1. 2018 IAATE Conference
  2. Keynote Speaker
  3. Papers
  4. Activities
  5. Schedule
  6. Registration
  7. Hotel
  8. Sponsors



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

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 up to $5,000.00 to eligible IAATE members to assist in funding attendance of our annual conference. This scholarship fund is limited 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 hereDeadline 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.

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 Application 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

Chris N. Parish, was raised in a small farming/ranching and oil town in south-central California near the historical range of the remnant California condor population in the southern San Joaquin Valley.  After a brief yet impactful introduction to the wildlife of the desert foothills mostly through hunting and fishing, he moved on to further his education at Northern Arizona University on an athletic scholarship, obtaining a B.S. in Biology with emphasis on Fish and Wildlife Management.  Through time, education and reflection of the vast gap between the people of the land and conservation-oriented groups i.e. academics, scientists etc., it became obvious that he would strive to bridge the gap between the people of the lands and the scientific/management communities. After working on the Black Footed Ferret Reintroduction Program for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, he transferred to the Flagstaff Regional Office as Condor Project Coordinator in 1997.  Since fall 2000, he has been directing the condor project’s field effort for The Peregrine Fund, continuing his passion for effectively conveying products of scientific inquiry to target audiences in an effort to recover a species.  In 2012, Chris returned to Northern Arizona University in pursuit of a PhD. in the Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability Program. 

Chris and his wife Ellen, have two beautiful teenage daughters, Emma and Anna.  They can sometimes be found together exploring the wilds of the four corners region while tracking condors, hunting, fishing or hiking.


The 26th Annual Conference will be hosted by Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding CA. February 21-24, 2018.

Share your knowledge, expertise and experience with
IAATE members. We are soliciting papers on these topics:
  • Training and Behavior 
  • Conservation and Research
  • Shows and Education   
  • Animal Management and Veterinary Medicine
  • Enrichment                              
  • Husbandry and medical training
30 minutes will be allotted for each paper presentation (20 minute presentation, 10 minute question/answer). Posters will be on display throughout the conference with time allotted to meet with the author.

If you would like to present a paper or poster, please send an abstract by October 1st, 2017 to:
Helen Dishaw
Vice President of IAATE
Phone: 585-278-6171 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Electronic submissions are preferred. Please submit documents in Microsoft Word. Download a copy of our Conference Paper/Poster Presenters Guidelines, which includes detailed information on important deadlines, formatting submissions and an outline of expectations for presenters at out annual conference.

The Conference Committee evaluates and makes decisions on papers and posters accepted for presentation at our annual conference after the October 1 deadline. Successful presenters will be notified by November 1, 2017. Please check back after that date for a full line-up of papers and posters being presented at our 2018 conference.


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.

Want to learn about something other than birds? No? Well, in case you change your mind, we have planned a pre-conference trip to the Georgia Aquarium. The Aquarium has more gallons of water than any other North American aquarium. Sitting in front of the gigantic glass wall of Ocean Voyager or watching the serene movements of the whale sharks, manta rays, and other enormous marine fishes is like nothing else you can even imagine. Not only is the view breathtaking, but it’s also the only place in the country where you can view manta rays or whale sharks. See the tidal waves crashing over Indonesian reefs, watch garden eels play hide-and-seek, marvel at the giant Japanese crabs, and watch the antics of the sea otters and penguins. This summer, the Aquarium was able to provide a home to several stranded California sea lions. Hopeful to have a really cool show up and running in the future, they currently showcase how far these animals have come and the amazing work these trainers have done with these non-releasable young individuals. You can get through the entire aquarium in a couple of hours, but you can just as easily take your time and make a whole day out of it.

Included with this pre-conference trip to the Aquarium is another amazing adventure, just steps across Centennial Olympic Park, at the World of Coca-Cola. At this beverage museum, learn about the history of Coca-Cola and its Atlanta roots. You’ll also learn about the origins of what is now the most recognized version of Santa Claus in the U.S. See bottles and cans from all around the world, taste drinks from every one of Coke’s regions, watch soda being bottled, and take home a free souvenir bottle of Coke! Want more? For a few dollars extra, you can walk two blocks to CNN Center and a take a backstage tour where you might get the chance to test out the powers of a green screen during a practice weather forecast.

Cost: $35
Limited to 50 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. Reservations will be made on a first come, first serve basis. Space permitting, payment reserves your space. 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 - CEU’s 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: $50 (all proceeds go to the IAATE conservation fund).
This workshop runs 8am - 5pm on Wednesday, February 22
Limited to 75 participants.


Workshops, Thursday and Friday PM, February 23 and 24

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. IATCB CEU’s are also available for certified trainers.

This conference will offer three different workshops all at our conference hotel. All three workshops will be offered twice, on Thursday in the PM and again on Friday in the PM, requiring a choice between them.

Personal Passion and the Perfect Presentation: Making the Most Out of Every Interaction: Exhibit talks, animal encounters, and stage shows are some of the primary tools that many facilities use to help connect guests with the animals that we care for. But what information are we sharing in these interactions, and how are we presenting it? In this workshop, we will explore some concepts that can help us to take full advantage of every opportunity to take these interactions to the next level:

  • Moving beyond "Sharing = Caring"
  • To Script or Not to Script: Interactions "In the Now"
  • Strategies for Training Visitors
  • What does "The Perfect Presenter" look like?

