- MSED, Old Dominion University, VA, Dec. 2002, Certified, Teacher-Sci, Va 2002
- BS, Animal Science, UMD, Dec. 1989
- 2018 ASDPMV Conference, “Introduction to Bridge and Target Training,” McLean, VA
- 2017 ASDPMV Conference, “Dog Cognition,” Arlington, VA
- 2016 IMATA Conference, “Implications of a Breeding Ban, and Strategies to Avoid, or Reverse, Breeding Bans,” San Diego, CA
- 2013 PennVet Working Dog Conf., “The Art and Science of Training, Dog & Handler”: Leading Trainers and Their Canine Partners to Self-Driven Excellence, St. Louis, MO
- 2010 Int. Symposium, Utrecht Univ.: Animal Intelligence, Behavior & Welfare, “Talk to me!” (Drs. Jane Goodall, Irene Pepperberg, Jan van Hoof, Jan Hooimeijer, & Valerie Sheehy).
- 2009: Int. Assoc. of Animal Behavior Counselors Annual Conference
- 2009 Friends for Life: Compassion in Action – Helping Dogs & Cats, Houston, TX
- 2008 Int. Association of Canine Professionals, An. Conference, Hutto, TX, keynote
- 2008 Assoc. of Behavior Analysts Conf.
- 2004 Assoc. of Zoos & Aquariums,
- 2004 Assoc. of Behavior Analysis, Boston, MA
- 2004 Int. Soc. of AnthroZoologists, Glasgow, Scotland
- 2004 WoodGreen Animal Shelters Symposium, “Introducing Syn Alia Training Systems”
- 2003 AustralAsian Conference on Zoo Training and Conditioning, hosted by Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia, November, keynote
CONSULTANT, Syn Alia Animal Training Systems, 1990-present
Certification for professional trainers
- Certifies (over 300) professional trainers
- Develops curricula and resources for animal trainers (manuals, articles, videos, and seminars
- Author of training references:
- An Introduction to Bridge and Target Training, the first explanation of the intermediate bridge and these techniques available to the public.
- SATS and the Family Dog: A Guide to Critical Living Skills for Dogs and the People Who Love Them
- Talk to Me! A guide to optimizing communication with animals
- See also publication list
- Research and behavioral engineering to develop animal based solutions to human and animal needs.
- Consultant, trainer and animal manager; implements state of the art training programs and husbandry/animal management systems in domestic and exotic animal facilities, trains and motivates staff, designs and develops demonstrations for public education and entertainment, trains and manages animal models/actors.
- Seminars, classes and events on animal training, training of new professionals, throughout the United States and Internationally.
- Established curricula for developing staff at animal facilities – examples: Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans, LA, 1996, Good Day Ranch, Austin, TX, 1991; Marine Mammal and Bear Keepers and Volunteers, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1979-1985
- Training for staff members of zoos – examples: Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Taronga Zoo, Adelaide Zoo, Blijdorp Zoo, Oakland Zoo, Quebec Aquarium, Mesker Park Zoo, Aurora Park Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, Antwerpen DierenPark, Good Day’s Ranch
- Animal rescue organizations – examples: HorseNet and Dog Ears and Paws, and Wood Green Animal Shelters
- Private facilities – examples: Ancient Oaks Farm, Silverdale Farm, Canine Horizons, 100 Acres Woods Farm, Talisman Dogs
Technical staff, University of Maryland 1987-1990
- Training of faculty in animal behavioral training methods, as a research tool.
- Analysis and review of technical research.
- Research support, behavioral management technical expert
- Voluntary blood sampling in free-standing pigs; 1990
- Training of trainers, – University of Maryland affiliates (1989), University of Maryland Swine Unit Research Personnel (1987), University of Maryland Faculty, Animal Science Department (1987). (8-hour course with practicum).
- Heifers trained for estrus detection (teaching cows to tell us if they wanted food or a five minute date with a bull). 1987.
- Litter Training a horse, UMCP 1987.
- Chickens trained to perform in a Wild West chicken show project for training student trainers. 1990.
Keeper leader, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, 1979-87
- Public demonstrations designed and presented to over 1,000,000 visitors.
