"History in the Making:  The Future of Behavior Management and Its Role In Conservation"

The San Antonio Zoo and Sea World San Antonio are co-hosting.  The conference hotel is the Marriot Plaza San Antonio with a rate of $156/night.

 

 

 

Quick Links for Conference Information

BMF Scholarship

Did you know that ABMA's Behavior Management Fund (BMF) committee has a travel scholarship available for one lucky member at each of our annual conferences? Abstract deadline for the BMF Travel Scholarship has passed. Please submit the complete BMF Travel Scholarship application package to be considered.   
This scholarship is to assist an ABMA member whose institution is unable to give them financial support. The Travel Scholarship will help the award recipient by giving them the ability to present their work and it will help the organization by giving ABMA members the opportunity to hear presentations that the membership otherwise would not have the opportunity to hear and as such, the Travel Scholarship supports the ABMA Core Value of “Sharing the Knowledge.”

The scholarship will provide:
• Transportation: Up to $500.00 reimbursed at Conference with receipt of purchased ticket or based on government per diem if driving, verification of mileage is required.
• Hotel room for the entire conference.
• Conference registration fee (including site visits, the banquet, and any meals included with registration).
*Airport to hotel transportation and meals on your own will not be provided.
Applicant Requirements
• Applicant must be an ABMA member in good standing. ABMA membership must be valid through the dates of the conference for the given Travel Scholarship Award year.
• Applicant may not have received this scholarship in the previous year.
• Applicant must submit the complete application form including required signature and abstract by the deadline and if selected, be able to present at the conference. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure application materials are complete; applicants will not be notified if the application materials are incomplete.

Timeline:
January 5th- BMF Travel Scholarship application due by 11:59pm.
February 2nd- Scholarship winner notified
February 9th- Winner accept/deny

Application Process:
There are 3 required components of the BMF Travel Scholarship application:
1. 2018 BMF application.
2. 2018 ABSTRACT SUBMISSION FORM. The complete abstract submission form (both pages) must be included with the application for consideration.
3. Travel Scholarship winner must officially accept the award within one week of email notification, otherwise the award will be offered to the runner-up.

Abstract Submissions
If you have a behavior management accomplishment, an intriguing case study, a research project, or innovation for the field, especially one that resonates with the theme of the conference, please come share it with your colleagues!

 

2018 ABSTRACT SUBMISSION FORM

Abstract review will be based on quality of the abstract, content and subject matter of the paper, application of the ABMA mission statement, and incorporation of the theme of the conference.  Please keep in mind that we receive a number of quality submissions each year, and not all abstracts can necessarily be accepted for presentation.  When your abstract is accepted for either a poster or presentation you are required to submit a paper for the conference proceedings prior to presenting.  This submission deadline is one week before the conference- 1 April 2018.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Conference Content Advisory Committee Co-Chair, Antonio Ramirez, at abmaabstracts@gmail.com  or the 2018 Vice President, Missy Lamar, at missylamar@mac.com

Presentations are 20 minutes total.  Presenters should plan for a few minutes of questions afterwards (e.g. 17 minute presentation, 3 minutes for questions).  It is encouraged to be available for questions throughout the remainder of the week.  Poster presenters are required to stand by their posters on poster night and discuss their poster with conference attendees.  Posters will be viewable during the entire conference so please be prepared to turn in your poster at registration so it can be set up the next day.  If poster night is held off site, ABMA will transport and set up  your poster but you are responsible for it after poster night concludes.

Detailed timeline for Abstract Submissions:

January 5th- abstracts due

January 15th- NEW abstract deadline due to natural disasters

February 9th- notifications to presenters

February 16th- presenters accept/decline

April 1st- papers due for proceedings

Conference Registration
  Registration rates are listed below.  Registration is OPEN- CLICK HERE!  

