Faculty

The Conservation Psychology Institute features a distinguished faculty including:

Carol Saunders
Carol 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 research faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England, Carol advises and teaches graduate students. Previously, she had an extensive career as director of communications research at the Chicago Zoological Society. She was responsible for a wide range of program evaluation, visitor studies and exhibit development. Carol received her PhD in behavioral biology from Cornell University and a master’s 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. She is especially interested in how people experience wildlife, the personal impacts of public programs designed to focus attention on the natural world, and possible links to the development of an environmental ethic.

P. Wesley Schultz
Wesley is professor of psychology at California State University, San Marcos where he teaches courses in conservation psychology, social psychology and statistics. His research focuses on social influence, and the application of psychology to understand and solve social issues. Much of his work has focused on environmental issues, and he has conducted a number of widely-cited studies on energy and water conservation, environmental attitudes, littering and climate change. He has also published studies on community crime-prevention programs, science training programs and the impact of technology use on children and adolescents. Dr. Schultz received his PhD from the Claremont Graduate University and has held visiting appointments at several European institutions. He is a fellow at the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. Over the past twenty years, Professor Schultz has published more than fifty peer-reviewed journal articles and invited chapters, along with seven books and edited volumes. He has served as advisor to multiple government, corporate, and NGOs in the application of psychology to environmental issues. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the NY Times, Time Magazine and National Public Radio.

Thomas Joseph Doherty
Thomas specializes in education and group leadership that illuminates the diverse emotions, beliefs and identity processes associated with conservation and sustainability issues and that fosters innovative and collaborative outcomes. Thomas developed the Ecopsychology in Counseling course sequence at Lewis & Clark Graduate School and is editor of the Ecopsychology journal. Thomas served on the American Psychological Association Task Force on Global Climate Change and has written about the psychological impacts of climate change. He has provided professional talks and workshops for organizations such as the American Psychological Association, Natural Step USA, New Season’s Markets, the Bioneers, and the Association of Oregon Recyclers. The New York Times called Thomas Joseph Doherty “the most prominent American advocate of a growing discipline known as ‘ecopsychology.'” Thomas’s work has also been featured in the Oregonian; New Hampshire Public Radio; the Detroit Metro Times; the Süddeutsche Zeitung; Sustainability: The Journal of Record; and Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Thomas received his BA from Columbia University and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Antioch University New England. His doctoral research focused on the intersection of physical and mental health. Early in his career, Thomas worked as a wilderness therapy expedition leader in the Western U.S. and a river rafting guide in Grand Canyon.

Abigail Abrash Walton
Abigail Abrash WaltonAbigail has worked in the arenas of effective human rights and sustainability change leadership at the international, national, state and local level for more than two decades. She is the founding director of AUNE’s new Center for Academic Innovation. She also serves as assistant to the president for sustainability and social justice at Antioch University New England (AUNE) and has led the development and implementation of AUNE’s 2010-20 Climate Action Plan and 2006 Social Justice Audit. Under her leadership, AUNE has achieved significant progress in the arenas of environmental performance, including reduction of its electricity usage by a cumulative 34% over four fiscal years.

As faculty in AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies, Abigail founded the department’s award-winning Advocacy Clinic that has worked on behalf of external community partners in the areas of environmental protection and sustainability and has taught graduate courses in leadership, political economy and sustainability, and environmental justice. Her previous leadership includes service as program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and as a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. Abigail’s publications include “Conservation through Different Lenses: Reflection, Responsibility and the Politics of Participation in Conservation Advocacy,” in Environmental Management, and “The Victims of Indonesia’s Pursuit of Progress,” a New York Times opinion piece. She has served as a commentator for media outlets including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, National Public Radio, and “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.” Abigail holds a MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.

Kayla A. Cranston
Kayla A. CranstonKayla shares her expertise in conservation psychology by teaching theory and application of the topic to master’s degree students at Antioch University New England through the Environmental Studies Department. Kayla also teaches Conservation Psychology and Principles of Sustainability courses at Keene State College. Kayla holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a focus on Social Psychology and Behavioral Analysis, from Arizona State University, and a Master of Arts in Sustainability Theory and Action from Prescott College. Her professional experience includes management of a multi-project behavioral research laboratory at Arizona State University. She has also conducted research on strengthening a community-based social marketing approach to sustainable development with a deeper understanding of the individual dimensions of human nature. Kayla is currently pursuing her doctorate in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England where she is designing her dissertation research to investigate psychology-based strategies to facilitate the development of educator and practitioner capacity to conserve biodiversity.