- Marine mammal health maintenance training program, Grey Seals trained to stand for voluntary blood sampling, teeth cleaning, general examination, mammary inspection as well as for cooperation in their own care in moving throughout the exhibits and in the public areas, collection of weights, attention to pups and public interaction. Sea Lions as above. These animals were managed in mixed sex groups on public display in large, enriched enclosures and vet work was often done before audiences at exhibit poolside.
- Carnivore health maintenance program, (bears, wolves, bush dogs, otters, cheetahs trained to cooperate in their own care, from taking injections, allowing tooth inspection and hair samples, to fly spray and wiper door use.)
- Volunteer keeper program 1980-7. Young people trained to become animal specialists and authors of their own significant work. Provided over 15,000 man hours in the first five years of the program.
- FONZ Educational presentation volunteer program, NZP, SI, 1980-85.
- Smithsonian Resident Associates tour leader, 1979-86.
- Friends of the National Zoo, Instructor and Tour Leader numerous classes, tours and events.
- Communication through graphic symbols, Grey Seals 1979-1981
- “Human Animal Partnership Program” hosted by the National Zoo, 1980 (co-organizer).
- Eye Damage Data Collection, 1979 to 1982
- Marine mammal trainer and keeper, Mystic Marinelife Aquarium 1978-79
- Trained dolphins, whales, seals and sea lions, for husbandry and public demonstrations.
- Presented educational public demonstrations highlighting the behavior and physiology of marine mammals (1500 audience capacity, up to 11 shows a day).
- Student research, technical assistant, University of California, San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Physiology Research Lab (Gerry Kooyman, Ph. D.)
- Training Northern Fur Seals for Physiology Research, Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, La Jolla, Cal, 1973-6. Presented at the IMATA conference, 1974. Taught Callorhinus ursinus to cooperate in their own care and in metabolic research. The animals learned to voluntarily enter metabolic chambers.
- Physiology research with California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals. These animals were taught to cooperate in their general husbandry and veterinary care, to follow a research cart to give lung air samples, to breath on cue, and to wear harnesses with time-depth recorders to pretest them for field conditions.
Research, Development and Programs
Projects, Current and Past:
- Manual of training plans and practices, for Zoo Staffs AND
- Management and Training Plans for Animal Shelters and Rescue Organizations.
- Trainer Development Series, Internationally presented, giving developing trainers a basis in bridge and target training.
- Horse Seminar Series, DVH, Darnestown, MD. A series of guided learning presentations designed to teach lay horsemen to apply Bridge and Target training to equitation. 1995-6.
- Horse Project, Silverdale Farms, LTD, Freeland, MD. A general training and husbandry program for brood mares and foals to turn out World Class Champions. Expected finishing of new foals – 1997.
- Potbellied pig project: taught pig to identify body parts, letters, numbers, pictures, colors, and words.
- “This Piggie Went to the Vets”: taking temperature, taking injections, allowing blood sampling and hoof trimming, naming body parts.
- Syn Alia Combined Training Events for Pet Pigs (a standardized, “teach as they compete” set of agility, obedience, citizenship and specialty exercises for pigs. Pigs can earn degrees of higher learning, culminating in the designation, “Pig ‘X’traordinaire”. Premiered at California State Fair, CalEXPO.
- Training, husbandry and staff development, at the facilities of various private clients.
- Feasibility Project: Training Nurse Sharks, Aquarium of the Americas, 1996.
- “Ferrets to Police Steam Lines” problem analysis and proposal, Potomac Electric and Power Company, 1986.
- “Pigeons to Guide the Sightless” 1983, phase I.
- Monkeys to Aid Quadriplegics, 1979 (first presented in Medical World News), co-founder. This project developed into “Helping Hands for the Handicapped” as featured nationally and internationally in major news media (60 minutes, Today, Good Morning America, Stern, Smithsonian, Readers Digest…).
- International Society for Anthrozoology, (ISAZ) Glasgow, Scotland, Oct 2004.
- Association of Zoos and Aquariums, (AZA) New Orleans, Louisiana, 2004.
- Association of Behavior Analysts, (ABA) Boston, Massachusetts, 2004.
- AustralAsian Conference on Zoo Training and Conditioning, Taronga Zoo 2003.