 

ABMA Conference Registration Form_2018.  Please use this form if you prefer to pay by check or if you are an AAZK or IMATA member.  If you're an AAZK or IMATA member you can receive the ABMA member rate until 23 March 2018.

Weekly Registration Pricing:

Weekly registrations are for the week of 8-13 April 2018.  The evening of the 8th is our icebreaker.  The evening of the 13th is our banquet.  The icebreaker and the banquet are included in the cost of your weekly registration- do not purchase these from the a la carte menu unless you plan to have an extra person attend for that event only.  There will be no weekly registrations the week before the conference to allow us time to compile accurate numbers to the hotel.

The Hose2Habitat Workshop is only available with a conference registration (weekly or daily).  If you wish to attend the workshop only, please contact us to be placed on the waiting list.

Member Early registration $335.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Member Early registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $385.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Early registration $410.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Early registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $460.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Member Full registration $385.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Member Full registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $435.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Full registration $460.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Full registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $510.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Member On-site registration $450.

Non-member On-site registration $500.

Daily Registration Pricing:

Daily registrations are for Monday, Wednesday, or Friday during the week of 9-13 April.  The icebreaker on the evening of the 8th and the banquet on the evening of the 13th are extra- see A La Carte pricing below.

Member Daily Early registration $95.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Member Daily Early registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $145.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Daily Early registration $110.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Daily Early registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $160.  This rate ends 4 March at 11:59pm; rates will increase on 5 March.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Member Daily Full registration $110.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Member Daily Full registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $160.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Daily Full registration $125.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

Non-Member Daily Full registration AND Hose2Habitat Workshop $175.  This rate will start 5 March and end on 1 April at 11:59pm.  Starting 2 April no weekly registrations will be available for purchase until the conference starts on 8 April.

On-site Daily Registration $125.

A La Carte Pricing:

Icebreaker- $40

Banquet- $95

Contact us if you have any questions.

REFUND POLICY:
100% until 30 days before the start of the conference
50% from 29 days until 8 days before the conference
No refunds starting the week before the conference

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS (CEU's):

We will again be offering CEU's for a variety of organizations.  Once the program is finalized we will submit for credits and post here.  We normally offer CEU's for the following organizations:
IAABC
IATCB
CCPDT
NAI

We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

Hotel

Click here to Book your group rate for the Animal Behavior Management Alliance Annual Conference April 2018

The conference hotel is the Marriot Plaza San Antonio (this link is for general information only- DO NOT use this link to reserve your room or you will be charged a higher rate!).  The Marriot is offering ABMA a rate of $156/night.  You can reach the hotel reservation line at (800)228-9290 if you prefer to call to make your reservation or if you have difficulty using the TOP link to reserve your room.

Last day to book the ABMA rate is 16 March.  The ABMA rate is good 3 days before and after the conference based on availability.  Please note there will be an additional $20.00 per person per night for each additional guest over double occupancy up to four (4) people total per room per night.  Please realize that all upscale San Antonio hotels are expensive.  The ABMA guarantees the hotel a certain number of rooms will be sold for the entire week. If we do not meet our room block we have to pay the hotel for those rooms that were not sold.  We highly encourage all conference attendees to stay at the Marriot Plaza San Antonio at the discounted rate of $156/night.  

AMENITIES: Complimentary wireless internet in all guestrooms.

ROOMMATES: Need a roommate?  We can help!  We'll post contact info soon but you will need to submit the following information:

  1. Your gender
  2. Roommate gender preference
  3. How many roommates you would like to have
  4. How many days you need a roommate

DINING:  Do you have dietary restrictions?  The hotel will be happy to accommodate you!  Please inform them upon reserving your room and upon check-in of your dietary needs.  Don't forget to let the ABMA know of your dietary restrictions during the online registration process.

Transportation
Super Shuttle and ExecuCar are offering ABMA attendees a 10% discount on airport fares.  This fare is only available for online purchases.  You can use this direct link or apply the discount manually when you visit SuperShuttle or ExecuCar.  Click on the icon “Airport Rides” on the right hand side of the page and it will take you directly to their reservations site.  The coupon code is 2PPLF.

