The ABMA invites you to join us in Nashville, TN in 2024! The conference theme is The Science of Behavior: Crossing Boundaries of Language, Culture, and Species.
Dates: 14-19 April 2024
Location: Gaylord Opryland Hotel is the conference hotel.
Rate: $269/night + tax + resort fee
We are pleased to announce our Keynote Speaker is Dr. Lance Miller!
Make plans to attend the pre-conference workshop- PORTL by Mary Hunter from the University of North Texas!
*to receive the member rate you must login
Pre-Conference Workshop- PORTL presented by Mary Hunter, University of North Texas
In-person PORTL workshops allow you to practice your teaching skills with another human as the learner. Workshops consist of lectures, PORTL exercises, and discussion. You’ll learn about behavior principles and techniques that will help you create optimal learning situations when working with both people and animals. PORTL is a tabletop game that provides an interactive environment for learning about behavior principles and investigating behavioral phenomena. It is played using a collection of small objects, a clicker to select behavior, and small blocks as reinforcers. PORTL had its beginnings in another game, called GENABACAB, which was developed by English dog trainer Kay Laurence. About a decade ago, Laurence taught this game to Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and his graduate students. The students started playing the game with each other and were hooked. They also began modifying the game to create an apparatus that could be used for teaching and research. Students need minimal instructions initially to start playing PORTL. However, as they gain more experience with the game, they can use it to ask and answer complex questions about behavior. This gives them a sense of discovery and gets them excited to learn more about how behavior works. The PORTL workshop will be Sunday, 14 April for just $100.
ABMA Merchandise Available!
Code of Conduct
· Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
· Regardless of where you are, use the buddy system when walking to and from the conference location, networking event locations especially during early or late hours.
· Don’t wear your meeting badge on the street. Take it off as soon as you leave the venue.
· Don’t carry a lot of cash or credit cards.
· Don’t leave personal property unattended anywhere, anytime.
In an emergency, you should ask any ABMA leadership or the on-site security personnel to help you.
· Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form.
· Any abuse, including physical, verbal or non-verbal abuse, of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, ABMA representative, service provider, or any other meeting guest.
· Disruption of presentations at sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at any events organized by ABMA at the meeting venue, hotels, or other ABMA contracted facilities.
· Examples of unacceptable behavior include comments related to gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, ABMA team member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
· Physical conduct
· Physical violence, including sexual assault
· Unwelcome physical contact or inappropriate touching
· The use of threats or rewards to solicit sexual favors Verbal conduct
· Comments or insults based on appearance, age, private life, etc.
· Sexual comments, stories or jokes
· Sexual advances
· Repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy
· Condescending or sexist remarks
· Sending sexually explicit messages (by phone or email) Non-verbal conduct
· Display of sexually explicit or suggestive material or images
· Sexually-suggestive gestures
· Whistling or “cat calling”
Reporting Unacceptable Conduct
Jake Belair, ABMA Vice President
Anaka Nazareth ABMA President
· Verbal or written warning;
· Suspension of attendance at ABMA sponsored events;
· Prohibit attendance at any future meeting
The ABMA team member receiving the report will respect any and all requests of the victim to remain anonymous. Unacceptable conduct may be part of a larger pattern of repeated harassment. Please alert ABMA to all such conduct regardless of the offender’s identity or job title, even if you prefer your report to remain anonymous.
Did you know that ABMA’s Behavior Management Fund (BMF) committee will provide a scholarship for the 2024 annual conference?
This scholarship is to assist anyone whose institution is unable to give them financial support. This will help an award recipient have the ability to present their work and help the organization by giving our membership the opportunity to hear information that supports the ABMA’s Core Value of “Sharing the Knowledge”. The scholarship details for the 2024 annual conference are below.
The Scholarship will provide:
The abstract submission deadlines for the annual conference are:
There are 3 required components of the BMF scholarship application:
If you have a behavior management accomplishment, an intriguing case study, a research project, or an innovation for the field, especially one that resonates with the theme of the conference, please come share it with your colleagues! The abstract submission deadline for the 2024 annual conference in Nashville is 10 December 2023. Submit Your Abstract!
AAZK and IMATA members can receive the ABMA member rate! Please submit this registration form (coming soon) to take advantage of our affiliative offer.
Conference Pricing:Registration is now OPEN! You must login to receive the member rate. If you are requesting reciprocity member rate from AAZK or IMATA please contact us so we can verify your membership and send you a registration form.
Pre-conference workshop (PORTL)- $100
EARLY Registration: Register between 1 November 2023 - 15 February 2024 to receive the early discounted rate. Rates increase on 16 February 2024.
Early Weekly Registration - members $425; non-members $499.
Early Daily Registration- members $99; non-members $199
REGULAR Registration: Register between 16 February - 7 April to receive the non-discounted rate. No registrations 1 week before the conference; however, there will be on-site registration.
Regular Weekly Registration- members $475; non-members $549
Regular Daily Registration- members $149; non-members $249
ON SITE Registration: We will accept on site registrations for weekly and daily registrations.
Weekly Registration- member $549; non-member $599
Daily Registration- $199
A la Carte Items: Pre-conference Workshop- $100; Icebreaker- $95; Poster Night/Silent Auction- $95; Banquet $169
General Schedule of Events:
Sunday, 14 April- pre-conference workshop, registration, ice breaker (meal provided)
Monday, 15 April- keynote speaker- Dr. Lance Miller, presentations, featured speaker Mary Hunter, dinner on your own, professional development
Tuesday, 16 April- presentations, panel discussion with Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and Dr. Lance Miller, featured speaker Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, member business meeting, program council
Wednesday, 17 April- Zoo Day! Lunch will be provided. Explore Nashville tonight on your own.
