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Seminars

Wolf Park's seminars provide unique opportunities for professionals in the animal industry to advance their knowledge about animal training, welfare, and ethology from some of the top experts in the field. Our seminars are primarily lecture-based but often integrate training demonstrations and presentations from Wolf Park staff.

“Sniff, Stay, Learn! Discover and dive into the exciting world of conservation detection dogs” with Conservation Dogs Collective

November 12, 2022 | $150 in-person | $125 virtual

Join the Conservation Dogs Collective team for a full-day seminar that covers all things conservation detection dogs. You’ll learn about the what and why behind utilizing trained Finder-Keeper (dog-handler) teams to advance conservation efforts, study the body language of dogs when they’re sniffing for their target odor, and get live observation experience watching the CDCI Canine Finders doing scent detection tasks on the Wolf Park property. We’ll also discuss the “nitty gritty”/business side of this industry, ethics and welfare considerations for projects, and variables to ensure project success.

This seminar is appropriate for learners with varying experiences living with and working alongside dogs, those who are interested in becoming a conservation dog handler, as well as professionals curious about the potential use of conservation dogs for their projects. Registered attendees will be sent CDCI’s “What’s a Conservation Dog?” video recording a week or two before the seminar – we kindly ask everyone to view this prior to our in-person gathering.

Seminar Instructors

Laura_BettyWhite

Laura Holder, CPDT-KA, CNWI
Executive Director of Conservation Dogs Collective and Canine Keeper of Ernie and Betty White

Laura’s lifelong fascination with canines, especially their unique ability to work alongside humans, inspires her every day. She loves training and deploying the CDCI Finder-Keeper teams to support clients in their critical conservation efforts. Laura is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with the CCPDT and a Certified Nose Work Instructor with the National Association of Canine Scent Work. Driven by her boundless curiosity about how dogs think, learn, and detect scent, Laura has been nose-deep in the professional fields of scent-detection, nose work and dog training since 2009. She has presented on the topic of conservation dogs nationally and internationally since 2017, sharing her knowledge and experience with interested audiences ranging from preschoolers to professionals and loves to engage with others to share her passion for this growing industry.

a person holding a dog

Jo Lock
Program Strategist, Canine Keeper of Willow and Holly

Originally from the UK, Jo’s fascination with animal behavior and concern for nature began as a young child. With a degree in Management Science and three years of doctoral research in a tool for strategic planning and decision making, most of Jo’s early career was spent working with human behavior but after moving to the USA she discovered scent detection and has been working with her canine partner Willow ever since. Willow acquired many of her search skills as a search and rescue dog trained to find missing people before transitioning to providing scent detection services for conservation projects. Following a project recording bat fatalities around wind turbines, Jo began researching this problem and exploring solutions which led to writing a white paper. The paper proposes a solution that draws on the principles of behavior and learning to help the bats to choose safer migration routes which avoid close contact with wind turbines through the establishment of “migration corridors.”

a dog standing next to a body of water

Morgan Charpentier, IAABC-ADT
Canine Keeper of Jesse

Morgan got her start on a ranch surrounded by everything from cattle to sheep to chickens, and (of course) many working dogs. It was here she learned the importance of nature, balance, conservation, and respect for all the flora and fauna around us—valuable lessons she carries close to her heart and work to this day. Morgan has been a full time conservation detection dog handler since 2019 with her four-legged partner, Jesse. In 2021 Morgan earned her certification through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants as an accredited dog trainer (IAABC-ADT). Before this time, she spent years training and handling search and recovery dogs. Prior to working with her own dogs, Morgan was a researcher at a materials laboratory and a geotechnical inspector in Indianapolis. It was here she developed a deep appreciation for research and a drive for accurate and representative study design she now applies to her conservation dog-centric work.

a dog that is standing in the grass

Heather Mongiat, CPDT-KA
Canine Keeper of Bronty

Heather was born with a passion for animals and nature. Fortunately for her she was able to grow up sharing her life with cats, dogs and even horses in her own backyard. After high school she started working at a veterinary clinic and has close to 20 years experience in that professional setting. Heather has spent the past several years rescuing and fostering dogs, especially pit bulls. In 2009, her first therapy dog she trained and certified with was a pit bull! For nearly a decade, Heather has been building her educational background in all-things related to dogs. In 2018 she became Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed through the CCPDT and earned her Fear Free Animal Trainer certification through Fear Free Pets. Right around this time she discovered the world of scent work and was one of the first training apprentices of Conservation Dogs Collective back in 2019 with her yellow lab, Bronty. Heather and Bronty are looking forward to a bountiful career, together, searching for different species and helping the planet, one project at a time.