 

Hotel Location:  The conference hotel is the Marriot Plaza San Antonio located at 555 South Alamo Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Directions from SAT:  Details coming soon.

Basic transportation charges:  Details coming soon.

Pre Conference Workshop

Pre-Conference Workshop will be Sunday 8 April at the San Antonio Zoo from 8:30am-4pm.

Hose2Habitat

Price: $50 with a conference registration (weekly or daily).  If you wish to attend the workshop only, please contact us to be placed on the waiting list.

Maximum attendees: 36

Transportation from Conference Hotel to San Antonio Zoo and back will be provided.  Lunch will also be provided.

Please contact us if you have any questions.  

Sponsors
 
 
Our annual conference would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Thank you!  If you would like more information on how to become a sponsor, please contact us!  We also have vendor opportunities available.

 

   
   
   
   
Site Visits
We will be visiting the San Antonio Zoo and Sea World San Antonio.

 

We will be visiting the San Antonio Zoo on Tuesday, 10 April and visiting Sea World on Thursday, 12 April.  Transportation and meals will be provided. 

Badge Entries
Your ABMA conference committee is working on badge entries that will allow you access to nearby attractions.

 

   
   
San Antonio
There are many questions you may have about traveling to San Antonio and Texas.  Please contact us to submit questions we haven't thought of!  We'll be posting more information soon.

 

visitsanantonio.com

WEATHER:  details coming soon

INTERNATIONAL ATTENDEES:  The legal drinking age in Texasis 21 years.  The electrical outlets in the USA are probably different than at your home.  You will need an adapter for your electronic devices as well as a power converter.  Outlets in the US are 110V.  The US will gladly accept all major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.  You may be charged an international usage fee, so check with your financial institution.  What about tipping?  Tipping is an often debated topic depending on the services used, but this reference will give you a good idea as to general numbers people often use when traveling in the US:  http://www.traveller.com.au/a-guide-to-tipping-in-the-us-when-do-i-tip-and-how-much-39x1t

BACKGROUND ON SAN ANTONIO:   

Keynote

We are excited to welcome Jim Breheny as our Keynote Speaker at the 2018 ABMA Conference in San Antonio.  If you don’t know who he is, check out Animal Planet’s show, The Zoo!  He is helping to promote people learning more about what zoos are really all about including being leaders in wildlife conservation and education.

As Executive Vice President and General Director, Zoos and Aquarium and Director of the Bronx Zoo, Jim Breheny is responsible for the operation and management of the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium, the Central Park, Prospect Park and Queens Zoos. Collectively, the zoos and aquarium house over 14,000 animals representing 1,500 species. Jim earned a B.S. in Biology from Manhattan College and an M.S. in Biology from Fordham University. He has been with WCS for 44 years, 36 years as a full-time staff member. A former Curatorial Science Fellow and Curator, he was named General Curator in 2004, Director of the Bronx Zoo in 2005 and was appointed General Director in 2011. Jim was an adjunct professor of Biology at Manhattan College from
1988 - 2005.

Jim is a Professional Fellow in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and on its Board of Directors, where he is currently Chair-elect of the AZA. Jim served on the AZA’s Membership and Professional Development Committees, the Field Conservation Committee (FCC) and as Board Liaison to the Wildlife Conservation Management Committee (WCMC) and Safety Committee.  He is currently liaison to the AZA Accreditation Commission. Jim is a member of the Zoo Advisory Board of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), on the Board of the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) and the Giant Panda Conservation Foundation (GPCF) and is a past board member of the International Iguana Foundation (IIF) and the Turtle Conservancy (TC) where he still serves as an advisor.

