Lara is the owner of The Animal Behavior Center, an international, educational center focusing on teaching people how to work with animals using positive reinforcement and approaches in Applied Behavior Analysis. She travels internationally giving workshops, lectures, and provides online, live-streaming memberships on animal behavior, training and enrichment. Lara’s focus is on the companion animal community, zoos, shelters and wildlife ambassadors. Her daily work focuses on live-streaming her training, behavior modification, and enrichment internationally via her Projects and Memberships. She sits on the advisory board for All Species Consulting, The Indonesian Parrot Project, and is director of animal training for Nature’s Nursery, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Whitehouse, Ohio. She is also the founder of several animal organizations for animal welfare. She has been asked to co-author and is currently working on international manuals of animal behavior and training. Lara is a professional member of The Animal Behavior Management Alliance, The International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators, and The Pet Professional Guild. She is a published author and writes regularly for several periodicals including The Pet Professional Guild’ BARKS, a behavior columnist for BirdTalk Magazine, and contributes to blogging for Deaf Dogs Rock. She is a guest lecturer in the Zoo Biology; Animal Nutrition, Behavior & Diagnostics taught by Dr. Jason Crean at St. Xavier University; Chicago. Lara has presented for a wide variety of organizations such as The Philadelphia Zoo, The Ohio State Exotic Veterinary Club, The Association of Avian Veterinarians, The International Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Conference, The Autism Model School, and The Wheaton College division of Applied Behavior Analysis, and will be presenting and providing workshops at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for a Pet Professional’s Guild Workshop. For more information visit her website at TheAnimalBehaviorCenter.com.
Deborah Jones, Ph.D. specializes in social and behavioral psychology. For the past 25 years she has taught a variety of psychology courses at Kent State University.
She was an early and vocal proponent of clicker training for competition dogs. She has spent her 25 year career combining the science and the art of training into humane and effective training techniques. Deb has successfully shown and titled many dogs in a variety of dog sports including competition obedience, rally, and agility.
Deb has published 10 books, starting in the mid 1990s. Her earliest books were some of the first on the topic of positive reinforcement based dog training (Clicker Fun, The Clicker Workbook, and Teaching Clicker Classes). Most recently she has co-authored the Dog Writer’s Association of America Maxwell Award winning and highly popular 4 book Dog Sport Skills series.
She also wrote 2 books and helped to produce 5 DVDs through Clean Run Productions. This series of materials introduced and highlighted her concept of focus and its importance as a foundation to all training.
Currently, Deb is focused on developing and teaching a variety of online courses through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Her most popular courses include Get Focused!, Focus Games, Performance Fundamentals, and Cooperative Canine Care. She recently developed and taught a course on training your cat! Check out this website for more information on her online classes www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com.
Deb is currently finishing a book on Cooperative Canine Care. The concept of giving animals choice and freedom in husbandry processes is an important one to her.
In addition to her focus on canines, Deb actively seeks out opportunities to work with a variety of species. She has developed a fascination with birds of all sorts, particularly birds of prey.
Check out her website at www.k9infocus.com.
Brooke Durham is the Founder, Director, President of REP For Wildlife and SoCal Parrot. With her first priority always as animal care, Brooke has begun assembling an elite team of professionals to Represent, Educate, and Protect For Wildlife (REP4Wildlife). The first chapter of this organization is SoCal Parrot; a fledgling non-profit that exists to bridge the gap of care and consideration that naturalized parrots fall into because they are neither native wildlife nor truly domestic. Brooke is currently involved in every aspect of REP4Wildlife and SoCal Parrot; from personally assessing each animal, to working with other professionals to develop proper protocols and techniques, and all the way to keeping up with the administrative and organizational demands of a non-profit organization.
After growing up in Kentucky on a small farm (and always being “Ellie May” to all the critters), Brooke formalized her desire to help injured and orphaned wildlife by becoming an active volunteer with San Diego based Project Wildlife in 2005. Early on with Project Wildlife Brooke was especially interested and dedicated to large avian species like raptors (birds of prey). After spending the first five years of her time with PW working in the Wildlife Triage Center she gained exposure to working with a huge variety of wildlife species (reptile, mammal, and avian) that call Southern California home.
