The Human Dimensions of Wildlife Unit promotes coexistence with wildlife through education, research and communication.
With a focus on marine, coastal and urban wildlife, the unit educates the public about human-wildlife issues, generates new research on public attitudes toward wildlife, informs policy makers about wildlife-related public values, collaborates with non-governmental organizations and facilitates wildlife-related civic engagement opportunities for the campus community. Unit faculty members have conducted research on attitudes towards coyotes, sharks, seals and other species and sponsored wildlife-related educational programs.
Human Dimensions of Wildlife research is based around understanding how people interact with and are influenced by experiences with wildlife. More specifically, human dimensions research focuses on how people’s knowledge, values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors influence and are affected by decisions about the conservation of wildlife and management of natural resources in terms of public policy, communication, education, interpretation, and economics.
The Human Dimensions of Wildlife Unit includes faculty from political science, health care studies, sports and movement science, biology, education, geography, psychology and communications. Unit faculty include Professors Jennifer Jackman, Michele Sweeney, K.C. Bloom, Lynn Fletcher, Joseph Buttner, Andrea Zeren, Peg Dillon and Peter Oehlkers.
Goals and Objectives
- Create network of Salem State faculty, students, staff and alums who share an interest in wildlife
- Establish formal human dimensions of wildlife unit within the Bates Center
- Educate campus community about wildlife through Experiencing Wildlife and other wildlife-themed events in collaboration with campus partners
- Create opportunities for students to become involved with wildlife issues
- Host and attend conferences, panels and other events to facilitate collaborations between wildlife organizations and researchers
- Work with Center for Civic Engagement and Career Services to identify and publicize volunteer, internship and service learning opportunities with wildlife organization
- Conduct research related to wildlife in New England
- Create opportunities for student’s intellectual, personal and professional growth through participation in human dimensions of wildlife research
- Increase presence of Salem State in the human dimensions of wildlife field regionally, nationally and globally
- Form collaborations with human dimensions of wildlife researchers nationally and globally
- Support faculty publication of human dimensions of wildlife research
- Develop and offer wildlife-themed courses, including First Year Seminars
- Organize for-credit and non-credit institutes on Experiencing Wildlife
- Support development of Environmental Education Track in Education