2018 IAATE Conference



REDDING 2018: Flying Into The Future
FEB 21-24, 2018
Hosted by Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding CA 

Dates to Remember

October 1, 2017       Paper/Poster Abstracts Submission Deadline

October 1, 2017       Conference Scholarship  Application Submission Deadline

December 1, 2017    Conservation and Education Grant Applicaton Submission Deadline

January 1, 2018        Early Bird Registration Deadline

January 25, 2018      All Mailed and Online Registrations Deadline

January 30, 2018      Hotel Guaranteed Rate Reservation Deadline

January 31, 2018      Award Submissions Deadline

January 31, 2018      Photo Contest Submission Deadline

Attention CPBT-KA! Earn CEU's

Our annual conference paper sessions and workshops are eligible for CEUs from IATCB (International Avian Traner's Certification Board) necessary for maintaining your certification.

Credits available are as follows:

IAATE Annual Conference – 10.5 CEUs

IAATE Annual Conference Workshop - A Comprehensive Course for Bird Trainers and Show Presenters - 8 CEUs

IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – Avian Basic First Aid and Triage – 2 CEUs

IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – Fire Hose Enrichment – 2 CEUs

IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – Telemetry – 2 CEUs

IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – The Importance of True Team Mentality – 2 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!

Attention Certified Behavior Consultants! Earn CEU's

Our annual conference paper sessions and workshops are eligible for CEUs from IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) necessary for maintaining your certification.

Credits available are as follows:

IAATE Annual Conference – 11 CEUs

IAATE Annual Conference Workshop - A Comprehensive Course for Bird Trainers and Show Presenters - 10 CEUs

You will need to provide signed proof of attendance to IAABC to get these credits. Please contact our Vice President if you need forms. 

Walter Crawford Memorial Scholarship

Have you dreamed of attending our annual conference, but lack the funds to do so? If so, this scholarship might be the answer to your dreams! IAATE will once again award monies to eligible IAATE members to assist in funding attendance of our annual conference. This scholarship fund is limited, it is funded by the proceeds from our conference workshops of the previous year, and will be awarded only to applicants who meet eligibility requirements. The recipient of this scholarship will be determined by the IAATE Professional Development Committee. Download the scholarship application form from the link below!

Deadline for application submission for our 2018 conference is October 1, 2017.

Please send completed applications to Professional Development Committee Chair, email contact included on application form.

Note: While you must be an IAATE member to apply, there is no minimum membership time requirement, however, preference will be given to applicants who have been a member for more than one year.



Mark Simmons began his career in 1987 in marine mammal behavioral sciences, working almost exclusively with killer whales. In 1998 he formed a consulting firm, Wildlife International Network along with highly regarded marine mammal expert and close friend Robin Friday.
In April of 1999, Simmons joined the Keiko Release Project as the Director Animal Husbandry and led the behavior team on-site in Iceland. There he authored and applied the behavioral rehabilitation blueprint for reintroduction that gained approval from the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries for Keiko’s formal release. 

Simmons went on to create Ocean Embassy, whereby his team assists governments on protective marine legislation, participates in ongoing research with marine mammals and is heavily involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and stranded animals. He has provided consulting on marine mammal health assessment and recovery globally.

Simmons also created and continues to provide visionary leadership of a large-scale research and conservation database called OERCA that serves global wildlife management needs. He has taught marine mammal behavioral science at the University of Miami and conducted numerous seminars and public lectures on the Keiko Release Project.



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 Trip, Wednesday February 21

Please note: The pre-conference trip is NOT covered in the cost of registration. See below for details of cost and maximum participant information. The trip includes transportation and provided lunch.

Additional note - the pre-conference trip and the full-day workshop run concurrently - you cannot attend both.

This year's pre-conference trip will immerse you in the history of the North State. Starting with a tour through the second largest dam in the United States, Shasta Dam will offer you an intimate experience in the depths of the dam itself. Over 600 feet tall, the dam sits among the beautiful Trinity Mountains, and is part of the trio of the three Shastas- Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, and Mount Shasta. We will then head north to Shasta Caverns. This part of our trip will take us on a boat across Shasta Lake, offering incredible views of Bald Eagle and Osprey nests. Shasta Lake is the largest reservoir in California, and hosts the most nesting pairs of Bald Eagles on a single lake west of the Mississippi. 365 miles of shoreline provides ample territory and resources to sustain the 25 nesting pairs of Bald Eagles. Once across the lake we will board a small bus to climb the steep mountain to the mouth of the cave for a private tour of Shasta Caverns. Formed 250 million years ago, these limestone caverns will offer an up close experience of various cave formations from the ordinary to extraordinary.

