15th Triennial IAHAIO Conference

Friday, April 12 - 14, 2019

Green Chimneys
400 Doansburg Road, Brewster, NY 10509

Green Chimneys to host IAHAIO Conference

15th Triennial IAHAIO Conference
The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys

Science Meets Practice:
Creating Healthy Environments for People and Animals

Innovative • Interactive • International

Get ready for a unique and innovative IAHAIO Triennial conference experience
in beautiful Brewster, New York  — one hour north of Manhattan.

With Gratitude
Thank you to our partners: IAHAIO and The Institute for Human-Animal Connection.
Our appreciation extends to our sponsors: The Friends and Family of Andy Stallman, HABRI, Chuck & Don’s Pet Food & Supplies, Ceva, Purina, Mars Petcare. To our speakers, moderators, poster presenters, and attendees: thank you for sharing knowledge and an openness to new ideas and experiences. 

Photo Highlights

Day 1  •  Day 2  •  Day 3

Keynote Presentations

Below please find the PDFs which select keynote presenters have shared. Please note that due to file size, the PDF you are trying to access may load slowly.

One Welfare: Healthy Environments for Human and Nonhuman Animals
James Serpell, BSc, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Presentation PDF

HAI and Humane Education Through the Lens of Mainland China
Pei Feng Su, ACTAsia
Presentation PDF

Considering the Placebo Effect in HAI
Jens Gaab, Ph.D., University of Basel, Switzerland
Presentation PDF

Utilizing Nature-Based Programs to Promote Self-Regulation
R. Chiulli OTR/L, S. McWilliams LMSW, M. Kinoshita, MS., Green Chimneys
Presentation PDF

Recognizing and Preventing Stress in Therapy Dogs
Lisa Maria Glenk, MSc., Ph.D., Messerli Research Institute
Presentation PDF

Videos of select keynote presentations will be available via the Green Chimneys YouTube channel. When available, the links to the video will be posted to this page. Please check back here or watch for announcements posted to our Facebook and Twitter.


This conference aims to highlight the interconnectedness of the science and study of human-animal interactions and the practical delivery of programs in wide-ranging environments. Strengthening the links between science and practice through dialogue, debate and closer collaborations offers the opportunity to enhance the quality of research outcomes and program effectiveness in the field.

Who should attend?

Researchers, practitioners, students, educators, social workers, psychologist … anyone interested in learning more about current innovations across the globe in the field of animal-assisted interventions and human-animal interactions.

For the first time and by invitation of IAHAIO member Green Chimneys …

an active human-animal interaction program has been chosen for the conference location. Participants will benefit from high-quality research papers, dynamic keynotes, and facilitated theme sessions, as well as observe how Green Chimneys combines animal and nature-based programs to support 200 children with psycho-social and developmental disabilities in a school and residential setting.

The daily agenda will be guided by the main conference theme Research Meets Practice: Creating Health Environments for People and Animals.

In particular, we will focus on these subject areas:

  1. Innovative animal-assisted approaches in the field of children and adolescents
  2. Practical sessions that aim to educate and inform program development and administration
  3. Examples of studies and best practice programs that demonstrate the connection between research and practice
  4. Effective methodologies for studying AAI, particularly evaluating outcomes

For those who’ve been notified that your Abstract has been accepted for an oral presentation, please carefully review the following:

Oral Presentation Requirements

For those who’ve been notified that your Poster has been accepted, please carefully review the following:

Poster Presentation Requirements

Abstract Submission has ended.

Opening date for Abstract submissions: July 2, 2018
Closing date for Abstract submissions extended: October 22, 2018

Online abstract submission portal:

Please note that Abstracts can only be submitted via this link and should not be emailed or submitted in any other way.

We welcome Abstract submissions for Oral and Poster presentations from researchers and practitioners in AAI and HAI, outlining research, education and practice which speak to our main conference theme: Science Meets Practice: Creating Healthy Environments for People and Animals.

In particular, we are interested in submissions on the following subject areas

  1. Innovative animal-assisted approaches in the field of children and adolescents
  2. One Health in AAI: Well-being for people and animals
  3. Examples of studies or programmes that demonstrate strong links between research and practice
  4. Healthy environments for AAI, across a range of populations, cultures, settings and species – examples of best practices
  5. Effective methodologies for studying AAI, particularly evaluating outcomes

In the selection of abstracts, which will be reviewed blindly by an independent team, preference will be given to those which focus on the conference theme and the above subject areas.

