The NEW ABS News System is Now Available.View News »

Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

Working towards a better understanding of animal behavior

Animal Behavior & Education

The Animal Behavior Society's Education Committee was formed to promote quality instruction and training in the area of animal behavior.

Education Committee

The Education Committee promotes quality instruction and training in the area of animal behavior. We help to facilitate collaborations across the ABS community to amplify education and engagement initiatives.

The committee is divided into six sub-committees, each with its own chair or chairs, and each with its own responsibilities. Below is a summary of each subcommittee’s work responsibilities.

Education Committee Member Directory

ABS Outreach Grant Subcommittee

This committee supports community engagement efforts by ABS members. Any programs that engage the community and bring animal behavior to the public are considered outreach, and we fund five exceptional programs each year. We also increase the visibility of these programs by sharing them on our website and encouraging awardees to share their work at the annual ABS conference. Members of this committee primarily review proposals. Applications for the ABS Outreach Grant are due on December 1 each year.

Education Resources and Innovations Subcommittee

This subcommittee collects, develops, and disseminates resources to the animal behavior teaching community. We do this via workshops (e.g., the annual ABS conference) and the education website. Members of this subcommittee organize and contribute to these workshops, provide ideas of teaching resources through our collection and social media, and maintain the ABS education website.

Social Media Subcommittee

Created in 2020, the Social Median Subcommittee helps promote the activities of the Education Committee on social media accounts, provides updates and responses on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.

Children's Book Award Subcommittee

Each year, the ABS Outstanding Children's Book Award Sub-Committee solicits English-language children's books about animal behavior from publishers. Then, the Sub-Committee carefully reviews those books for animal behavior accuracy, power of presentation and appeal to the younger target audience, and effectiveness in communicating the process of thinking critically. The sub-committee selects four finalists and then solicits student reviews from local schools (grades 3-4) to determine the winner from the four finalists. The student review books that are submitted by publishers each year are donated to the libraries of the participating schools and other community youth organizations, providing educational opportunities in the field of animal behavior.

Genesis Award Subcommittee

First presented at the 2000 ABS Annual Meeting, the Genesis Award honors the best undergraduate poster presentation at the meeting. Current and recently graduated undergraduates are all encouraged to participate and indicate their desire to do so at the point of conference abstract submission. All undergraduate posters will be presented during one of the conference-wide poster sessions, so students will have an opportunity to share their work with all conference participants in addition to the Genesis judges. Poster presentations are judged using a variety of criteria, such as the quality of the research, the level of student engagement and initiative, the visual appeal of the poster, and the quality of the oral presentation itself. For more information, see

Penny Bernstein Distinguished Teaching Award Subcommittee

The Distinguished Teaching Award is one of the annual Animal Behavior Society career awards that recognize contributions to the field of animal behavior. Since the first recipient, Jane Brockman (1995), distinguished recipients have included among others, Gail Michener (2000), John Alcock (2007), and Bill Eberhard (2009). In 2013, the Society changed the name of the award to the Penny Bernstein Distinguished Teaching Award, in recognition of the contributions made to animal behavior education by the late Penny Bernstein. Nominees must be ABS members who are not current officers or committee chairs. They must have a sustained record of excellent teaching in the classroom or informal education setting (e.g., zoos, aquaria, museums, 4-H programs, research labs, field stations, environmental centers). They should have a reputation among peers and students for excellence in educating people about animal behavior. Please take this opportunity to recognize colleagues who have demonstrated a sustained record of highly effective and innovative teaching. Nominations are collected annually. For more information, see