Cost: $40
Lunch is provided.
Limited to 40 participants.


Full-day Training Workshop, Wednesday February 21

Please note: This workshop is NOT covered in the cost of registration. All proceeds from this workshop go to the IAATE Conservation Fund. Note guides and certificates of completion will be provided for all attendees. This course is an outstanding preparation for the IATCB certification exam. Note: For CPBT-KA - CEUs will be available for attendance at this workshop.

A Comprehensive Course for Bird Trainers and Show Presenters

This workshop, presented by Steve Martin CPBT-KA, Past President of IAATE, is designed for all levels of training experience and includes the most contemporary information on the technology and scientific principals associated with training birds and other animals. Also included is empowering information on producing and presenting affective educational programs. Attendees may submit videos of their shows for evaluation during the workshop. The full-day course includes the following and more:

Operant Learning Principles     
Understanding Reinforcement and Punishment     
Effective reinforcement strategies     
Schedules, rates, and value of reinforcement     
Alternatives to punishment

Clear, Honest, Communication      
Prompts, cues, and bridging stimuli     
Problems with baiting     
Effective bridging strategies

Antecedent strategies to increase motivation     
Choice and control - empowering animals to maximize motivation     
LRS and behavioral momentum     
Weight and food management

Building Trusting Relationships With Animals

Creating High Performing Teams

Show Production and Presentation     
Message delivery     
Show structure     
Ethics - animal welfare, mixed messages     
Dealing with mistakes     
Species selection

Cost: $75 (all proceeds go to the IAATE Conservation Fund).
This workshop runs 8am - 5pm on Wednesday, February 21 
Lunch is provided.
Unlimited participation.

Workshops, Friday, February 23 (During Zoo Day)

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. All proceeds from these workshopa go to the fun our Walt Crawford Memorial Scholarship. IATCB CEUs are also available for certified trainers.

This conference will offer four different workshops at our conference hotel and Turtle Bay Exploration Park. All four workshops will be offered twice throughout the day, on Friday in both the AM and PM during three sessions. Interested participants can choose to attend only one workshop per session.

Avian Basic First Aid and Triage: Accidents happen. Be prepared with basic first aid and stabilization techniques when they do. Learn what supplies should be included in a basic avian first aid kit. During a trauma, shock can be deadly. Demonstrations on calculating and administration of fluid therapy (gavage and sub-cutaneous) and other stabilization methods will be discussed. Wing immobilization techniques and bandaging will be demonstrated. During the cadaver lab, participants will be able to practice these skills so when an accident happens, they will be prepared. This two hour workshop will be lead by IAATE Board Member Kit Lacy of Cascades Raptor Center.

Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $20

Fire Hose Enrichment: Millions of yards of fire hose are disposed of in landfills each year. This material is perfect for making many items for animals in human care, from hammocks and browsers to enrichment cubes and perches. Using the designs and techniques from Hose2Habitat, this hands on workshop will demonstrate the many uses of fire hose. Participants will each be making an item to bring home to your birds. This two hour workshop will be facilitated by Garrett Moore of Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $20

Telemetry: Ever wonder which transmitter to get for your bird? This workshop will go over the different types of transmitters from the tiny light weight micro to the popular RT Plus. You will learn about the next generation of tracking with new GPS telemetry. This hands on workshop will teach participants different mounting options and how to properly place a back pack mount on your bird safely. Two hour workshop, facilitated by Ricardo Velarde of Marshall Radio Telemetry.

Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $20

The Importance of True Team Mentality: Every day we work hard for a common goal but do we work hard to work together toward that goal? The skill of being a good learner and a graceful mistake maker can only be improved in an environment where it is comfortable to do so. Do you help your coworkers learn and grow on a daily basis by offering supportive feedback and a safe place to make mistakes and learn? Do you encourage your coworkers to support you by asking for feedback and reinforcing them when they do offer information to help you improve? Sometimes it is easy to forget that the same science we apply to training animals also applies to our colleagues and ourselves. In this workshop we will explore ways to foster an enjoyable and productive learning team environment through ideas like:

  • Encouraging effective learning in a supportive environment.
  • Dealing with tough conversations and reaching solutions as a team.
  • Fostering a trusting and resilient team.
  • Encouraging an active feedback loop.
  • Empowering each other to make decisions and gain new responsibilities.
  • Building strong relationships with management staff.
  • Managing teams that strive to support each other and work together.

The skills covered in this two hour workshop facilitated by IAATE Board member Arianna Bailey CPBT-KA of Natural Encounters, Inc. are for all levels of staff from volunteers to hourly staff to management.

Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $20


Icebreaker, Wednesday February 21

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. This year we will be mixing and mingling in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park museum and you can bet there'll be fun team games and interactive activities! Our Icebreaker also includes a delightful selection of hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member/Student: $65 Non-member: $85


Night Out, Thursday February 22

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

The conference is not without its moments to relax and have fun with friends new and old. We have a great Night Out planned for all of you! With an old fashioned roller skating rink just across the parking lot from the hotel, you can walk to Retro Night Out as we disco dance at the skating rink. Enjoy popcorn, hotdogs, and other snacks as you mingle and skate, with plenty of laughter as you watch fellow bird trainers on the skate floor. And there's no better way to sooth your bruises than with a drink, as cocktail hour will follow. This year's Night Out is included in the conference fee, so don't forget to pack those retro 70's and 80's clothes!

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member/Student: $20 Non-member: $35

Zoo Day, Friday February 23

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

We'll keep you busy all day on Zoo Day. Surrounded by breathtaking mountains, Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a fun, 300-acre gathering place featuring the world famous Sundial Bridge, a museum, forestry & wildlife center, arboretum and botanical gardens. This year's Zoo Day will be a unique event with amazing animal interactions and workshops offered throughout the day. In response to past feedback, both workshop sessions will be during the day, leaving the evening free for mixing and mingling. If you participated in the raffle on Thursday, you might be the lucky person who won your own private training workshop with Turtle Bay's raven. During Zoo Day, attendees will have opportunities to interact with many of Turtle Bay's trained animals. While most IAATE members are bird brains, there is nothing quite like having a fox in your lap, going for a walk with a badger, or feeding a friendly beaver. Turtle Bay Exploration Park features sixty four species of non-releasable animals, most of which are native animals acquired from rehab situations. If you are lucky, you may have a chance to spot a Yellow-billed Magpie as this is the only place in the world to find them. 

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member: $40; Non-member: $60; Student: $30


Open Board Meeting, Friday February 23

Our Open Board Meeting will be held on Friday February 23 at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Join your organization's Board to hear committee reports, financial updates, and general information about the business year in review as well as upcoming endeavors. This is your opportunity to stay updated on the business of your organization and ask any questions you many want answered. Lunch will be provided at this year's Open Board Meeting and we hope to see a full attending member turn out!


Banquet, Saturday February 24

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

The 2018 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 get ready to find out where we are headed in 2019 as we unveil our next conference destination! Our banquet features a full dinner and a cash bar. Great food and great times are assured.

Cost if not registered for full conference: Member/Student: $100; Non-member: $120 



This year's hospitality suite is a large room, perfect for mingling. 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. 



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

If you are shipping packages, please ship to:

Turtle Bay Exploration Park
844 Sundial Bridge Drive, 
Redding CA 96001
Attn: Sharon Clay (IAATE raffle)


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 2018 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 deadlines! 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: December 1, 2017

Education Grant Submission Deadline: December 1, 2017 

Awards Submission Deadline: January 31, 2018

Photo Contest Submission Deadline: January 31, 2018

Sunday/Monday February 25/26

Flying out of Sacramento? Our friends at Sacramento Zoo have generously agreed to afford IAATE conference attendees free admission to the zoo for the two days post conference. To recieve free admission, just show your IAATE conference name badge.


Registration for the 2018 conference includes our paper sessions, icebreaker, banquet, night out, and zoo day. Please note workshops and pre-conference trip have an additional cost associated and are available to sign up for on a first come, first served basis.

