2010: April Becker

University of North Texas

April Becker earned her undergraduate degree in zoology from Colorado State University, where she studied the vocalizations of songbirds under Myron Baker. She worked for several years in various positions in wildlife and bird shows in Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas before returning to school to study the science that provides a touchstone for all animal trainers: behavior analysis. April earned her MS from the University of North Texas (UNT), and her research aspirations sprouted from the idea that the scientific analysis, verification, testing, and expansion of animal training practices provide the best hope of improving the lives of animals and the skills of their human caretakers. At first, her research at UNT centered on reinforcer effectiveness and shaping, but later extended to response variability, creativity, and cultural analysis. Incredible mentors at UNT such as Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and Sigrid Glenn helped both to expand her interests and her views on the potential impact of behavior analytic research.  April hopes to make a contribution to the community's effort to increase behavior analytic understanding and bring that understanding to bear on real-world problems, in the field of animal training and elsewhere.


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