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Bob Bailey

Robert E. Bailey was born on October 27, 1936 in Columbus, Ohio. He completed his BA in Zoology at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1959. Active in his studies, Bailey served as a teaching assistant in his junior year, and in his senior year he served as a research assistant in both the UCLA School of Medicine and the Department of Zoology. In the School of Medicine, he participated in a study on avian imprinting, and in the Department of Zoology, he worked to capture, catalogue, and care for a large number of plant and animal species for the department while working with California Fish and Game biologists to study fish. During this time, he also developed and constructed his own equipment for the capture and transport of animals. After his graduation, Bailey noticed an ad for a position as the Director of Animal Training for the U.S. Navy, and decided to apply for it. To this day, Bailey maintains that he doesn't know why he got the job. He had trained squid, octopi, fish, and congo eels at UCLA, but that would look small compared to the work that he would do with the Navy. 

By 1962, he was working as the Director of the U.S. Navy's animal training program. The program was just beginning to research dolphins at Point Mugu. He directed studies into fluid flow around dolphins, as well as dolphin communication. In addition, Bailey conducted research and developed programs for fleet systems using dolphins, seals, and sea lions. Among the objectives of the Navy's programs was the establishment of behavioral, physiological, medical, and nutritional norms. Traveling to different bases to work on animal training, Bailey noticed that the name "Breland" was coming up repeatedly. Bailey met with Keller Breland in 1962, and eventually the Brelands were hired as consultants on the animal training projects. Soon Bob met Marian Breland and collaborator Kent Burgess.

Keller Breland held a very simple class in operant conditioning for the U. S.  Navy's dolphin trainers. At this point, Breland had considerable experience with conditioning, and he taught the dolphin trainers in no time to condition a chicken as a primer for training the dolphins. Building on the knowledge that they received from the Brelands, Bob Bailey and Sam Ridgeway (the “dolphin doctor” at Point Mugu) developed dolphin-husbandry procedures in the spring of 1963, teaching dolphins to lie still and cooperate, to let trainers put objects into their mouths and blowholes (e.g., for medical procedures), and eventually to let trainers draw blood and give injections. It was also in 1963 that Mr. Bailey initiated and completed the U.S. Navy's first dolphin open ocean release-and-recovery program. The operation was, at the time, classified SECRET. 

In 1965, Bailey went to work for Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE) as Assistant Technical Director. He was placed in charge of ABE's programs for the Department of Defense and all of the marine mammal programs. In addition, he developed equipment for the animal displays and demonstrations, and he wrote manuals and scripts. He also documented ABE's experimental work. This government work was also classified SECRET.

Keller Breland died in 1965. From 1966-1967, Bailey became the research director for ABE. He was responsible for all research programs and experimentation, including secret government work. He developed several unique apparati for dolphin and other animal navigation, as well as animal-communication devices using lasers, supersonic generators, and radio transceivers suitable to be implanted in the animals. Bob also developed many exhibits for ABE, including the popular Bird Brain display. Bailey was made Project Manager of ABE in 1967. Two years later, he became the Vice President and General Manager of ABE, a position that he held until 1986. It was during this time, in 1976, that he married Marian Breland. He is an accomplished animal trainer, having trained over 150 species and thousands of individual animals.

Bob's love of technology sent him back to the community college in the early 1980's for a degree in BASIC computer programming. He has worked with computers at great length, always trying to stay on the cutting-edge. Bailey himself holds four patents for electromechanical devices for animal training and for use in educational and amusement displays. 

Beginning in 1990, Bob served as the CEO of Eclectic Science Productions, which applies behavioral psychology to learning situations. Bob Bailey's resume is an impressive collection of government projects and groundbreaking psychological research. His unique passion for understanding animals and his attraction to the latest in technology helped him to become an important figure in the world of behavioral psychology. With Marian Breland Bailey, he was a key figure in many grants and experimental projects and was the co-author of many technical papers regarding their work together. The Baileys toured the world, working as animal trainers and behavioral psychologists, using the operant procedures they had mastered in their own work. Marian died in 2001. Today, Bob lives in Hot Springs , where he continues to run Eclectic Science Productions.