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The TEC Talk Podcast: Presented by Natural Encounters, Inc.
32 minutes | Aug 11, 2022
Episode 121: Urine Big Trouble, Mister!
Keeping it short and simple this week: Chris is alone in a hotel room somewhere in the Northeast and only has one thing on his mind - "how do I stop one of my cats from peeing all over the place???" In what we hope will be an interactive experience with our listeners, Chris gives some background on the history of the behavior, shares the steps his family has taken to deal with the issue thus far, and basically begs our audience to offer any advice they may have because, ya'll, we are OVER it. Whether or not they're related to feline urinary health, we'd love for you to reach out to us with any thoughts or questions you might have at email@example.com!
42 minutes | Aug 4, 2022
Episode 120: What Are Your Zoo Job "Can't Live Withouts"?
After a quick discussion of sea turtles and supper clubs, Ari and Chris use a recent "what do I need to buy for my first animal job?" post on the internet as a prompt to share our personal "can't live without" items for working at NEI. Hats? Check. Glasses? Check. Wildly different opinions on footwear brands? Check!!! Are there any "must have" items in YOUR collection that you'd like to share with the rest of the class? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org! References: Ari's favorite belt from Amazon can be found here. To learn more about Keen's footwear discount program for animal care professionals, visit http://www.keenfootwear.com/pro.
25 minutes | Jul 28, 2022
Episode 119: Flexibility, Operationalized
It's an Ari solo-cast focused on being flexible! With COVID numbers going up once again, being flexible is as important as ever. Ari talks about being flexible on-stage for dealing with weather, as a leader, and in training sessions, all with the goal of keeping a level head, communicating clearly and calmly, and being able to reflect on decisions made in high-stress moments. Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on a future episode? Let us know at email@example.com!
52 minutes | Jul 21, 2022
Episode 118: Relationship Death By a Thousand Cuts
Two hosts for two epsiodes in a row? Amazing! After an update from Ari about the IAATE Midyear Meeting at the Peregine Fund, Chris opens a communication can o' worms by sharing his thoughts on the intersection of extreme weather, perception, intentions (and what it really means to "assume good ones"), and personal responsibility, which leads to a discussion about labels, defining what "being passive-aggressive" looks like, and how to deal with gaslighting... it's a lot! We'd love to hear our listeners' thoughts on these topics and more, and if you're so inspired we've made it east - just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
30 minutes | Jul 14, 2022
Episode 117: Three Ways to Violate the Known Laws of the Space-Time Continuum
Chris and Ari are back in the office and talking into the same microphone! Inspired by an insane summer schedule, the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, and the wisdom of the Leadership Freak blog, our hosts discuss the belief that there are only three ways to "get more time" in a day. Want to know what they are? Well, guess you're just gonna have to listen to the episode then! Do you have a question, a topic you'd like us to discuss, a suggestion for a future guest for the show, or additional secrets about how to violate the known laws of the space-time continuum? Let us know at email@example.com!
29 minutes | Jul 7, 2022
Episode 116: How to Ask for a Raise (with Scott Trauger)
Ari sits down with NEI Supervisor Scott Trauger to tackle one of the trickiest questions that applies to everyone across our industry: how do you ask for a raise? Ari and Scott chat salaries, and how and when to ask for pay increases. They talk about how hard it can be to speak positively about yourself and how we all should practice doing that more often! They also discuss exploring other roles, jobs, or fields as a way to discover options and help put your current role in perspective. Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
40 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
Episode 115: The Official Chris Jenkins Super Simplified Guide to Behavior™
Greetings from the future! Due to challenges with the space/time continuum, we're once again Ari-less this week, but it gives Chris the chance to reflect on his time in New Zealand with the awesome staff and animals of Hamilton Zoo, to dig into the ins and outs of choice paralysis during training sessions, and to discuss a fun new flow chart he built to answer that most basic (but important) of behavior questions: Is the animal doing what I want? That's right, an audio discussion of a visual resource - woo hoo! Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show? Please don't hesitate to let us know at email@example.com!
