The Natural Encounters, Inc., Training and Education Center (NEI TEC) offers a wide variety of workshops, symposiums, and retreats focused on animal training and welfare, team performance, and educational program production and development. It is also the home base for a new series of online web courses cover specific topics relevant to audiences within the professional animal care field.

Many of these new endeavors will be housed in our new 6,000 square-foot education center. 

TEC Talks

“TEC Talks” is an online series from the faculty of the Natural Encounters, Inc., Training and Education Center (NEI TEC) that promotes animal welfare and training through science based principles that increase desirable training outcomes and improve relationships with animals in our care and humans on our teams.

Online Courses

NEI is embarking on a new educational venture which will allow animal trainers, educators, and caretakers from around the world to participate in a 4-week online course taught by Steve Martin to cover specific topics in the professional animal field in extensive detail. Each week will consist of a live 90-minute lecture, accompanied by 30-minutes of open Q&A between the participants, Steve and other NEI trainers, as well as video evaluations that will allow participants to receive feedback on their own training questions and challenges. 


Our goal is to help you reach your professional goals and realize your full potential in every aspect of animal training and educational programming. Workshops include guided hands-on training with a variety of different species of birds and experienced animal training mentors, strategies for improving staff communication, team performance, team building, innovative educational programming from design through presentation, and limited class size for personal attention in a comprehensive learning environment.


NEI TEC is proud to offer a free podcast with co-hosts Chris Jenkins and Ari Bailey. Join them for discussions of animal training, behavior, human-animal relationships, and all things NEI TEC. Featuring guests from the NEI team and around the professional animal care world! 

Virtual Consultation

NEI TEC is proud to offer virtual consulting, a convenient, effective alternative to traditional consulting that utilizes online meetings and real-time training session discussions to help facilities achieve their animal training, behavior management, and guest experience goals. 

Immersion Workshop

NEI TEC is offering the opportunity for professionals to fully immerse themselves in an exclusive training environment.  This on-site workshop, limited to four attendees, will allow students to work directly with NEI trainers at the NEI Training and Education Center in Winter Haven, FL. to experience every aspect of the daily care, management and training of animals in our collection.  Attendees will train a variety of animals of their choice in this intensive and immersive experience. 

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

NEI TEC is pleased to offer CEUs for our webinars and workshops. Attendees can earn CEUs for IATCB (CPBT-KA and CPAT-KA), IAABC, KPA, and CCPDT (CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA). If you hold a certification and would like CEUs to put towards your certification, please reach out to for more information.

NEI TEC Faculty

  • Steve Martin, President/Chief Executive Officer (Natural Encounters, Inc.)
  • Dr. Susan Friedman – Behavior Consultant (Behavior+Works LLC); Professor Emeritus (USU)
  • Marty MacPhee – Animal Behavior and Guest Experience Consultant
  • Chris Jenkins, CPBT-KA – Chief Operating Officer (Natural Encounters, Inc.)
  • Ari Bailey, CPBT-KA, CPAT-KA – Show Manager (Natural Encounters, Inc.)
  • Amy Fennell, CPBT-KA – Supervisor (Natural Encounters, Inc.)