Speakers

Barbara Heidenreich presenting Advanced Concepts in Animal Training and their Practical Application

In 1982 Barbara Heidenreich secured her first job working with animals in a veterinary hospital. After exploring different animal related jobs and receiving her degree in Zoology from the University of California at Davis in 1990, Barbara started her career as an animal trainer in a zoological park. She has been a professional trainer ever since.
Barbara provides consulting services to zoos, nature centers, universities and other animal facilities. She lectures regularly to the veterinary community and is an adjunct clinical instructor at Texas A & M University, Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences. Barbara is a former president of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators and served on the Board of Directors from 1997-2009. She volunteers her expertise to support conservation projects, The Kakapo Recovery Program and the Bird Endowment. In her career she has trained animals, trained staff, lectured and/or presented shows at over 60 facilities around the world.
Barbara has been a featured speaker on animal training in over twenty countries and has been published in nine languages. Barbara teaches learning theory as described by the science of behavior analysis. She is also passionate about teaching excellent animal training practical application skills. Barbara is thrilled to have had the opportunity to train thousands of animals, from rats to rhinos. This hands-on practice with so many different individual animals has been invaluable to helping her provide caregivers the tools they need to solve behavior problems and have a great relationship with the animals in their lives based on trust. Her goal is to leave behind a legacy of kindness to animals by sharing her expertise.
For her complete bio please visit http://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/about-us/

Workshop Abstract:  Animal training is a field that is dynamic and evolving. Cutting edge professionals are constantly asking questions, challenging themselves to better use the science and technology to improve how we care for animals. This workshop will explore some of the topics that contemporary animal trainers have been embracing and/or exploring more in recent years in an effort to continue to advance the industry. The workshop will cover: Behavior economics, an entire field devoted to the study of reinforcement value and how it influences behavior. Learn how to apply aspects of this field to improve training. What are schedules of reinforcement and which are most relevant in today’s animal training? When undesired behavior occurs there are many options for trainer responses, most have drawbacks. Learn what’s on the menu and what choices facilitate learning without fallout. The bridging stimulus can have numerous different meanings depending on how a trainer uses it. Discover the many possible functions of a bridging stimulus and proper application. Think you are using classical conditioning or counter conditioning when you are introducing that new object and pairing it with food? Not exactly. Intrigued? Join this advanced concepts workshop and learn the latest thinking on this common procedure and others in animal training.

Research & Evaluation Workshop: Observing to Learn - Learning to Observe

Dr. Heather Hill, St. Mary's University and Dr. Rachel Walker, University of The Incarnate Word

Dr. Heather Hill completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Texas A&M University, College Station with a minor in Oceanography in 1996. She earned her master’s (2000) and doctoral (2003) degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi under the mentorship of Dr. Stan Kuczaj. Dr. Hill spent 3 years working as a research assistant at the Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, CA. Dr. Hill has been teaching psychology at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX since 2007 and is an Associate Professor. Dr. Hill spent the first 10 years of her marine mammal career conducting research on the mother-calf relationship and social development of bottlenose dolphins in human care. She also studied mirror self-recognition and mirror use in dolphins and sea lions. Most recently, she has been studying the social behavior and cognitive abilities of belugas, killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and sea lions in human care through collaborations with SeaWorld San Antonio, Georgia Aquarium, Dr. Deirdre Yeater and Mystic Aquarium, Dr. Michael Noonan and Marineland, Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski and Dolphin Communication Project, the Houston Zoo, and several other facilities and collaborators.

Dr. Rachel Walker completed her bachelor’s degree (1999) and master’s degree in Biology and her doctoral degree (2005) in Experimental Psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Walker spent 10 years working at Charleston Southern University in which she was a Full Professor and the Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences. For the past three years she has been teaching at University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio as an Associate Professor. Dr. Walker spent seven years conducting research on bottlenose dolphins in the wild and under professional care. She also focused on the potential impact of anthropogenic noise on sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico in collaboration with The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), University of New Orleans (UNO), Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center (NRL-SCC), and the Naval Oceanographic office (NAVOCEANO). Most recently, Dr. Walker is examining patterns of behavior in a variety of mammals (e.g., beluga whales, bottlenose dolphins, elephants) under professional care. She has also conducted research in the areas of social-cognitive psychology and technology as well as scholarship of teaching and learning. Her teaching and research experience, with Biology and Psychology, has provided her with the skills to effectively share the knowledge and impact of research in the field of behavior and cognition.