This two hour workshop will be facilitated by Chris Jenkins, CPBT-KA, Chief Operating Officer, Natural Encounters, Inc.
Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $10

Educating the Flock: How to combine the science of training and education to create cooperative learning.
Want to hone your education skills for zoo camps, outreach programs, zoo tours, shows and school presentations? We are emphasizing the 'E' in IAATE at this workshop! Learn how to promote collaborative and active learning, foster empowerment, adapt to various learning styles and utilize free educational technology. Attendees will go through various labs and hands on activities, while best practices are being modeled. Participants will take home an inquiry-based activity and lab lesson plans as well as educational bird related prizes!

This three hour workshop will be facilitated by IAATE Board Member, Mike Billington, CPBT-KA, and Kenny Coogan, CPBT-KA.
Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $10

Engaging Enrichment: A workshop on how to enrich your birds and your guests simultaneously. Learn the art of extending visitor stay time while inspiring them to leave as stewards of your avian ambassadors. This three hour workshop will be facilitated by IAATE President, Robin Shewokis and IAATE Board Member, Dave Miller.
Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $10


Workshops, Friday, February 24 (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. IATCB CEU’s are also available for certified trainers.

Raptor Care: Proper Restraint and Basic Coping Skills: Participants will have the opportunity for hands-on learning using cadaver raptors. This workshop will focus on basic restraint and coping techniques. Trainers with no or limited experience in coping and/or restraint of raptors will get the most out of this workshop for beginners.

This two hour workshop will be facilitated by Zoo Atlanta staff and will run from 9:30-11:30am.

Limited to 25 participants.
Cost: $20


Perching for Health and Welfare: In this hands-on workshop participants will get an overview of perching dos and don’ts in regards to keeping your birds’ feet healthy and minds active! After learning about the creativity and endless possibilities in perching options, attendees will get to practice skills building a variety of perches. If you drove to the conference you get to go home with your new creation! If you can’t get your perches home, the Birds and Programs Animals Department will put them to good use at Zoo Atlanta.

This two hour workshop will be facilitated by Zoo Atlanta staff and will run from 9:30-11:30am.

Limited to 25 participants.
Cost: $20


Icebreaker, Wednesday February 22

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

The Ramada Plaza Atlanta Downtown is where you’ll be resting your head and also where we’ll kick off the conference at the icebreaker. Atlanta has a huge comedy improv scene, and we’ll be treated to a show by Improv Road Show. You might even have a chance to practice some of your own newly-learned improv skills! We all know that will come in handy next time you have a bird sitting in a tree that should be sitting on your glove.  During the icebreaker, we’ll be raffling some great behind-the-scenes tour opportunities that can be used during Zoo Day, so bring your cash!

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


Zoo Day, Friday February 24

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

We’ll keep you busy all day on Zoo Day.  If you participated in the raffle during the icebreaker, you might find yourself behind the scenes feeding a rhino or an elephant. Maybe you won a chance to feed a cassowary or meet a lemur. How about feeding a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), tiger or Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)? If the weather cooperates, you might feed a giraffe or take a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel. More information will be made available about how you can be one of eight people who gets to meet and feed a Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Take a tour of great ape areas, and get a glimpse of how Zoo Atlanta cares for the country’s largest zoological population of great apes. Or maybe you want to check out the behind-the-scenes reptile and amphibian Conservation Breeding Center. Be sure to catch one of Zoo Atlanta’s “Fantastic Flights Bird Show” in the World of Wild Theater presented by Georgia Natural Gas, and then get a behind-the-scenes look at how the zoo houses, trains, and manages bird show birds. If you’re really lucky, you might even get a photo with a Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) or Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus).

During Zoo Day, Zoo Atlanta will host a hands-on workshop for skills practice in restraint of birds of prey, using a dremel to cope and trim beaks, and first aid on-the-go if you get into trouble while out on program. Another Zoo Day workshop, hosted by Zoo Atlanta, will be a great way to grow your skills and get those creative juices flowing when it comes to perching for bird health and welfare.  See the workshops section for more details.

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


Open Board Meeting, Friday February 24

Our Open Board Meeting will be held on Friday February 24 at Zoo Atlanta. 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 answering. 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 25

Covered in the cost of full-registration fee.

The 2017 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 2017, as next year’s host delivers their fun announcement! Our banquet features a full dinner and a cash bar as well as the musical stylings of Leucine Zipper and the Zinc Fingers, a science rock group made up of Georgia Tech professors (the guitarist also works at the Zoo as Director of Research). 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. Due to the limited eating establishments within close proximity, this year’s hospitality suite will feature a concessions stand during breakfast, lunch, and dinner times at which you will be able to purchase inexpensive meal options.



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 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:

Zoo Atlanta
Attn: Rebecca Bearman (IAATE raffle)
800 Cherokee Avenue SE,  Atlanta, GA 30315


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 2017 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: December 1, 2016

Education Grant Submission Deadline: December 1, 2016 

Behavior Awards Submission Deadline: January 31, 2017

Photo Contest Submission Deadline: January 31, 2017

Enrichment Award Submission Deadline: Ongoing as part of the monthly challenge on Facebook. Please contact Enrichment Committee Chair, Bobby Brett, if you have any questions.

Please check back for our conference schedule.




Registration for the 2018 conference includes our paper sessions, icebreaker, banquet, and zoo day. Please note workshops, pre-conference trip, and night out 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: $50
Pre-conference Trip:
Thursday and Friday PM Workshops: $10 each

Online Registration for our 2018 conference is not open yet. Please check back later. 

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 - our registration is not open yet). 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
Phone coming soon

Our host hotel, The Sheraton Redding Hotel, is the chosen site for our California conference. The meeting space is well equipped for our presentations. During your stay you will be able to take advantage of: 

  • Free continental breakfast.
  • Free WiFi in guest rooms and meeting space.

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 withan 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 IAATE annual conference, please contact our Marketing and Development Committee Chair, Dave Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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 and Educators

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.



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