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Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Carol Saunders, advisor

Core Faculty, Environmental Studies Department, Antioch University New England

Carol Saunders, advisor

Carol Saunders is one of the founders of Conservation Psychology. In 2003 she co-edited a special issue of the Human Ecology Review, which attempted to define this new field. As a core faculty in the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England, Carol advises and teaches graduate students. Since Antioch is one of the few universities to offer PhD training in conservation psychology, Carol is working to create a summer institute that will make it more widely available. Previously, Carol was Director of Communications Research at the Chicago Zoological Society where she was responsible for a wide range of program evaluations, visitor studies, and exhibit development.

Carol received her PhD in behavioral biology from Cornell University and Masters in psychology from the University of Virginia.  For her dissertation, she used observational methods to study the ecology of baboon social behavior in Kenya. Since then, she has been studying how people develop affective connections with animals and nature, and factors that promote conservation behavior. Recently, she has been interested in the impact of direct nature experiences on participants – in particular, how the experience of observing wildlife might influence environmental awareness, values and action. This has allowed her to combine her interests in animal behavior, perception, human-nature relationships and biodiversity conservation.