A peculiar thing happened when a pair of featherless nestling parrots were blown out of their tree, nest and all, in Spring of 2007. They were brought into the PW Triage Center during one of Brooke’s regular shifts. These green Amazon parrots were not considered native wildlife in San Diego and as such no real protocol existed to deal with the baby orphans. With the help of another PW technician who had experience with domestic baby parrots Brooke and her husband Josh raised the pair to be a members of her own personal flock and family.
These particular parrots were too young to avoid imprinting on humans and had no chance of being released as wild birds. However, the idea that there may be a chance for a parrot release program in the future is beginning to take hold among wildlife agencies. Many of the species of parrots found in the wild in Southern California are critically endangered in their native ranges, with habitats dwindling and little hope of preserving those wild instincts.
Recently wildlife agencies began releasing study information that initially shows no real threat to native wildlife from the wild parrots. It seems ironic that while these beautiful creatures may have diminishing chances of surviving their historical native ranges, mostly in Central America, they too find coastal Southern California to be as irresistible as the human populations do. More studies, information and communications need to be enacted in order to determine the impact – whether good or bad, that these birds have on the ecosystem. By working collaboratively with other experts in her field and establishing REP for Wildlife and SoCal Parrot Brooke is working to bridge the gap of care and consideration that naturalized parrots fall into because they are neither native wildlife nor truly domestic.
Dr. Tim Reichard has been active in the national zoo community for over thirty years. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, the Association of Exotic Animal Veterinarians, the Toledo Veterinary Medicine Association, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In addition to being a top zoo veterinarian Dr. Reichard is a distinguished educator, researcher, and author. He has shared his expertise for over ten years with veterinary technician students as well as interns under his supervision and mentorship. Additionally, he has authored and co-authored thirty five articles in a variety of publications.
Diana is the owner of Possibilities Unleashed, LLC a behavior consulting, training and grooming facility. She earned her Bachelors of Science from the State University of New York, College at Brockport completing a double major in Psychology and Conservation Biology with a special interest in Behavioral Biology. Diana has been involved with animals and training for over twenty years as a zookeeper, researcher, administrator, teacher and consultant.
Diana is a certified trainer of the Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers. She is a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and a certified animal behavior consultant, and a Member of the Pet Professionals Guild. Her published works can be found in the PupCulture Magazine, Low Country Dog, Pupalooza and the Examiner.
When Shania, her fearsome English Mastiff, developed serious aggression issues that escalated with aversive training methods, Diana searched for an alternative solution to Shania’s behavior problems. Diana credits Shania with introducing her to positive methods of training, encouraged her to look into alternative therapies and giving her a desire to help others to work their pets with a more holistic approach.
Diana worked with and raised many litters of various species and competes with her dogs and cats in shows highlighting conformation, agility, tracking, and search and rescue. She also volunteers with various rescue organizations.
Diana is now an enthusiastic advocate of clicker training and holistic diets and therapies. All of her animals have been trained, evaluated and aid in her work in educational and therapy classes. She believes that animals are our best teachers.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PossibilitiesUnleashedLLC/
Jason Crean, MS, EdD is a degreed biologist and zoo consultant, an avid aviculturist specializing in the propagation of green aracaris and white-backed mousebirds, President of The Avicultural Society of Chicagoland, and First Vice-President for the American Federation of Aviculture. Crean often speaks to avicultural groups across the country and acts as consultant to zoos and other institutions, including the Wildlife Genetics lab at Loyola Medical Center and Chicago Nature Museum. He specializes in taking actual scientific research, like that of the Genetics lab, and incorporating it into education programs to illustrate how science affects conservation. As Education Chair for the AFA, he has begun incorporating this work so people around the world can view the importance of Aviculture in their classrooms. He also runs a live animal education program that does free interactive programs for a host of different audiences.
Dr. Crean is also a biology instructor at the high school and university levels and a curriculum designer and instructor in the Education Department at the Chicago Zoological Society. Crean has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the highest award a teacher can receive in the US, by President Obama in 2009, the 2010 High School Science Teacher of the Year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as awards from the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Illinois Science Teachers Association, among others. Most recently he was awarded the 2016 Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching. He serves as President for the Illinois Science Teachers Association, President for the Illinois Association of Biology Teachers, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching and the College Board’s National Science Advisory Panel.