53 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
Episode 114: On Mavericks and Martyrs (with Carrie Patel)
Recorded in Los Angeles, edited in Tahiti, and posted in New Zealand, it's a special two-part episode of the TEC Talk Podcast! For Part 1, Chris sits down to chat with Obsidean Entertainment's Carrie Patel about her role as a Game Director and the talk he saw her give at this year's Game Developers Conference, "No Mavericks, No Martyrs: Sustainable, Collaborative Production". Carrie shares the dangers of celebrating successes without acknowledging the costs that it took to achieve them, the increasing ability that managers have to disrupt their team's processes the higher up the chain of command they grow, and the responsibility leaders have to help those they lead to clearly define their goals for future growth. In Part 2, Chris blindly tackles questions submitted by the team at That Bird Show We Don't Talk About. It gets a little weird in places, but hey - if you ever said to yourself, "you know, I really like this show, but I wish Chris had an Icelandic accent," then THIS is the episode you've been waiting for. (Note: apologies to the people of Iceland. You deserve better than this.) If you have questions or topics you'd like us to discuss on the show, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
24 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
Episode 113: Catch-Up Mini-Sode (Live from... Taco Bell!)
Chris and Ari catch each other up on their recently work travels in Minnesota and the Bahamas, discuss some special upcoming trips in the works for July, and share their go-to menu items from Taco Bell. Which Chris does from a Taco Bell parking lot. While eating Taco Bell. Life on the road, ya'll! Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show? Let us know at email@example.com!
37 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
Episode 112: Don't Forget - This is FUN! (with Donnie Crook)
Chris is back on the road and joined by Minnesota Zoo Interpretive Naturalist Donnie Crook! We chat about Donnie's history in the professional animal care world, the unique challenges (and opportunities) that ambassador animal programs experienced during COVID shutdowns, and reflect on the advice we'd give our younger selves when we were just getting started in the field. Spoiler alert - it involves having fun! Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
35 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
Episode 111: Happy World Parrot Day! (with NEI's Winged Encounters Team)
In honor of World Parrot Day, Chris is joined by Katelyn, Megan, Kamille, Keegan, Lizzi, and Aaron from NEI's Winged Encounters team to talk all the work they're doing right now to train a dozen new birds to join their free-flight macaw experience at That Major Theme Park in Central Florida That We Don't Talk About. They discuss the path from the birds' earliest training to the work being done right now onsite in the park, share the fun of being 50ft in the air during "lift training," reflect on all the changes we've made to our training practices since we first started setting up the show in 2013, and take a quick survey of the folks in the room to see which of the new birds are currently their favorite. Have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show? Let us know at email@example.com!
39 minutes | May 26, 2022
Episode 110: "Real Chat (About Shows) with Ray and Ari" (with Ray Minchey)
With Chris in the middle of an unexpected Round 2 with COVID, Ari loops in return guest Ray Minchy to chat about all things show related and being on stage for the first time at a new show. They talk about all the steps she took to make it to her first day of doing the "T2" role on stage, from learning lines to organizing her pockets, and Ray shares some great advice at the end for anyone who is worried about talking in front of a crowd for the first time. Join these two ladies in this awesome GirlCast episode! Have a question or something you'd like us to discuss on the show? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
61 minutes | May 19, 2022
Episode 109: When Reality and Your Training Plans Don't Play Nice Together
Fresh out of COVID quarantine, Chris harnesses the power of the internet from Minnesota to summon Ari from Texas to bring YOU another episode of TEC Talk! After comparing the relative merits of our hotel rooms (#TeamHilton), we get into a discussion of how to handle the reality of...reality, and the many and myriad ways that the pressures of life, our jobs, and our environment can throw lots of wrenches into even the best-laid training plans. We talk about the important of flexibilty, discuss our Hierarchies of Training Priorities, and learn about Ari's huge trust account in ethernet plugs. It'll make sense when you listen to it. Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss? Have a suggestion for someone great you'd like us to have on the show? Got a document you've been working on that you need us to proofread? Let us know at email@example.com!
