the beverage of your choice at our cash bar.

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member/Student: $55; Non-member: $60

Zoo Day, February 7

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

Hosted by the Dallas Zoo, a 106-acre zoo located 3 miles south of downtown Dallas, Texas. Established in 1888, it is the oldest and largest zoological park in Texas at 125 years old. While enjoying the impressive animal collection that the Dallas Zoo has to offer, cross your fingers for good weather! If Mother Nature permits, attendants of Zoo Day will be able to attend a showing of SOAR: A Festival of Flight, the bird show produced jointly by Natural Encounters, Inc. and the Dallas Zoo. This show combines audience participation with a diverse collection of animals working with trainers to entertain and inspire while exposing the audience to ideas of how they can help protect and support wildlife all over the world. Make sure you check out SOAR and enjoy the ride!

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member/Student: $45; Non-member: $50

Banquet, February 8

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

The 2014 conference will wrap up in grand style at this year's banquet. The banquet is a great time to recognize our fellow professionals and we do that with the annual awards ceremony. Also included at the banquet is our Photo Contest slide show and winners announcement, and new this year our Enrichment Contest presentation and winners announcement. Our banquet also includes a full dinner and a cash bar. This year, each banquet attendee will also receive one drink voucher redeemable for the beverage of your choice at our cash bar. Great food and great times are assured.

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member/Student: $75; Non-member: $80


Help support IAATE! You will be able to purchase tickets for raffle drawings held throughout the conference. We will once again have our Conservation Raffle drawing during the banquet. If you would like to donate items for our raffles, please bring them to the conference or mail them ahead of time to:

Attn: Bobby Brett
7173 Gaston Ave. #1109
Dallas, TX 75214

Please mark any pre-shipped raffle donations as “IAATE 2014 RAFFLE DONATION” so we know what it is. Thanks!

Conference Awards, Grants, and Contests

Don't forget to apply for an award, such as Behavior of the Year, and many others, or a conservation or education grant. Deadlines for grant and award submissions vary. Please see below for deadlines. For the 2014 conference, awards and grant submissions will not be accepted at the conference. This is to allow the committees more time to consider each entry as well as edit video for the banquet awards presentation. Please adhere to the individual deadline! Please see our Awards & Grants section to download application forms and for updated details on how to apply. You can't win if you don't enter!

Conservation Grant Submission Deadline: November 14, 2013

Education Grant Submission Deadline: November 14, 2013

Behavior Awards Submission Deadline: January 15, 2014

Photo Contest Submission Deadline: January 15, 2014

Enrichment Contest Submission Deadline: Ongoing as part of the monthly challenge – visit our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/144483179063468/ Please contact Robin Shewokis, birdelves@aol.com, if you have any questions about changes to format this year.


You can download a detailed conference schedule HERE.

Fri, Feb 20 Sat, Feb 8




Wed., Feb 5

Pre-conference Trip


11:30am - 4:30pm

6:00pm - 10:00pm

Thurs, Feb 6


Poster Presentation

8:30am - 5:00pm

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Fri, Feb 7


Dallas Zoo Day


8:00am - 11:00am

12:00pm - 5:00pm

6:30pm - 9:30pm

Sat, Feb 8


Poster Presentations


8:30am - 5:30pm

1:30pm - 2:00pm

6:30pm - 10:00pm


Please feel free to contact us using the contact form. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.


 The International Association of Avian Trainers

is an organization for individuals who are active in the field of avian training and who are involved in environmental education programs.

IAATE was founded to foster communication, professionalism and cooperation among those individuals who serve Avian Science through training, public display, research, husbandry, conservation, and education.

Follow the flock... Visit our Facebook page

iaate fb website

and make sure you check out our Monthly Enrichment Challenge Page