EARLY BIRD Registration (before Jan 1, 2018)

 Member $250
 Non-Member $350
 Student $195

Registration After Jan 1, 2018

 Member $275
 Non-Member $375
 Student $195

Activities with additional fees not covered in registration:

Full-day Training Workshop: $75
Pre-conference Trip: $40
Thursday and Friday PM Workshops: $20 each

Online Registration for our 2018 conference now open. Click HERE to register online

Once you are registered, if you'd like to look up your registration to confirm, please click HERE to resend your confirmation email.

Online registration is recommended, nevertheless you can download a pdf version of our registration form here.

Waiver and Release

1.Only ONE registration form per person (please complete the process for each registrant by clicking on 'register another' at the summary of charges page in the online process).
2.Name and Affiliation should be listed as you would like it to appear on your name tag.
3.Membership must be current for 2018 to receive membership rates and proof of student status is required for student rate.
4.No refunds will be given after January 25, 2018.
5.A $25 cancellation fee is applicable to all cancelled registrations.
6.A position in a workshop is offered on a first come first serve basis. If space is filled a message will be displayed informing you that the workshop is full.

Although online registration is preferred if possible, if you wish to pay by check, or mail your registration, download the registration form (please check back later for the form). Please fill out the required fields on your computer, print, and mail with your check to the address on the form.

2018 IAATE is at the Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge

840 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding CA, 96003
(530) 364-2800

To reserve rooms online, please follow this link to webpage created especially for IAATE conference room reservations MAKE RESERVATION

Our host hotel, The Sheraton Redding Hotel, is the chosen site for our California conference. The meeting space is well equipped for our presentations. You can enjoy free WiFi in guest rooms and meeting spaces.

We have secured the discounted rates of $135.00/single and $145/double per room.

The hotel will be holding a block of rooms for us until Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Reservations made after that date will be accepted on a space available and rate available basis. Check in time is 4:00 pm on the day of arrival. Check out time is 11:00 am on the day of departure. If early arrivals or late departures are necessary, please let the hotel know in advance and they will make every effort to accommodate.

If you are traveling by air, you will fly into the Redding International Airport. While there is no airport hotel shuttle, our conference location is just a 10 minute cab ride from the airport.

The Sheraton Redding at Sundial Bridge is situated near the Sacramento River in the heart of Turtle Bay Exploration Park. The hotel and adjacent restaurant have been thoughtfully designed to compliment the lush natural setting of the park and the world renowned Sundial Bridge. Guests of the hotel will be within steps of the signature restaurant, river cafe, Turtle Bay Museum, Paul Bunyan Forest Camp, Redding Convention Center and the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. The Sheraton Redding at Sundial Bridge will provide gracious hospitality in an upscale but unpretentious setting that embraces the mission of Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

Hotel Details
- 130 Rooms, including six suites. 
- A large swimming pool with an outdoor jacuzzi. 
- 4,000 square foot Ballroom/Meeting Space with doors opening to the pool/patio area for evening events.  The ballroom can be divided into smaller rooms, and the entire ballroom can seat 270 people for a meal.
- 1,000 square foot workout room with a view of the pool and Paul Bunyan's Forest Camp (1st Floor).
- An enviable outdoor event location: A large garden/grass area on the west side of the hotel, ideal for weddings, craft fairs and art shows.
- An executive 1,200 square foot Starwood-preferred guest lounge (3rd Floor).
- Wi-fi access throughout the hotel, with full computer access in the lobby.

If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to the IAATE annual conference, please contact our Marketing and Development Committee Chair, Dave Miller davermiller70@gmail.com 

Attention CPBT-KA! Earn CEU's

Our annual conference paper sessions and workshops are eligible for CEUs necessary for maintaining your certification.

Credits available are as follows:

IAATE Annual Conference – 10.5 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop - A Comprehensive Course for Bird Trainers and Show Presenters - 8 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – Avian Basic First Aid and Triage – 2 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – Fire Hose Enrichment – 2 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – Telemetry – 2 CEUs
IAATE Annual Conference Workshop – The Importance of True Team Mentality – 2 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!

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


Cron Job Starts