49 minutes | May 12, 2022
Episode 108: Downspout Sparrow (with Hardy Kern)
Join Ari as she chats with longtime listener and friend of the podcast Hardy Kern! They chat about Hardy's transition from the Columbus Zoo to his new role at the American Bird Conservancy. Hardy shares all that his new role entails, his thoughts on life working from home, and some great advice about how the skills you learn in the animal care field directly translate to many new things! Have a question for a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
40 minutes | May 5, 2022
Episode 107: MomCast! (with Lucy Rutt and Katie Bello)
Ari sits down with NEI Senior Trainers and mothers-to-be Katie and Lucy to chat about momming in the animal field. They talk about work/life balance, shifts in priorities and expectations, and balancing a family and a career in a tough field on this Mother's Day episode! Have a question for us to tackle on a future episode? Send it our way at email@example.com!
35 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
Episode 106: Seeing "All the Things" During Training Sessions
Ari and Chris convene to talk about what it really means to "see behavior" during a training session. So many nooks and crannies to explore in this one: when your training plan can get in the way of good training, communication between trainers before, during, and after a session, how "training ettiquete" ties into the greater idea of an institutional training culture, building confidence in people that they won't "break their animals," and learning to let go of our preconceptions about our animals - and ourselves - to do a better job of seeing behavior. Got something you'd like us to talk about on the show? Be like all the cool kids and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
52 minutes | Apr 21, 2022
Episode 105: ...Is This a Restaurant? (with Adam Geltz)
Chris is in Minnesota, but through the magic of technology he is joined, live via satellite from Texas, by Ari and NEI Senior Trainer Adam Geltz to talk about the consulting work we're all doing this week and to answer a simple question: what's the coolest thing you saw today? Have a question for us? An idea for a future discussion topic? Want to share the coolest thing you saw today? Email us at email@example.com!
71 minutes | Apr 14, 2022
Episode 104: Should You "Always End on a Positive Note"?
After discussing scent-based side hustles and the joys of trusting strangers on the internet, Chris and Ari tackle a common belief in animal training: that you should always end a training session on a positive note. With an outdated edition of Don't Shoot the Dog as our companion, we discuss the ways in which striving to always end on a "good note" can limit an animal's voice in the training dialog, set you back in your shaping plan, and even damage relationships. Luckily, we also discuss how redefining what "a good note" looks like can also increase motivation, shorten training sessions, and improve relationships. Isn't behavior amazing? Have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
73 minutes | Apr 7, 2022
Episode 103: Telling Stories to Make Connections (with Ron Magill)
This is a super exciting episiode - not because Chris and Ari are back together in the same office for the first time in over a month, but because they're joined by a super cool guest, Zoo Miami's Ron Magill! Ron shares a bunch of great stories from his history in the zoo field: meeting and becoming good friends with Jim Fowler, reflecting on the lessons learned from 27 years of being watched by 10 million people a week on the biggest TV show in the world, how an experience breaking zoo policies on live TV lead to him becoming their spokesperson, and how a very special relationship with an incredible couple had a massive impact on Ron and the zoo's conservation efforts. Not even kidding, all three of us were crying! If you have a question or a topic you'd like us to discuss on the show, let us know at email@example.com!
33 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
Episode 102: This Water is 'The Good Blue' (with Meg Meyer)
The Month of Infinite Travel continues as Ari teams up with NEI Senior Trainer Meg Meyer to talk about the two flights, long drive, and boat trip that got them to a consulting project in the Bahamas. Yep. That's a real thing. In addition to recounting their long day (that almost landed them in jail), they talk about the joy of doing animal stuff with non-animal people, the difference between what we think an animal feels and and we see an animal do, and the difference between what behavior is and what behavior is not. And manta rays! If you have a question about tortoises or anything else animal related (or not), let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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