 

Workshop Abstract:  Whether animals or people, behavior provides many insights with clear applications across a broad range of contexts.  Behavior can inform humans about animal health, animal social tendencies, animal enrichment, animal food/habitat preferences, and overall animal well-being. Behavior can inform humans about humans watching animals, including what to attend to, whether they attend to the animals, how long they attend or stay at the habitat.  The primary purpose of this multi-day workshop is to provide attendees training on and practice with several data collection techniques that can be used to evaluate animal behavior in both spontaneous and enrichment-provided settings.  The program will include a presentation on different data collection techniques and the types of questions each technique can address. Prior to the presentation, a survey will be completed by attendees to indicate which techniques they are accustomed to and have utilized at their facilities.  The data from this survey will be summarized to provide perspective to the attendees. Attendees will have coordinated opportunities to practice during the training portion of the workshop.  Following the training session, attendees will then participate in data collection at SeaWorld San Antonio and San Antonio Zoo.  Each participant will be expected to spend 20- min at one location each day collecting data.  The 20-min period will be split into two 10-min data collection periods in which attendees will actively collect data using two different techniques during that collection. The techniques will be randomized so that every person has a chance to practice three different techniques across the two facilities.  Each facility has 4-6 habitats that have been pre-selected for observations across the day. Some observations will involve natural, spontaneous behavior of the animals, some will occur during feeding times by the public (if applicable), some will be during feeding times by the facility staff members, some will involve different forms of enrichment (predetermined) provided by the facility, and some will involve watching human guests while at the exhibit.  Attendees will be asked to sign up for one 20-min slot at SeaWorld and one 20-min slot at San Antonio Zoo. The data will be collected on paper and provided to each attendee at the observation location.  Attendees will return the datasheets to a research assistant provided by the workshop leaders. The data will be entered by the research assistants and summarized by the workshop leaders during the final portion of the workshop.  The data collected will hopefully inform the facilities of any behavioral patterns observed during the day as well as demonstrate the usefulness of different types of data collection depending on the question of interest. The final portion of this multi-day workshop will allow attendees to share their experiences with the different techniques utilized across the two facilities. A post-workshop survey will be conducted and the results will be summarized and made available to ABMA at a later time. Ultimately, we hope this workshop will illustrate the collaborative nature of research and provide attendees with ideas about facilitating similar efforts with local universities.

Program
To be green, the ABMA does not hand out printed programs. The conference program will be posted here about a week before the conference for you to download.  We also have an interactive app with the program and other exciting features available in the app store (i phone) or Google Play (android).   Search for "ABMA Conference".

 

Sunday, 8 April

Hose2Habitat Workshop 8:30am-4:00pm

Registration

Icebreaker at Hemisphere Park (across from the hotel)

Monday, 9 April

Keynote speaker Jim Brehney

Presentations

Research & Evaluation Workshop

Career Night

Night out on your own

Tuesday, 10 April

San Antonio Zoo site visit

Poster Night and Silent Auction at the zoo

Wednesday, 11 April

Presentations

Training Workshop

Committee Meetings & Program Council

Night out on your own

Thursday, 12 April

Sea World site visit

Member Business Meeting

Friday, 13 April

Presentations

Research & Evaluation Workshop wrap up

Training Workshop

The banquet is Friday night and concludes the conference. Cocktails from 6:30-7:00 and dinner from 7:00-10:00.

Details will be posted as they are finalized. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!