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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 podcast@naturalencounters.com if you have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show!
 
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show series
 
Chris returns from the dead to chat with Ari about empathy, a topic which it turns out is a lot more complicated than you might think. It's a fun chat that touches on a lot of TEC Talk staples - communication, assuming good intentions, making connections...so many good things! Special thanks to our good friend and mentor Cassie Malina for the feedb…
 
Chris is away, so the ladies get to play as Ari takes over as host and - by popular request! - sits down with NEI's own Ray Minchey to talk about mental health and work-life balance. This episode also features our show's first live tarot card reading - Happy Spooky Season! Do you have a question, requested guest, or suggested topic for the show? Le…
 
Ari and Chris are joined by NEI Supervisor and resident Renaissance Woman Amy Fennell to talk about her background with birds, her reflections on helping us create NEI TEC from the ground up, and the secrets to building kick-butt teams that can take on any challenge. Also, stained glass and video games! Have a question or something you'd like us to…
 
We made it to episode 25 - woo hoo! Ari's on special assignment, so Chris sits down with NEI Senior Trainer Lisa Haggadone to talk about her history in the field, her experiences helping us build several new shows at "the park which must not be named," and the cool stuff she does helping to lead up AAZK's Bowling for Rhinos program. Also, SUPER fun…
 
Oh boy, we are all over the place in this one! After a detailed chat about the challenges of summertime lawn care in Orlando, Chris and Ari discuss our personal and professional strategies for preventing burnout in our ourselves and others, and respond to some great prompts our listeners sent in about future podcast topics (which somehow leads into…
 
Ari and Chris sit down to chat about the weird stuff in their office and their feelings about different COVID mask styles before a quick (but surprisingly in-depth) discussion about shaping as a tool in the training process. We also share some great feedback from listeners - you guys are the best! Do YOU have feedback for us or a topic for a future…
 
You know what no one in the animal field talks about? People leaving it. We sit down with all-around amazing person Flannery O'Brien during her last week with NEI before moving on to a new life outside "the industry." We discuss the fear and excitement involved in making big life changes, including what happens when a new job means that you're no l…
 
After a 20-episode hiatus, NEI President and CEO Steve Martin makes his triumphant return to talk about the importance of comedy in producing fun and engaging animal shows. We chat about how comedy clubs influenced Steve's pre-NEI bird shows, share tips for how to listen to your audience while on stage, and discuss the importance of just being your…
 
Chris and Ari sit six feet apart and talk about Ari's visit to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Chris' first trip to a restaurant since the beginning of the pandemic, and discuss your questions and feedback from email and Facebook! Do YOU have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show? Email us at podcast@naturalencounters.com!…
 
Ari and Chris welcome to the show....everyone! In our first NEI "Interview Lightning Round" episode, we sit down for quick mini-interviews with Ray Minchey, Kevin O'Brien, Aaron Tapia, Scott Trauger, Katie Bello, and Corey Derryberry from our shows at "that theme park" to learn more about them, where they came from, and to get their quick answers t…
 
Ari and Chris sit down to share some of the things they've learned about communication and what you can do as an individual to become a better leader, coworker, teammate, and supporter of others (spoiler: part of it involves being able to read minds). Have a question or something you want discussed on the show? Want to be on the show? Have feedback…
 
Ari and Chris chat with NEI Supervisor Tim Van Loan to talk about the unique reason why he's worked for NEI twice, his current role as the Behavior and Enrichment Manager at the Albuquerque BioPark, and how quarantine has made him an unexpected YouTube star, all in our first episode to include content in 4 different languages! Have a question or so…
 
Ari is back! The duo discusses quarantine updates and the importance of voting before doing a dive into our commonly used phrase "you get what you reinforce" and the implications it has for training strategies and building relationships between humans. We wrap up with a follow up to an email we got a few weeks ago about teaching a vulture to use a …
 
With Ari away, the gents will play! Chris is joined by fellow NEI trainer Aaron Tapia to talk about his background in theater and how it lead to a career with animals, his love for reptiles and the right (and wrong) ways to handle snakes, and discuss the importance of finding your niche on a team. We love Aaron, and now you will too! Have a questio…
 
After some obligatory chat about quarantine life, Ari and Chris are joined by their friend Ash Sevilla to talk about his podcast for the website Nerd Appropriate (http://www.nerdappropriate.com) and how in a round about way it's responsible for the existence of this show, his time as a history teacher and current role as a community manager in the …
 