Abstracts will also be evaluated according to each of the following criteria

  • Title: Clear description of presentation and its contents
  • Conciseness, coherence and clarity, structure
  • Methodology: research design if an empirical study, including clearly stated questions, data sources, data collection procedures, analytic approach and results
  • Relevance, appropriateness and significance of the topic/issue/problem to the field
  • Originality (graded from original to not original)

Spaces are limited for oral presentation – submissions will be graded according to the above criteria and final selection will also take into account the overall balance of the programme. You will be notified of the outcome of your submission by January 7, 2019.

Occupational Therapist at Green Chimneys

Rachael Chiulli, MOT, OTR/L

Rachael Chiulli, MOT, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist at Green Chimneys

Rachael Chiulli, MOT, OTR/L is an occupational therapist at Green Chimneys. Her clinical work incorporates the use of sensory-based strategies, pre-vocational/life skills, and animal-assisted activities. She has extensive experience working with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a variety of settings including clinics, therapeutic riding centers, daycares, home, and residential community-based centers. Her current areas of interest include work readiness and life skills, classroom strategies for regulation, and nature-based programming.

Dr. Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers

Dr. Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers

Professor at the Open University, President of IAHAIO

Dr. Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers is since 2013 a professor in Anthrozoology (Human-Animal Interaction studies) at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the Open University in the Netherlands and is trained as a clinical health psychologist. She is President of International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations. She founded AAIZOO (Animal Assisted Interventions in Care, Research and Education), is a Fellow of the Institute for Human-Animal Connections, University of Denver and a member of the Advisory Boards of Green Chimneys and of HABRI. Earlier in her life she founded and built a shelter in her region in the Netherlands and was President of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals. She served on the board of American Humane Association (USA) for two periods. Her areas of research are about the effect of animal-assisted interventions on elderly, children with autism, hospitalized children, and adolescents with psychological problems as well about the human-animal relationship. She published many articles and chapters in books.

Dr. Jens Gaab

Dr. Jens Gaab

Professor at University of Basel, Head of Psychology Division

Dr. Jens Gaab is Full Professor at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland and head of the Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and has published numerous theoretical, research and meta-analytical articles in psychotherapy research, placebo and psychobiology in high (fair enough: as well as low) impact journals. As an accredited psychotherapist with a strong background in psychobiology, his main interest is to examine, understand and test the relationship between placebo and psychotherapy and to elucidate the ethical and practical implications of their entanglement. Interestingly and to his surprise, the examination of how placebos work led to deeper insights in the nature of treatments and why they are effective. With this background and this perspective, Jens Gaab will examine animal-assisted therapy from the outside, hoping to deliver reassuring as well as challenging insights.

Dr. Lisa Maria Glenk

Dr. Lisa Maria Glenk

Researcher at Messerli Research Institute

Dr. Lisa Maria Glenk received her diploma (MSc equivalent) in behavioral endocrinology from the University of Vienna. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, in 2012 on animal-assisted interventions. After completion of her degree, she was appointed as a science communicator while pursuing her own research interests as a guest scientist in Vienna and Prague. Lisa Maria Glenk joined the Messerli Research Institute (Comparative Medicine) in 2013 as a postdoctoral junior researcher at the interface of animal welfare, stress physiology and immune modulation. In addition, she is strongly involved in science communication for non-academics (e.g. hands-on science, school lectures). Her work has been honored with several grants and awards.

Dr. Karin Hediger

Dr. Karin Hediger

Psychotherapist, Researcher at University of Basel

Dr. Karin Hediger is a psychotherapist and researcher at the University of Basel, Switzerland, at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and a neurorehabilitation clinic, investigating effects of animal-assisted interventions. After studying psychology at University of Zürich, Switzerland, she did her PhD in Rostock, Germany, in the field of human-animal interaction. She has a certificate in animal-assisted therapy, a diploma in equine-assisted therapy and recently founded a center for animal-assisted psychotherapy.  She is president of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Human-Animal Relationship (IEMT Switzerland), secretary of the International Society for Animal Assisted Therapy (ISAAT) and gives courses on animal-assisted interventions in many different institutes.

Dr. Brinda Jegatheesan

Dr. Brinda Jegatheesan

Professor at University of Washington and Open University

Brinda Jegatheesan Ph.D. is Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Washington, Seattle and an Affiliate Professor in Anthrozoology, department of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the Open Universiteit Nederland, Heerlen, The Netherlands. Dr. Jegatheesan specializes in psychological and medical anthropology concering disability, illness and special education and in anthrozoology. She is Vice President Development for the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) and serves on the board for the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ), and the editorial board for the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation (HABRI). She is the Editor of the Science section of the journal People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice (PAIJ). Dr. Jegatheesan is a Fellow at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver.

