Anonymous gift launches first-of-its-kind program
(Keene, NH), November 19, 2013– Antioch University New England (AUNE) has created a new graduate fellowship in conservation psychology, thanks to an anonymous gift of $50,000. The fellowship, the first of its kind in the country, was announced at the celebration of AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies’ fortieth anniversary, on November 9.
Conservation psychology is the science and practice of understanding and promoting human care for nature. “It’s really about appreciating our relationship with the natural world and encouraging people to act on behalf of that relationship,” said Carol Saunders, one of the founders of conservation psychology and a research faculty member in AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies. Ten years ago, she co-edited a special issue of Human Ecology Review that helped define the new discipline.
The fellowship will help coordinate a network of interested professionals and broaden the reach of this new field through training and other opportunities. Saunders is excited about the potential, saying that “it will help build our capacity to connect people who want to apply insights from psychology toward environmental issues.”
Kayla Cranston, an AUNE doctoral student in environmental studies, will serve as the first fellow. Kathy Henley, a master’s student in environmental studies, will also join the conservation psychology team. Cranston will work on the Conservation Psychology Institutes (CPI), helped by Henley, who will also be the teaching assistant for the spring conservation psychology class.
In the CPI, one of AUNE’s core endeavors, students, scholars, and faculty learn to use the tools of psychology in conservation and sustainability practices. AUNE will present its fifth CPI in June 2014 in Keene, New Hampshire. Since May 2011, there have been four of these intensive, multiday workshops, held in San Diego, California, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as in Keene.
One of the strengths of the CPI is that it draws from leading researchers in the field. Past CPI faculty have included Saunders; P. Wesley Schultz, professor of psychology at California State University, San Marcos; Thomas Doherty, who developed the Ecopsychology in Counseling course sequence at Lewis & Clark Graduate School; and Louise Chawla, professor in the Environmental Design Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder and associate director of the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Community Engagement. Eventually a library of content modules will be created with contributions from many other conservation psychology leaders, which can then be shared in future CPIs.
About AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies
AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies (ES), one of the oldest graduate program in environmental studies in the country, is celebrating its fortieth year. The department delivers visionary, progressive, and interdisciplinary programs that are helping students solve some of today’s most complex environmental challenges. It offers a master’s of science degree in environmental studies with concentrations in conservation biology, advocacy for social justice and sustainability, environmental education, science teacher certification, sustainable development and climate change, and self-designed studies. It also offers a master’s of science degree in resource and conservation management and a PhD in environmental studies. Learn more here.
Whole Terrain, AUNE’s journal of reflective practice, which is housed in the ES Department, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year.
About Antioch University New England (AUNE)
Antioch University New England offers highly respected doctoral, master’s, and certificate programs in education, environmental studies, management and psychology. Located in Keene, New Hampshire, this unique institution serves approximately one thousand students each year. Our graduates have gone on to be leaders of positive change, working toward a more just and sustainable society. Founded in 1964, Antioch University New England is the oldest of Antioch University’s graduate campuses. Learn more at: www.antiochne.edu.
About Antioch University
Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University, a private, non-profit, 501(c) 3 institution, provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With campuses in Keene, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.