Join co-hosts Chris and Ari for a discussion of animal training, behavior, human-animal relationships, and all things NEI-TEC (the Natural Encounters Inc Training and Education Center), and featuring guests from the NEI team and around the professional animal care world! Email us at [email protected] if you have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show!
Episode 86: The Birds and the Bees (with Morgan Belle)
1:18:15With Ari away at the 2021 ZAA Annual Conference, Chris is joined by "newly former" NEI Trainer Morgan Belle! This was Morgan's last week with the company, so we take some time to discuss how her love for science got her into the animal field, chat about the unique challenge that is "T5", talk about her exciting new role in bee conservation (!), and reflect on the decision that quite possibly lead to her dodging the bullet of becoming Mrs. Justin Bieber. Seriously. That's how cool Morgan is. Have a question, topic, or random celebrity story you'd like to bring to the show? Email us at [email protected]!
Episode 85: Birdability! (with Virginia Rose)
1:19:02Ari is joined by Virginia Rose, Founder and President of Birdability, a non-profit organization whose mission is to share the joys of birding with people who have disabilities, and to ensure birding and nature are accessible for everyone. Virginia talks about "rediscovering" nature in her 40s, the unusual way that Birdability started and took on a life of its own, and the ways that everyone can help to make the outdoors and birding accessible "for everybody and every body." Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show? Email us at [email protected]!
Episode 84: Leveling Up Your Work Culture (with Joe Quadara)
1:20:40In one of the best and most random episodes we're ever recorded, Chris and Ari are joined by game dev consultant Joe Quadara! After reading a bit about Joe's history in the video game industry, Chris reached out to see if he wanted to talk to a few bird trainers about building high-functioning teams and successfully sharing critical feedback with others. We talk about how healthy competition can breed camaraderie, the importance of replacing "no, and here's why..." with "yes, if...", and benefit of not being afraid to "kill your babies." Who knew that the video game and professional animal care industries had so many things in common??? To read a sample from Jason Schreier's book Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry, click here. For more information about Richard Lemarchand's new book A Playful Production Process, click here. Got a question or an idea for a future episode of the show? Drop us at email at [email protected]!
Episode 83: Live from The Training Game!
1:18:43Workshop NIGHT! Live from our first in-person workshop in two years, it's the TEC Talk Podcast! With Chris out of town, Ari is joined by the staff and attendees of NEI's Professional Contemporary Animal Training and Management workshop to chat about the week, all while NEI's spin on "The Training Game" goes on in the background. Also, people try to guess the weight of Ari's microphone. Yeah, it's a weird one. Have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show? Email us at [email protected]!
Episode 82: At 4 O'Clock, It's Different Soup (with Ellen Matza)
31:33Chris and Ari are joined by fellow NEI-er Ellen Matza to discuss the following training scenario: when you're working with an animal and you're not getting the behavior you're looking for, is it better to change one environmental variable at a time, or a bunch of stuff at once? Our answers will SHOCK you!* *Said absolutely no one who's heard us discuss anything training related, like, ever. Do you have a question for the show, or want to be a guest on a future episode? Let us know at [email protected]!
Episode 81: It's All Real (with Dave O'Connell)
1:24:14Ari is back and she's brought a guest, Bearizona Wildlife Park's own Dave O'Connell! Dave shares how he got into the field (thanks, Dave's mom!), the job he has now (which is actually all of the jobs), the first time he met with NEI in person (I got a sticker!), and his thoughts about what makes the staff, leadership, and guest experience at Bearizona so special (spoiler alert: it involves a certain infamous hand gesture!). Have a question or topic you'd like us to discuss, or an interest in being a guest on a future episode of the show? Email us at [email protected]!
Episode 80: Career Ping Pong (with Sylvia Ronquillo)
56:17They said it couldn't be done: a "Tales from the Trailer" episode that also has a cool guest who's not from NEI! Chris is joined by National Aviary Senior Aviculturist Sylvia Ronquillo to talk about Wagnerian opera, ping ponging across the country to pursue new career opportunities, navigating family members who initially aren't on board with "the animal thing," and ideas about things we could do differently in our facilities to make them more diverse and inclusive. Super great chat! Do you have a question for the show, or want to be a guest on a future episode? Let us know at [email protected]!
Episode 79: TEC Talk Live! (The Pilot Episode)
1:09:13Two hosts is fun, but what if we just invited...everyone?!? This week's episode is a pilot for a concept we've been kicking around for awhile of opening up the show to anyone who wants to attend the live recording and add their thoughts and questions and talk about the emails we got in real time. We get into fun discussions of whiskey brands, how best to describe NEI's "training style," additional ideas for the zoo we built last week (see Episode 78 for more information), and kick around ideas for "welfare shows." Also, Chris talks about Keanu Reeves for some reason. Special thanks to all who attended, and to Scott Trauger and Ellen Matza for being my on-the-fly co-hosts while Ari enjoys her birthday vacation with her family! Have any feedback for us on this experiment? Have something you'd like us to discuss in a future episode? Do YOU want to be on the show? You can do all this and more by emailing us at [email protected]!
Episode 78: We Built a Zoo (with Adam Geltz)
1:20:03Ari and Chris are joined once again by NEI Senior Trainer Adam Geltz to talk all things fishing, video games, instrumental hip hop, and laziness (which, it turns out, doesn't exist). After Adam shares a bit about the history that brought him to NEI, the three of us take turns contributing ideas to answer this question: if you could build a zoological institution that had anything you wanted, what would that look like? Turns out, we have some pretty good ideas that work really well together! Anyone have a spare $500M or so burning a hole in your pocket that needs a new home? Do you have a question, topic for the show, or idea for a dream zoo that YOU want to share? Please do so by emailing us at [email protected]!
Episode 77: How DO You Find "The One"?
36:23Tales from the Trailer returns for the second week in a row! Ari and Chris speculate about the possible international names for koozies, take phone calls about refrigerator deliveries, do an amazing sales pitch for a book about zoo animal training (seriously, they should pay us), and respond to a listener question about how best to find out if a facility is a right fit for you before you start working there. Do you have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show? Well, you're in luck! All you have to do is tap on the link at the end of this sentence and BOOM, you're set: [email protected] See how easy that was?