Much conference, so wow, such busy

Gosh, sorry to use such a tired old meme! But your friend at Cats and Squirrels has been a busy bee in 2015! It's all about the conferences!!

BA2014_newLogo_garamond_generic_fullname-logo120x490First of all, I've been Co-Director of a team putting together a conference called Beyond Academia, which will be happening here at UC Berkeley on March 16 & 17. I had no idea how much work (and money) is required to put on a conference! From wrangling a venue and catering AND 100 speakers, plus marketing, selling tickets, updating webpages, putting together programs, fundraising, and begging for free booze - it's been a major undertaking! But we are very excited about what we have put together, and it has been one of the most social things I have done as a graduate student.

Beyond Academia is a conference organized by UCB graduate students and postdocs to help students learn about other viable job options for PhDs besides academic positions. Given that the odds of getting an academic job seem to be shrinking daily (and that not everyone  WANTS a tenure-track faculty position), BA created a space for information about non-academic careers with a positive, supportive format. We aren't academia-bashers (and some of us are still considering academic jobs), but it's time to recognize that non-academic jobs are not an "alternative" -- they are a reality! And for students to recognize that their PhD has great value in the "real world!"

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The conference this year features loads of amazing speakers, and workshops on the job hunt process, starting your own business, presentation and media skills, and discovering what jobs are best suited for your interests. We have panels on jobs in tech, entrepreneurship, non-profits, university admin, science communication as well as one I'm particularly excited about - graduate students talking about how they started their non-academic careers while still in grad school. And more! The conference is sold out, so this isn't an advertisement, I'm just a proud parent excited to unveil months of hard work.

If you have questions about how to put on your own event of a similar nature, please feel free to get in touch with us!

catconfWell once that is over, I have to get ready for two more conferences! In April, I'll be heading to Atlanta for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants' Feline Behavior Conference (really only the tiny domesticated kind of feline). This conference has a FANTASTIC lineup of veterinary behaviorists (Tony Buffington, Sharon Crowell-Davis, Leticia Dantas and Lynne Seibert), plus talks from Certified Cat Behavior Consultants (yes, we really exist) Jacqueline Munera, Steve Dale, Beth Adelman, and moi!

If you are looking to increase your knowledge of cat behavior, this is your chance! There will be presentations on feline aggression, OCD, social behavior in cats, aging in cats, psychopharmacology, feline nutrition, the connection between stress and urinary tract problems, reducing stress, using negative reinforcement to reduce fearful behaviors and MORE! I will be presenting on what makes cats and their owners unique, including my research on personality traits and attachment of pet owners - and how to apply this knowledge to behavior consulting. The Feline Behavior Conference is happening on April 11-12, more details here!

bannerWhile in Atlanta, I'll also be speaking at an event that is part of the Animal Voices Film Festival, which takes place at the University of Georgia in Athens. This will be a screening of a documentary film, the Paw Project, which focuses on an organization that educates the public and veterinarians about the declawing of cats big and small. The Paw Project (the organization) also performs paw repair surgeries on declawed cats, and works to make the declawing of cats illegal. I am very excited to be part of a panel that includes my dear friend Ingrid (another Certified Cat Behavior Consultant) from Fundamentally Feline, and Dr. Stephanie Globerman of Paws, Whiskers & Claws, a cat-only veterinary practice in Atlanta.  Oh, and I'm in the movie! Bonus! Learn more about this event here!

ccs_logo_small_web@2xAm I tired yet? Yes! But I'm not done. From Georgia, I'll head to Melbourne, Florida for four days for the Comparative Cognition Society Conference (CO3). CO3 is one of my favorite animal behavior related conferences: there's always tons of interesting research to learn about, it's small, friendly, and on a beach. I checked out this year's program, and there will be sessions on exciting topics like tool use and problem solving, dog cog, numerosity, spatial cognition, and social learning. I'll be presenting a poster on my research on how fox squirrels decide where to bury their nuts, and one of my research assistants, Aaron, will be presenting a poster on our project looking at competition and signaling behaviors in fox squirrels.

After CO3, I return home! Two days later I will give a guest lecture on human animal interactions for UCB's intro psych class . Then I will pass out!

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