Dr. Friedman is currently a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. A Behaviorist for more than 25 years, her area of expertise is learning and behavior with a special emphasis on children’s behavior disorders. In the last several years, Susan has helped pioneer efforts to apply to animals the humane philosophy and scientifically sound teaching technology from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, which has been so effective with human learners. The guiding principle of this approach is a hierarchy of teaching interventions starting with the most positive, least intrusive, effective behavior solutions.
Susan is a steadfast proponent of changing behavior through facilitation rather than force. These tools of facilitation focus on animals’ extraordinary biologic capacity to learn by interacting with their environment. She teaches that by changing the environment for success, animals learn to behave successfully. Susan currently teaches Living and Learning with Parrots: The Fundamental Principles of Behavior to online and workshop students several times a year.
Susan is the first author on two recently completed chapters on learning and behavior for two new avian veterinary texts (in press), and enjoys contributing to and learning from several internet lists on parrot behavior. She is a core member of the California Condor Recovery Team and takes every opportunity to work with companion animal caregivers, veterinarians, animal trainers and zookeepers to empower and enrich the lives of all learners. Foremost in this interdisciplinary effort is her passion for and commitment to working with companion parrots and their caregivers.