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CBT Radio

Apr 7, 2011

This episode is relevant to professionals, students and those with an interest in the real world applications of the science of human behavior.

In this episode, R. Trent Codd, III, Ed.S., interviews Alan Poling, PhD about his work training African giant pouched rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis.  Some of the items they discuss include:

  • The extent of the world’s landmine problem 
  • Why it’s advantageous to train rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis relative to other procedures 
  • The behavioral procedures involved in training rats for this work 
  • The economic impact of his work in this area 
  • And more! 


Dr. Poling received his B.A. in 1972 from Alderson-Broaddus College, his M.A. in 1974 from West Virginia University, and his Ph.D. in 1977 from the University of Minnesota. He joined the faculty at Western Michigan University in 1977 and earned the rank of Professor of Psychology. Dr. Poling began serving as an Interim Associate Dean in the College of Arts of Sciences in 2003 and was named Interim Chair of the Department of Mathematics in 2004.

His primary research interests are in psychopharmacology and behavior analysis; grants from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Education have supported much of his work. A Fellow of Divisions 3, 25, and 28, Dr. Poling has published 11 books and over 250 articles and book chapters and served as the research advisor of 28 Ph.D. recipients. He was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of West Virginia University in 1999 and a Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Western Michigan University in 1996. In 2003, Dr. Poling received the Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creative Activity Award.