Michael Kaufmann

Michael Kaufmann

Farm & Wildlife Director at Green Chimneys, Director of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute

Michael Kaufmann is the Farm & Wildlife Director at Green Chimneys and the Director of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, dedicated to research on the human connection to animals and the natural world. He served the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Humane Association (AHA) as a key program director in animal-assisted activities/therapy, humane education and animal welfare. He has contributed to defining publications in the field and has served on numerous national boards and committees. He has lectured internationally on humane education, animal-assisted activities as well as how the link between child abuse and animal cruelty offers opportunity for collaboration between various helping professions.

Miyako Kinoshita

Miyako Kinoshita

Farm Education Program Manager at Green Chimneys

Miyako Kinoshita is a Farm Education Program Manager at Green Chimneys and a member of the Sam and Myra Ross Institute Steering Committee. She specializes in prevention, early detection, and intervention of emotional and behavioral crisis in AAA settings. She was a past committee member for the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA) and serves on the board of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Having led Green Chimneys Equine programs for many years, she now focuses her work on the integration of farm programs at Green Chimneys, lectures internationally and supervises the international intern program.

Dr. Steve Klee

Dr. Steve Klee

Associate Executive Director for Clinical & Medical Services at Green Chimneys

Steve Klee, PhD joined Green Chimneys in September of 2004 and currently serves as the Associate Executive Director for Clinical & Medical Services. Prior to Green Chimneys, he was the Director of Psychology at Brookdale Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Steve holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Louisville. Steve’s clinical and research interests include cognitive therapy, childhood depression, ADHD in children and adults and legal/ethical issues.
Social Worker at Green Chimneys

Shauna McWilliams, LMSW

Shauna McWilliams, LMSW

Social Worker, Green Chimneys

Shauna McWilliams, LMSW is a Social Worker in the Green Chimneys Therapeutic Day School program.  As a teenager, Shauna worked as a camp counselor at Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she discovered her love for farm animals & nature-based activities.  She graduated from Fordham University with her Masters in Social work and joined Green Chimneys first as a social work intern in 2000, and then as a social worker in the Residential Treatment program. She has been working with a variety of animals including goats, sheep, cows, equines, and camels in her therapeutic work with children at Green Chimneys. She is a mother of three children and one dog, an avid hiker and a lover of the outdoors in general.
Department of Public Health Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Dr. Ingeborg Pedersen

Dr. Ingeborg Pedersen

Researcher at Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Dr. Ingeborg Pedersen is researcher at Department of Public Health Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She holds a PhD in public health science with the thesis: Farm animal-assisted interventions in clinical depression. Recent research projects have been on animal-assisted interventions for elderly people with dementia including the current project; Farm based day care services for people with dementia. She is responsible for three continuing education courses in animal-assisted interventions at the university covering an introductory course, a course in horse-assisted interventions and in animal-assisted interventions at farms. The last year she has also been responsible for the translation of the renowned book Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy edited by Aubrey H. Fine, into Norwegian.

Line Sandstedt

Line Sandstedt

Managing Director of the Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology

Line Sandstedt is the managing director of the Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology (AZS). She is a lector in science and a postgraduate in special needs education and coaching and a dog behaviorist/ trainer. She is skilled in screening canine personality aptitude for Animal Assisted Interventions and gives courses in dog training internationally. Sandstedt is also responsible for all of the education given by AZS, both dog training and training of human-animal teams. She serves different client groups with AAI and is currently doing a project on animal-assisted learning together with the Norwegian Dyslectic Organization.

Dr. James Serpell

Dr. James Serpell

Professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Director, Center for the Interaction of Animals & Society

James Serpell PhD is the Marie A. Moore Professor of Animal Ethics and Welfare at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, where he also directs the Center for the Interaction of Animals & Society. His research focuses on the behavior and welfare of dogs and cats, the development of human attitudes to animals, and the history and impact of human-animal relationships. In addition to publishing more than 180 articles and book chapters on these and related topics, he is the author, editor or co-editor of several books including Animals & Human Society (1994), The Domestic Dog (1995, 2017), In the Company of Animals.

Kitty Stalsburg

Kitty Stalsburg

Executive Director of High Hope Therapeutic Riding, Inc.

