Josh Sanko, CPBT-KA took a moment to share with us.
“I got my start in 2016 at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center where I was a work study student in the raptor center. During my time at SCEC, I was able to participate in a shift away from folklore husbandry to an evidence-based care model. I learned a great deal from my boss, Jason Beale, who is now a friend and mentor. He helped steer me in the direction of training as a career. When I graduated from college and my work study ended, I moved to Alaska to begin a year-long internship with the American Bald Eagle Foundation to continue learning about training raptors. When a full-time position became available, I joined the team as Program Coordinator.
After meeting certified trainers at my first IAATE conference in 2019, I knew it was the next step to continuing my education in the field. I was fascinated with the science behind behavior change and wanted to learn as much as I could. COVID and the fact that both testing centers were plane rides away from my small, rural community made it hard to schedule my exam until 2021. After two years of studying and learning more about the field, I am very happy to have received my certification.
Receiving my CPBT-KA has helped me become a more conscious, knowledgeable trainer and caretaker for the animals I work with. The suggested reading list elucidated concepts that I could translate to the birds I was working with almost immediately. As I learned more about antecedents, reinforcement, punishment, and incompatible behaviors, I was able to build a stronger toolbox and see my skill improving daily.
The best advice I can give someone getting ready for the exam is to start studying early. Animal training demands so much of us every day and coming home to read papers can seem like a chore. I made a schedule to study a paper or two every night for a few months before the test. I read them at dinner or dedicated an hour to taking some notes and was able to absorb more information while enjoying my time. Having someone to study with is also key. Sidney Campbell, a certified trainer at the ABEF, helped me every step of the way to passing my exam. If you don’t know anyone personally, joining organizations like IAATE or AMBA is a great way to meet trainers who are always happy to answer questions or just nerd out about training.”
We would love to highlight you or your facility in our newsletter and on our Facebook page. Let us know the amazing things that you are doing to help raise the bar! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Want to find out more about setting these types of standards within your facility or becoming certified? Contact the IATCB board by visiting our website!
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Looking for the study guide for the CPAT- KA exam? Click here
Looking for the study guide for the CPBT- KA exam? Click here
2021 Testing Dates
September 15, 2021
October 16 – October 30, 2021
*Applications will not be accepted after 11:59pm Eastern on this date
Our testing company, PTC has partnered with Prometric for Computer-Based Testing. Learn More here. With Prometrics there are no additional International Testing fees!!
The CPBT-KA and CPAT-KA credential is valid for 5 years from the date it is awarded. To renew the credential a certificant must either re-take the examination after 5 years or accumulate sixty Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) by attending IATCB approved workshops, seminars, classes, or conferences. Head over to here to check out a list of approved CEUs!
Please note that all CEUs MUST be claimed with two (2) months of the event, submissions will not be accepted after this period!
“Here’s what kids can learn from sharks”; By Rachel NG
Shark tourism could help raise awareness about these misunderstood fish. But can your family do it safely and sustainably?
Marine biologist and conservationist Naomi Clark-Shen used to be petrified of the ocean. “From a very young age, I’ve been obsessed with animals,” she says. “But I was never that interested in marine life. I was scared of the dark murky areas that I couldn’t see. I had a big imagination and would psych myself out thinking about predators—sharks and crocodiles—coming to get me.” Read On…
American Bison, Bison bison
At one time, bison were widespread from Alaska to northern Mexico. Wholesale slaughter of bison herds caused the extermination of wild bison from the major part of their former range until recently. Bison are now found on private and protected lands in areas of the western United States and Canada. Most prominent of those herds are those of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Wood Buffalo Park, Northwest Territory, Canada. Bison historically occurred throughout the grasslands and open savannas of North America. However, they were also found from boreal habitats to semi-desert habitats if grazing was suitable. Two distinctive features of bison are the shoulder hump and their huge head. Fur color is brown, varying slightly from the front and back of the animal. The hair is longer in the front than in the rear. The distinction between hair lengths is most noticeable in males. The horns are black, curving upward and inward and ending in a sharp tip. Bison live 15 to 20 years in the wild, although average lifespan depends on local predation and hunting pressures. Bison have been known to live up to 40 years in human care. Bison are gregarious animals and are arranged in groups according to sex, age, season, and habitat. Cow groups are composed of females, males under three years of age, and a few older males. More males enter these groups as the rut approaches. Males live either individually or in groups that may be as large as 30. Dominance between the bulls is linear. Bulls that have a higher rank in the society breed more often than those of a lower rank. Cows also live in a linear dominance hierarchy, which is established early in life. Grazing takes place during several periods each day and is conducted in loose groups. When bison travel, they form a line. The traveling pattern of bison is determined by the terrain and habitat condition. An adult cow supplies the leadership. Bison are good swimmers as well as runners, capable of reaching speeds of 62 km/hr. IUCN list this species is listed as Near Threatened in light of its dependence on ongoing conservation program to persist beyond the next 5 years, a very limited number of viable populations (five), and large number of small (13 of 20 less than 400) isolated populations. The North America bison population underwent a drastic decline in the 19th century caused by over hunting but has since partially recovered. There has been a modest increases in the number of conservation herds and individuals in populations managed for species conservation and ecological restoration, however, all mature individuals occur within active management programs which if ceased would result in the species qualifying for a threatened status. About 97% of the continental population is managed for private captive commercial propagation; very few of these herds are managed primarily for species conservation and none is managed in the public interest for conservation. Herds managed for conservation purposes in the public interest are typically small (<400), and populations are widely dispersed with few geographic situations that provide conditions for natural movements between subpopulations. The total number of mature individuals in wild free-ranging and semi-free-ranging populations is estimated to be approximately 11,248-13,123 and only 4 subpopulations have more than 1,000 individuals, thus making this species nearly qualify for Vulnerable C2a(i). The species is not currently in decline but wild mature individuals could be greatly reduced if current management regimes are changed or removed. This is a conservation dependent species.
The International Avian Trainers Certification Board and the International Animal Trainers CertificationBoard, IATCB, offers you a way to gain professional credibility, increase your earnings potential, and advance your career. We live in a competitive world, and animal trainers are no different than anyone else looking for advanced knowledge and skill in their profession. IATCB endorses voluntary certification by examination for all professionals involved with animals, including trainers, educators, handlers, veterinarians, and all others involved in the care and handling of animals.