Thursday, 18 April- presentations, featured speakers Gerry Creighton and Train With Trust, poster night, silent auction (meal provided)
Friday, 19 April- presentations, Conservation Partner presentation- Red Panda Network, featured speakers Gerry Creighton and Retrieving Independence, banquet (meal provided)
**See program for more detailed schedule**
Contact us if you have any questions.
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
CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS:
Your credit card transaction will appear on your credit card statement from PayPal as either THEABMA or THEANIMALBEHAVIOR. If you file a dispute over an ABMA transaction, either with your credit card company or PayPal, which turns out to be an approved ABMA transaction, you will incur any PayPal fees (~$20) associated with resolving this error for which the ABMA was charged.
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS (CEU’s):
We typically offer CEU’s for a variety of organizations. Once the program is finalized we will submit for credits and post here. These are the organizations we typically provide CEU's for. If you need CEU's for another organization just let us know.
We look forward to seeing you in Nashville!
The local airport is the Nashville Airport (BNA), which is only 10 miles from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
Our annual conference would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring, check out the Nashville sponsorship packet or contact us for more information.
There will be one site visit for the 2024 ABMA conference. We will be visiting the Nashville Zoo.
There will be badge entries for nearby facilities before or after the 2024 conference. Participating facilites will be announced soon. If you plan to attend after the conference, your ABMA badge will grant you complimentary admission. If you plan to attend before the conference, please contact Jake Belair so he can get you in touch with that zoo's ABMA point person for complimentary admission.
There are many questions you may have about the upcoming annual conference in Nashville. If we have not addressed your question here, please contact us. The 2024 conference will be 6 days, including the icebreaker the evening before the conference officially kicks off. Each day will filled with learning and networking opportunities. There will be a zoo day to the Nashville Zoo.
Questions? Contact us or the first VP directly. We look forward to seeing you soon!
There will be a silent auction during the conference. Get Excited!
We are excited to announce that Dr. Lance Miller will be our keynote speaker!
Lance J. Miller, Ph.D., Vice President of Conservation Science and Animal Welfare Research at Brookfield Zoo, received his graduate training in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Previously, he held positions as a Research Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Scientist for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. He is currently an advisor to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Research and Technology Committee and Animal Welfare Committee, a steering committee member for the AZA Ambassador Animal Scientific Advisory Group, and Chair of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums Animal Welfare Committee.
Learn more about the featured speakers for the 2024 ABMA conference.
earned an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Chicago in 2008 and a master’s degree in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas in 2013. She runs her own animal training and consulting business and serves as president of The Art and Science of Animal Training, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides educational programs for professional animal trainers. Mary teaches classes at the University of North Texas as an adjunct instructor. In 2017, she converted an upper-level undergraduate class into a self-paced, mastery-based course using Dr. Fred Keller’s Personalized System of Instruction. Mary’s main research interests include studying the process of shaping and developing better methods for teaching both people and animals.
is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1995 under the direction of Dr. Donald M. Baer. During his graduate training, he also worked closely with Dr. Ogden R. Lindsley. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz’s areas of interest include antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, animal training, rule-governed behavior, and contingency-shaped behavior. He has served on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Precision Teaching, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz is a fellow of the Eastern Psychological Association and a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Gerry Creighton, CEO Global Elephant Care. Gerry started working in the Dublin Zoo, Ireland in 1983 as a trainee keeper, before becoming a full time zookeeper in 1986. He subsequently worked as Team Leader responsible for large apes, carnivores and elephants for nearly ten years before becoming Zoo Operations Manager for animals and grounds in 2009. His career has spanned several decades of exciting development, during which time Dublin Zoo has transformed from its Victorian beginnings in 1831 into a modern, vital and progressive European centre for conservation, education and animal husbandry. Gerry has spent over 25 years working with elephants and has nearly 40 years of accumulated experience in a professional zoo environment. Gerry is considered a leading expert on elephant behaviour, wellness and welfare. He has lectured to Zoology undergraduates in Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin and I am a regular contributor to educational establishments at both second and third level in zoological animal husbandry, care and wellness.
Gerry has given keynote speeches all over the UK, Europe and the US on the topic of elephant wellness in human care and have contributed to and taught in both the Chester Zoo Elephant Resource Management Workshop in the UK and the First European Elephant Management School in Hamburg, Germany. He has received two awards from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA) for presentations on elephant care and wellness at the annual BIAZA conferences. Since launching his own consultancy business in 2020, Gerry has worked with Zoos in the U.S.A., China, Israel and all over Europe and the UK. He has an ongoing working relationship with AZA, EAZA and BIAZA and has an extensive network of professional contacts in the areas of elephant husbandry, breeding, veterinary care and welfare. Gerry is currently involved with several of the highest profile elephant projects in the world.
Retrieving Independence (RI) is a Nashville-based nonprofit that breeds, trains and places service dogs with people who are living with physical, mental or emotional disability. This is all accomplished with the help of volunteer breeders, puppy raisers, and weekend furlough volunteers. Through our partnership with the Tennessee Department of Correction, RI works with inmates to provide a significant portion of the training throughout the almost two-year program. That’s what we do. But WHY do we do it?
We do it for the love poured into the dogs by the volunteers. We do it for the purpose and dignity it gives the inmate trainers. We do it for the life-rocking change it gives to our incredible recipients. Love. Dignity. Change. That’s why we do it. https://riservicedogs.org/
We look forward to seeing you at the 2024 conference in Nashville!