Bright Ideas

Conservation Psychology Institute Puts Research to Work for Nature

Kayla Cranston

Do you want to learn more about how children's experiences in nature affect their development? Are you curious about how children develop competence in natural settings? Have you heard about the role of significant life experiences, but aren't sure how they shape people's feelings about the environment?
The field of Conservation Psychology holds some of the answers to these important questions, and you can learn more about how to apply conservation psychology in early childhood education at a summer institute hosted by Antioch University New England. This year, the institute is co-sponsored by the Natural Start Alliance and the North American Association for Environmental Education.
The Conservation Psychology Institute will be held June 15-18, 2014, in beautiful New England at the Antioch University campus. Participants attending the Conservation Psychology Institute will explore central topics with experts in early childhood education and nature, including: 
  • The role of direct experiences in nature for early childhood development 
  • The importance of developing competence in natural settings
  • How significant life experiences shape future orientation to the environment
Faculty will also engage participants with fundamental content from conservation psychology research and its applied use in a range of conservation settings and contexts. Topics to be covered include: 
  • Conservation Psychology: An Introduction & Retrospective
  • Physical & Psychological Benefits of Contact with Nature
  • Nature Across the Lifespan: Developing Relationships of Care
  • Environmental Identity
  • Encouraging Active Participation & Care for Nature
  • Strategies for Influencing Conservation Action
  • The Psychology of Hope & Resilience
  • Strategic Messaging & Communication Capacity Building
For more information about the Conservation Psychology Institute and how to register, click here or e-mail Kayla Cranston at


conservation psychology, professional development