Kitty Stalsburg has been involved in therapeutic riding since 1986. A PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) Master Instructor, she is the Executive Director of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. In her role as Executive Director, Kitty interacts daily with participants, parents, educators, health professionals, instructors and other staff.  Kitty coordinates and lectures for the PATH Intl. Approved Instructor Training Courses as well as other educational courses offered at High Hopes. Kitty has lectured on various topics relating to the field locally, nationally and internationally. A lifelong equestrian, Kitty holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Cornell University. Active in PATH Intl. since 1987, Kitty is a PATH Evaluator, Visitor, past Chair of Accreditation and Standards Committees as a former PATH Intl Board member and Past President.

Pei F. Su

Pei F. Su

Co-founder and Executive Director of ACTAsia

Pei F. Su is co-founder and Executive Director of ACTAsia.  Since 1994, she has been dedicated to helping Asian cultures recognize that compassion towards humans and other animals and respect for the environment enriches lives and communities. ACTAsia has offices in China and is now a registered charity/non-profit organization in the UK, USA, The Netherlands, and Australia. ACTAsia’s Caring for Life Education program has trained more than a thousand humane educators and reached tens of thousands of children in Chinese public schools. ACTAsia’s work with Vets for Compassion trains veterinarians in China, helping them become animal welfare advocates. ACTAsia received the CEVA Award as the 2016 "Charity of the Year." In 2017 Pei received the CEVA International Cat Care Award to recognize her personal contributions in education.

Philip Tedeschi

Philip Tedeschi

Clinical Professor & Executive Director at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection

Philip Tedeschi is an Animal-Assisted Social Work and Experiential Therapy Specialist and co-founder of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW). He is the Executive Director of IHAC and coordinates GSSWs Animal-Assisted Social Work certificate program for Master of Social Work (MSW) students, as well as the Animals and Human Health online professional development certificate program. He also teaches MSW courses in forensic social work and experiential therapy approaches, with emphasis on conservation and environmental social work in areas such as East Africa and the inclusion of animals in therapeutic settings. A certified Master Therapeutic Riding Instructor, former course director and instructor with Outward Bound, wilderness medical technician, he has many years of experience in non-traditional therapeutic approaches with children, adults and families, as well as in interpersonal violence including, assessment and intervention with animal abuse, attachment, trauma disordered and sexually abusive youth and adults.
Early Bird Registration – $325

Before January 15, 2019

Regular Registration – $350

After January 15, 2019

Online Registration opens September 3, 2018

This event is sold out.

Green Chimneys is the host venue and all sessions will take place on the Brewster Campus including on the farm, among the animals, and in the various school buildings.

Get an intimate overview and gain insight into the diverse nature-based programs that are integrated into the Green Chimneys School and Residential Treatment program such as the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a PATH Intl. accredited therapeutic equine program, the farm animal teaching barn, the shelter dog interaction program and two organic gardens.

Check out photos from the last conference hosted at Green Chimneys and start to imagine your experience here. Click on images above.

Green Chimneys’ Brewster Campus is located in Putnam County, New York and is only an hour away from midtown Manhattan. Below please find travel information which may be helpful in planning your trip.

Please watch for announcements about special Hotel Room Rate and Ground Transportation.

Train Travel from New York City
  • Via Metro-North Railroad
  • Take the Harlem Line to Southeast Station
  • You will then need a taxi to take you from the train station to 400 Doansburg Road, Brewster.
By Car

Please visit Getting to Green Chimneys


Free parking will be available to IAHAIO 2019 attendees. Signage onsite will direct you to designated attendee parking.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the following hotels for the conference.

Hilton Garden Inn Danbury
119 Mill Plain Road
Danbury, CT 06811

Conference Rate: $99 per night

To reserve at Conference Rate, please:

The Hilton Garden Inn is within walking distance to several casual restaurants, a Starbucks, and other shops. The hotel also has a restaurant on its property.

Transportation to the Hilton Garden Inn

Shuttle Transportation

GO Airport Shuttle
Reservations Required for Shuttle Service. When making your reservation tell them that you are going to the Hilton Garden Inn Danbury and they will make a stop at the hotel.Alternate

Private Transportation

Alternate Hotel

HotelHeidi’s Inn
1270 Route 22
Brewster, NY 10509
+1 845.279.8011

Room Rate: $96

Heidi’s Inn will be able to assist you with information regarding transportation and amenities when making your reservation.