ORCA Great Minds Conference–my thoughts, notes and review

Yesterday I attended the ORCA Great Minds Conference, which was absolutely wonderful. ORCA, one of the organizations run by the behavior analysis department at the Univerisity of North Texas sponsorered the conference. The event focused on “The Art and Science of Animal Training: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going?” The Great Minds conference brought half a dozen top trainers together to talk about animal training, clicker training, operant conditioning and the future of training.

I took tons of notes and ended up feeling slightly overwhelmed by the end of the day! Some of the information was completely new to me, much of it was concepts I had heard before, but presented in a new way. I have far too many notes or thoughts to put them in one blog entry. So, I’ll be blogging over the next few days with my notes, thoughts and reactions for each of the lectures.

Here’s who I got to hear:

Steve Martin, who discussed the art of training and what makes a great trainer. He talked about accepting responsibility for behavior, empowering the animal, motivating the animal, communication and aversives.
My first page of notes about Steve Martin’s talk.
My second page of notes about Steve Martin’s talk.
My third page of notes about Steve Martin’s talk.

Steve White, who talked about the “real world,” and at length about punishment.
My first page of notes about Steve White’s talk.
My second page of notes about Steve White’s talk.

Kay Laurence, who talked about reinforcers and what influences the delivery and effectiveness of a reinforcer.
My first page of notes about Kay Laurence’s talk.
My second page of notes about Kay Laurence’s talk.

Alexandra Kurland

Ken Rameriz

Bob Bailey unfortunately couldn’t come, but Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz read a letter that he had sent.

Be sure to check back tomorrow and later in the week, as I’ll be blogging about the rest of the conference speakers. If you don’t regularly read my blog, but find this interesting, I encourage you to subscribe via the RSS feed or by e-mail subscriptions (both located at the top right. Thanks for reading!

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