The Living Landscape: Fostering Pro-Environmental Change for Biodiversity Conservation
August 20-23, 2019 at the St. 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.