a woman holding a dog posing for the camera

Lindsay Hayward, MS
Program Coordinator

After getting her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance, Lindsay realized that her love of conservation outweighed her love of singing opera. She returned to school at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and received her Masters of Biology with a focus in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. In conjunction, she began working at a doggy daycare, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a manager specializing in canine behavior observation and modification. Pursuant to her fascination with working dogs, she enrolled her corgis in herding classes in 2013. In 2016, Lindsay read an article about Tucker, the Labrador Retriever who specializes in sniffing out whale poop in Puget Sound. She realized this was the perfect field to combine her love of conservation and dogs and is thrilled to bring her passion and professional skills set to the CDCI team. 

a close up of a dog

 

Finder Betty White
2 years old, 44lbs, Labrador Retriever
Trained to locate: Bumblebee nests and New Zealand mudsnails 

Tiny but mighty, Betty White lives up to her name. In the field and at home, she’s always kind-hearted and quite certain the entire world loves her. Betty is a detail-oriented gal who leaves no leaf unturned when it comes to locating native bumble bee nests.

a dog sitting in the grass

 

Finder Bronty
3 years old, 65lbs, Labrador Retriever
Trained to locate: Bumblebee nests

Bronty is that guy at the party that is everyone’s friend and the life of the party. He is up to try anything! Camping, paddle boarding, dock diving, hiking, just need a day of Netflix and Hulu, this boy is down to just relax too! His all time favorite thing is sniffing and lucky for him, he found himself the perfect job!

a large brown dog sitting in the grass

 

Finder Ernie
5 years old, 60lbs, Labrador Retriever
Trained to locate: Bumblebee nests, New Zealand mudsnails, Wood turtles, wild parsnip rosettes, and more!

Ernie is a non-stop force in the field, but if we are going to be really honest, Ernie is a bit of a derp. He’s like that guy in high school that was so darn funny that even the teachers had trouble telling him to stop talking. Nightly, Ernie can be seen in the living room carrying his food bowl and doing “the wiggle dance” before retiring to sleep snuggled up to his canine sister, Betty White.

a dog looking at the camera

 

Finder Holly
1 year old, 49lbs, Labrador Retriever
Currently in-training for bumblebee nests

Born in the middle of the Covid Pandemic Holly is a very observant dog who notices everything and is very inquisitive! She is part mountain goat and loves to run and jump. She is super affectionate and has absolutely no respect for personal space—happy to share her toys by pushing them in your face!

a close up of a dog

 

Finder Jesse
5 years old, 45lbs, Belgian Tervuren
Trained to locate: Bumblebee nests, bat carcasses, and bird carcasses

Jesse came to America all the way from the Czech Republic (where he was originally destined for the show ring but never grew into his gangly teenage legs). What he lacks in style, he makes up for in heart and nose! When he isn’t in the field, Jesse wants nothing more than to snuggle up to his favorite people, other dogs, blankets, pillows, a pile of laundry… did we mention he is a major snuggler?

a dog wearing a hat looking at the camera

 

Finder Willow
9 years old, 55lbs, Labrador Retriever
Trained to locate: Bumblebee nests, bat carcasses, bird carcasses, Eastern box turtles, and Helenium virginicum

Willow was born with a star-shaped marking on her chest, so she was destined to be a “star” from the very start. A good girl at heart (she has her CGC certificate), she uses her nose not only for conservation, but for search and rescue work whenever she’s available. 

 


Continuing Education Units

This seminar has been approved for 8 CEUs for trainers through CCPDT, 6.5 CEUs through IAABC, and 9 CEUs through KPA.


Logistics

The seminar will be held November 12, 2022 from 9am – 5pm EST. The price is $150 to attend in person or $125 to watch virtually. In-person registration includes a special Conservation Dogs public program on Friday evening (details forthcoming). Continental breakfast and lunch are provided. Please let us know during the registration process if you have any dietary restrictions. Dogs are not allowed except service animals. No video or audio recording at the event, unless specified during particular sessions throughout the day.


Refund Policy

For the remainder of 2022, our refund policy is now as follows: Refund requests must be received in writing no later than 4 weeks prior to the event start date. Refunds will not be issued for cancellations made after this date or for no-shows. Refunds will be issued within 30 days after the course ends. A $50 processing fee will be deducted from refunds.


Questions

Please contact Laura Holder at [email protected]conservationdogscollective.org with questions about the seminar or Christopher Lile at [email protected] about Wolf Park