- “Animal Welfare and the Food Industry,” guest lecturer, Food Sciences Senior Seminar Class, February 1990.
- “Communication and Motivation,” International Food Technologist Dairy Conference dinner speaker November 1989.
- “Animal Training Technology, the State of the Art”, Public Seminar, University of MD- CP, June 1989.
- “Application of Animal Training Technology”, Faculty Seminar, University of MD- CP, November 1986.
- “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Monkey and Sheep for Kennedy Center Opera, 1988.
- “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Free Flight Pigeons for Arena Stage, 1986.
- “Real Estate,” Free run Dog for Arena Stage, 1985.
- “Monkeys Trained to Aid Quadriplegics,” behavior staff/primate steering committee seminar, NIH, Bethesda, MD, 1980.
- “COMPUCHIN”, Honorable Mention (top 25 of 800 entrants), Johns Hopkins First National Search for Computing to Aid the Handicapped, 1980.
Publications and articles:
- SATS and the Familly Dog – Daily Living Skills, 2008
- Teaching Dogs to Manage their Emotions: Perception Modification, AAPDT Newsletter, 2003
- Syn Alia Series: Vol I: An Introduction to Bridge and Target Technique, Revised edition 2002
North American River Otter Enrichment, AZA publication pending, 2002
Protected Contact, a New Era in Elephant Management, American Animal Trainer Magazine, July 2002
Introducing the Intermediate Bridge, American Animal Trainer Magazine, Oct 2002.
Primate Care Journal 2001,
“Who’s Training Who.” feature of Simian Society of America.
The Journal of PsyETA: http://www.psyeta.org/hia/vol8/cover.html : Bridge and Target Training: Beyond Behavior Modification Sep 94
Pot Bellied Pigs Magazine 1991 – 1993
Litter Perfect, litter training
The Root of the Problem, or Squaring the Root of a Pig, how to constructively redirect rooting behavior
Perfect Presents, preparing for the new pig, quarantine, travel and introductions
Pig Prescription I: Vet Exam Training, general examinations, injections and temperature
Pig Prescription II: Vet Exam Training, mouth, dental work, hoof care
Home Away from Home, the travel kennel
Teaching “Come” and “Heel,”
Harnessing Pig Power, harness training
Festivities and Fun for All, games for pigs and people
Stay: To Remain in One Spot!
NAPPA Newsletter 1992 – 1993
CalExpo or Bust! blood sampling to get pigs to the fair.
To Train or Not to Train, why train a pet pig?
Stress and the Health and Welfare of Your Pig.
Zooculturist: How to Catch the Fast Train, the benefits and logistics of training exotic animals, how to buy consultation services Dec 92.
Animals Exotic and Small: Monkeyshines, teaching monkeys to be nonaggressive Dec 92.
International Marine Animal Trainer’s Assoc.
- Teaching People to Train Animals, with J. Zeligs Nov 91
- Information Storage and Retrieval System, Nov 81
- Fur Seal Experiences at Scripps Inst. of Ocean. Nov 78
- Soundings Newsletter – Training Terminology 1978.
Blood Sampling Pigs, University of Maryland Mar 90.
Chickens on Stage, MCTV Jan 90.
Featured in December 1992 Equus Magazine “The Secret of X” and in various television and other media articles and interviews.
Teacher of Humans (MSED, certified as a science teacher); examples –
Certified over 300 professional trainers to date, world over
Oversaw over 40 keeper volunteers, at NZP, (many now professionals of note) who contributed over 15,000 manhours in 5 years, with no significant injuries
Recruited and trained over 120 Docent volunteers at NZP
Teacher of disabled children:
Non-verbal Communication for a CP child with CMV, 1994.
Teaching pre-verbal children to make non-verbal choices and understand their medical care, Centreville, VA 1993-4.
Teacher, Amigo School for Autistic Children, Quincy, Massachusetts, 1977.
Volunteer Teacher, Pacific State Mental Hospital, Diamond Bar, California, 1974.
Volunteer Tutor with dyslexic and retarded children, 1969-1973.
Hosted numerous international, professional discussion communities; examples:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/2pcem (Protected Contact Elephant Management)
Published training manuals and numerous articles,print and digital versions