Professional Training Workshops

Contemporary Animal Training and Management

An intensive workshop designed for Professional Zoo Keepers, Trainers, and Wildlife Educators

Workshop Leaders: Steve Martin, CPBT-KA and Susan Friedman, Ph.D.

Steve Martin, CPBT-KA

Steve (4)In 1976, Steve Martin’s animal training career began with the training of free-flight birds for a show at the San Diego Wild Animal park. Since then, he has become one of the best-known bird trainers in the world. In 1984, he began using his positive reinforcement training techniques to train a wide variety of animals to participate in shows and keeper talk programs. His training experience now includes over 200 species of birds and over 50 species of mammals. Steve now spends much of his time consulting at zoos around the world, setting up educational shows and teaching positive reinforcement training to zoo keepers.

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D.

DrSusanSusan is a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals. ABA, with its roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners. Students from 22 different countries have participated in Susan’s online courses. She has written chapters on learning and behavior for three veterinary texts; her articles have been translated into ten languages. Susan has presented seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations around the world and is a frequent contributor to NEI training workshops.

Upcoming Dates: TBA

Our Mission: To help you reach your professional goals and realize your full potential in every aspect of animal training and educational programming.

Workshop Includes:

  • Knowledge: Scientific principles and training technology of Operant Learning
  • Practice: Guided hands-on training with a variety of different species of birds and experienced animal training mentors
  • Programming: Innovative educational programming from design through presentation
  • Community: Strategies for improving staff communication, team performance, and team building
  • Mastery: Limited class size for personal attention in a comprehensive learning environment

All workshop materials, including note guides and other resource information, and breakfast and lunch are provided.

When: TBA

Where: Natural Encounters, Inc. Training Facility in Winter Haven, FL
Tuition: $1800 per person ($500.00 deposit + $1300.00 final payment). Participation is limited to 24 attendees. NOTE: we are pleased to offer a $100 discount for students who have completed Susan Friedman’s online Living & Learning with Animals (LLA) course or a $100 discount for return attendees.
Icebreaker: TBA
Banquet Celebration: TBA

Both the December and January workshops are now closed and all applications will be placed on our waitlist to be considered in the event of a cancellation.

For the Online Application and Information: Workshop Application form


NEI Training Facility in Florida:

Attending a workshop at the NEI training facility is the best way to learn the art and science of animal training. This 34-acre facility is home to over 80 species of animals. Staff accommodate the daily care of the animals so that the attendees can concentrate on learning the technology and skills required to perform at the professional level. Each attendee receives personalized attention from our staff of experts, as well as note guides and workbooks that they can take home to share with their co-workers.

Connecting People to Nature