The Living Landscape: Fostering Pro-Environmental Change for Biodiversity Conservation
August 20-23, 2019 at the Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO
Dr. Abigail Abrash Walton
Dr. Abigail Abrash Walton serves as co-director of Antioch’s Conservation Psychology Institute as well as co-director of Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience and as faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies, where she directs the Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s degree concentration and both master’s programs.
Under her leadership, Antioch has developed and advanced a range of sustainability and social justice initiatives. Her public engagement, research, and teaching focus on change leadership, facilitating pro-environmental behavior, and translating values into effective action, particularly regarding environmental and social performance. She enjoys the spirit and practice of innovation and has played a central role in launching Antioch’s Conservation Psychology Institute and Translating Research to Inform Policy workshops and in catalyzing a national-level working group to build the capacity of scientists and researchers to engage with the public policy process
Dr. Louise Chawla
Louise Chawla is Professor Emerita in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she is actively involved with the Community Engagement, Design and Research Center that she helped establish. As a developmental and environmental psychologist, her work focuses on the creation of optimal environments for healthy development in childhood and youth. The wellbeing of children depends on adults, and therefore she has been tracking research on nature experiences and wellbeing for both children and adults since the first studies of this subject emerged in the 1980s. With Jill Litt, a colleague from the field of public health, she co-authored the American Public Health Association Policy Statement on “Improving Health and Wellness through Access to Nature.” She has written studies and reviews of this subject and speaks nationally and internationally.
Dr. Kayla Cranston
As Conservation Education Researcher at Saint Louis Zoo, Dr. Kayla Cranston designs and conducts studies to measure the psychological impact of our conservation education programs on participants. Prior to this appointment, Kayla completed her postdoctoral research in the Human Dimensions Laboratory in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University where she studied and created tools to evaluate motivation for long-term action toward environmental goals from a psychological perspective.
Kayla earned her doctorate degree in Conservation Psychology from Antioch University New England, her master of arts degree in Community-based Social Marketing from Prescott College, and her bachelor of science degree in Behavioral and Social Psychology from Arizona State University. Kayla has shared her expertise in conservation psychology by teaching the topic to graduate and undergraduate students at Antioch University New England, Keene State College, University of California in San Diego, and Oregon State University. She has facilitated and evaluated trainings to build capacity for conservation in Burundi, Tanzania, and the USA. She is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Capacity Development Working Group on Evaluation and has worked with organizations like the American Museum of Natural History, Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration, Regional Network for Conservation Educators in the Albertine Rift, EcoLogic, and Tropical Biology Association to apply the psychology-based tools and strategies to strengthen and evaluate engagement in their international environmental programs.
Louise Bradshaw, Fred Saigh Director of Education, Saint Louis Zoo
Louise Bradshaw, Fred Saigh Director of Education at Saint Louis Zoo, leads a passionate team of conservation educators connecting to over 2 million people annually and inspiring them to care deeply for our planet. With BS in Biology and a MS Ed in Education, she has worked in the fields of conservation and conservation education for over 30 years.
Louise is responsible for all activities of the Zoo’s Education Department. These functions include education programs and services for teachers, adults, youth, school groups, scout groups, summer camp, young children including the Zoo’s nature based pre-school and families; the Zoo’s Interpretation unit including traveling and permanent exhibits; the Teacher Resource Center and Zoo Reference Library; Conservation Education Liaisons, NSF and other federal informal education grant-funded programs, and the Zoo’s 220 Docents, or volunteer teachers and 75 teen volunteers. Her areas of interest include community conservation efforts locally and internationally including school-based initiatives and teacher training programs, effective approaches to human subject research at zoos and aquariums including fostering empathy and positive health effects of zoo experiences and models for increasing scientific and environmental literacy, most recently focusing on climate change literacy and communication. Louise has been an employee of the Saint Louis Zoo since 1984. Louise is currently a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Research and Technology Committee, has served as a member and advisor to the AZA Conservation Education Committee and AZA Climate Change Task Force, as education liaison to the Meso-American Caribbean Conservation Action Partnership and is past chair of the Regional Program Committee of the AZA. She has served as a peer-reviewer for IMLS Museums for America, AZA Conservation Grants, Saint Louis Zoo Field Conservation Grants, Zoo Biology, International Zoo Yearbook and Curator. She served for ten years as an instructor and course administrator for the AZA sponsored Conservation Education Training Course for Zoo educators. She is an alumna of the 2011 Conservation Psychology Institute.
Megan Jones is a third-year PhD candidate in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department at Colorado State University. As a conservation social scientist, she uses multidisciplinary systems approaches and mixed methods to understand processes of leadership and behavior change in biodiversity conservation. Through her PhD she has investigated how women navigate gender biases and motherhood choices to advance to conservation leadership positions, and how women both give and receive support in their conservation careers. She also studies how urban residents adopt pro-environmental behaviors, such as wildscape gardening to create wildlife habitat and wildscape advocacy to encourage others to change their behavior, and how conservation organizations support these changes.
Meaghan Guckian will be joining Antioch’s Department of Environmental Studies as core faculty in the fall. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is finishing a degree in Environmental Conservation, with a focus in Conservation Psychology. Meaghan earned her Master of Science from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Lawrence University.
As a behavioral scientist, Meaghan’s work explores the role that cognitive, affective and social processes play in motivating and inhibiting engagement with environmental issues, whether through consumer decision-making, community and stakeholder participation, or collective civic action. Her current research explores how social motivations and interactions manifest to influence decision-making and behavior. She is particularly interested in how people, through their intentional interpersonal interactions with others, can create and maintain social norms in support of societal and ecological progress. To explore these and related issues, Meaghan applies insights from psychology, judgment and decision-making, communications and conservation science while using a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Her work spans many topical domains, including consumer responses to unethical corporate decision-making, conservation resource management, and climate adaptation and resilience.
Zoo photo by JoEllen Toler