After some chat about quarantine life and some details on the new show NEI is about to open, Chris and Ari return to the discussion of some of their personal favorite "NEI Moments." And look at that, we actually rounded out a Top 10! Doesn't mean we can't do more in the future! Have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show? Emai…
 
Ari and Chris are joined by their good buddy and former coworker John Scott to talk about their shared history at NEI, our memories of our first shows as presenters at "that show in Central Florida" (wink wink), John's current job with WCS as a trainer at New York Aquarium, his graduate studies on educational messaging in animal shows, and his rece…
 
Enjoy this "peak behind the curtain" at NEI TEC! All our webinar and online course sessions are preceded by a short staff "meeting" to confirm details and last minute changes, test videos and online connections, and generally make sure things all set before we go "live." Please enjoy the audio of our "pre-show" meeting with Steve, Ari, Chris, and t…
 
Ari and Chris are back at work, so welcome to the first episode recorded with our hosts in the same room! We discuss the non-work animals in our lives, how pet ownership and fostering has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and answer an email question about biosecurity for professional animal caretakers with pets. Hope you like cats and dogs, be…
 
Take two! Ari and Chris sit down (again) with Jose Antonio Diaz, Executive Director of Parrot Conservation Bolivia (CLB), an organization that works towards the conservation of several highly endangered species of macaws in South America. Jose tells us about what his organization does, talks a bit about CLB's history with NEI, and tells us his amaz…
 
Well, this is disappointing. Just a quick episode to let everyone know that the audio gods weren't with us as recorded this week and the file just isn't usable, BUT we're going to re-record our conversation with Jose Antonio Diaz from Parrot Conservation Bolivia and get a brand-spanking-new recording out a day later than normal. Hey, we're human an…
 
We're back! Ari and Chris explain the story behind the recent bonus episode with our co-workers Flannery and Kyle, discuss how the current social unrest in the US has created a new opportunity to celebrate the diversity of voices and experiences in the zoological community, and take on an email asking about how folks looking to break into the zoo c…
 
Just a quick, special episode to tell everyone out there we're thinking about you, we appreciate you, and we hope you're staying safe and sane! We'll be back next week with our regularly scheduled episode of TEC Talk! Have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show? Email us at podcast@naturalencounters.com!…
 
Chris and Ari are joined by teacher, filmmaker, dog trainer, and resident "podcast email question asker" Benita Raphan about the unique path that brought her to training and NEI, and tackle some questions about "right fit talent" and diversity within the professional animal care industry. Have a question or a topic that you want discussed on a futu…
 
Chris and Ari are joined by bird trainer, IAATE President, and creator of the new TEC Talk theme music, Dave Miller, to talk about the importance of collaboration. We discuss the cool projects he's been a part of that combine his love of music and animals, and respond to some listener questions about negative reinforcement in the workplace and the …
 
Chris and Ari reflect on NEI TEC's recently completed Ambassador Animal Training and Welfare course, interview each other about our pre-NEI histories with animal behavior and training, and respond to some questions about NEI's breeding programs and suggestions about affecting change when you're not in a position of leadership. Another great chat! H…
 
Ari and Chris welcome NEI Senior Trainer Megan Geddes to talk about her pre-NEI history and the projects she's been a part of with our company over the last 5 years. We also answer a listener email about developing "people skills" and breaking into the professional animal care industry in the time of COVID-19. It's a good one!…
 
After some discussion about what "reopening" our country might mean for those of us in the zoological industry, Ari and Chris share their "Top 10" (ok, really only 4) moments from their history working for Natural Encounters, Inc. We wrap up by responding to an email asking about advice for people looking to get into the field, and our company's pu…
 
Chris and Ari are joined by NEI President and CEO Steve Martin to talk about his history with Earth Day, the importance of conservation, and the history of our non-profit sister organization, the Natural Encounters Conservation Fund. We also chat about NEI TEC's "Trust Week" webinars and respond to an email about team building in the guide dog trai…
 
Welcome to TEC Talk, a weekly podcast from the staff of the Natural Encounters Inc. Training and Education Center (NEI-TEC)! Join co-hosts Chris and Ari as they discuss their plans for the show and what listeners can expect from the podcast moving forward.
 
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