Conservation Psychology Institute Overview

A unique training opportunity – the Conservation Psychology Institute – is available this summer in beautiful New England. Around the world, people are realizing that the psychological aspects of environmental sustainability are a critical missing factor. But it has been difficult to find ways to synthesize the explosion of research that is available or to find examples of how to apply these insights to real-world challenges.

Attending the Conservation Psychology Institute (CPI) at Antioch University New England will afford participants a balance of opportunities including interactive learning, one on one mentoring with experts, and opportunities for networking with a diverse group of peers. The CPI faculty are all gifted educators and coursework will balance classroom experiences, small and large group dialog, and with hands-on activities that illustrate conservation psychology topics. Our week will build toward applied and scenario-based activities drawn from the experiences of the faculty and the institute participants.

A key focus of the CPI is maintaining personal sustainability in conservation work, and each morning will begin with an example of self-care and restoration activities led by institute staff, including yoga, outdoor-based mindfulness meditation, or a guided nature walk.

Keene, New Hampshire is a walkable and picturesque New England town that has a wide Main Street with a wide choice of eateries that can satisfy any budget. If the weather is good you can always eat outside. When you are finished with your morning restorative activity, you can grab breakfast and coffee at a locally owned bagel shop.

After hours, institute participants are welcome to gather informally in small groups over dinner. There will be a Saturday evening keynote presentation, and on Sunday evening, institute faculty and participants will gather at a nearby park for a cookout with vegetarian options. On Tuesday evening, we will share dinner at Keene’s noted microbrewery for networking and socializing, and our final day includes a catered lunch and presentation and discussion of the applied group projects developed by institute participants.

What You Will Learn

Keene WoodsThe social and developmental determinants of environmental worldviews and identity.

Frameworks to understand common belief systems and environmental value sets of clients, constituents and stakeholders.

Recognizing and working with cultural, socio-economic and religious/spiritual diversity.

Effective behavior change, organizational development and social marketing techniques.

Emotional intelligence (understanding of emotional processes in self and others) applied to conservation settings to improve public speaking, group facilitation, training, leadership and team building, and conflict resolution.

Insight and tools for self-care, avoiding burnout and maintaining motivation, creativity and resiliency.

Research findings on the stress-reducing and other psychological benefits of access to restorative natural settings (wilderness and nearby nature).

Applications for conservation biology; environmental educational programs; zoos, aquariums and museums; climate change mitigation or adaptation programs; resource management and land use planning, sustainable businesses and organizations; and environmental advocacy.