Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation addresses the relationship of people to the land and wildlife. In this series, we introduce you to the subject through educational broadcasts. The broadcasts provide up-to-date academic theory and on-the-ground natural resource management examples.

A Dose of the Outdoors: The Connection Between Nature and Human Health

Details:  Hear about research studies that prove how nature positively affects human health and well-being with host Danielle Ross-Winslow, USFWS, Social Scientist, Department of Human Dimensions (NRPC), Natural Resources Program Center and presenters Dr. Frances (Ming) Kuo, Georgia Jeppesen, and Robin Will.

Millions of Americans are in poor health and most major health problems, including those related to physical, mental, and social well-being, may be attributed to environmental causes. By the same token, environmental factors may also enhance health. There are multiple studies that prove how nature positively affects human health and well-being. In this broadcast, we will hear about these research studies. We will also hear from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service practitioners who are working with health professionals and neighboring refuge communities on efforts to improve human health by connecting people with nature. Promoting links between nature and health could play a critical role in growing support for conservation and the protection of natural areas for our health and enjoyment.

Presenters: Dr. Frances (Ming) Kuo, NRES, Associate Professor & Director, Landscape and Human Health Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Georgia Jeppesen, USFWS, Team Lead, Career Awareness Branch, Division of Education and Outreach, National Conservation Training Center; Robin Will, USFWS, Supervisory Refuge Ranger, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Host: Danielle Ross-Winslow, USFWS, Social Scientist, Department of Human Dimensions (NRPC), Natural Resources Program Center.

Recorded:  August 4, 2016

Duration:  43 minutes


Collaborative Conservation for Collective Impact 

Details:  What do you do when the only way to achieve your conservation goals is by working with others? Throughout the Service and across the conservation community, we’re increasingly recognizing that we have to collaborate to achieve desired outcomes at larger scales. The issues we face are complex and cut across jurisdictions, disciplines, organizations, and boundaries. Collaborating with others can be challenging, especially when our neighbors have different interests and needs or there is a history of conflict. However, when we work to find common ground and focus on relationships, collaboration can generate creative and durable solutions to some of our most difficult conservation problems.

In this broadcast, we will dive into key aspects of collaborative conservation, a term often used to describe work with private landowners, state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and others to achieve collective impacts. We will hear from social scientist Wylie Carr about some key concepts for successful collaboration, followed by perspectives from the field with Heidi Keuler, Fish Habitat Biologist and Fishers and Farmers Partnership Coordinator, as well as Todd Sutphin from the Iowa Soybean Association. 

Presenters:  Wylie Carr, Ph.D., Social Scientist, Southeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Heidi Keuler, Fish Habitat Biologist, Midwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fishers and Farmers Partnership; Todd Sutphin, Senior Operations Manager, Environmental Programs and Services, Iowa Soybean Association, Fishers and Farmers Partnership

Host:  Kaylin Clements, Social Scientist, Human Dimensions Branch Natural Resource Program Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Recorded:  August 1, 2018

Duration:  64 minutes


Combating Wildlife Crime: Toward an Integrated Approach 

Details:  Around the world, poaching and trafficking of illegal wildlife products is rising. And even though awareness has grown and interventions have increased to address the issue, wildlife populations threatened by this illegal activity continue to decline. Human behavior, specifically non-compliance with wildlife laws and purchasing behaviors, are central to this conservation concern. A key strategy for targeting non-compliance is law enforcement, which has improved the effectiveness of conservation efforts in many contexts. However, a multi-pronged approach is needed not only to address illegal behavior, but also to reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products. Learn from our expert panelists how you can integrate social sciences to create successful interventions.

Who should attend this broadcast: Law enforcement, project managers, resource managers, visitor services professionals, park rangers, outdoor recreational planners, and anyone whose resource management efforts would be enhanced or supported by learning about state-of-the art resources for the human dimensions of natural resource conservation.

Presenters: Meredith Gore, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Michigan State University; Daphne Carlson-Bremer, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Branch Chief, Combating Wildlife Trafficking Strategy and Partnerships, USFWS, International Affairs; and Craig Tabor, Special Agent in Charge, Intelligence Unit, USFWS, Office of Law Enforcement.

Host: Christine Browne, PhD, Human Dimensions Team Lead, USFWS, Natural Resource Program Center

Recorded:  June 19, 2019

Duration:  57 minutes

Community-Based Social Marketing - Behavior Change Strategies That Work 

Details:  As conservationists, it seems we spend a lot of time encouraging people to “do” things like bring reusable bags when they go to the grocery store, pick up trash around campsites so wildlife isn’t attracted, remove mud from boots or clean gear to stop the spread of invasives. Sometimes, it may feel that these efforts aren’t working as well as we would hope. So, what really works to influence people’s behavior to act responsibly? How do we instill awareness and commitment to take environmentally responsible action? In this broadcast, we will explore the principles and strategies of community-based social marketing, an approach to behavior change based in behavioral psychology and general marketing principles. We’re not talking about Facebook, Twitter, or other social media marketing. We are talking about an approach that has been successfully applied across the U.S. and the globe, including nationwide efforts by USFWS and partners to eradicate invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
. Learn from our expert panelists how you can use behavior change strategies that work.

Presenters:  Lori Large, Dir. of Research Operations, Action Research & Susan Burks, Forestry Invasive Species Program Coord., MN Dept. of Natural Resources.

Host:  Kaylin Clements, USFWS

Recorded:  November 17, 2016.

Duration:  62 minutes


Embracing the Cultural Diversity of our Visitors and Stakeholders

Details:  An effective conservation strategy includes engagement of people within diverse populations. To be relevant, we need to be innovative, resourceful and also respectful of what’s important to the people we are attempting to reach. Welcoming all groups and individuals, including those who traditionally may not be as directly connected. In this broadcast, we will more clearly define what we mean by diversity which encompasses culture, ethnicity, economics, age, gender, ability, and explore ways to foster inclusion for conservation. The broadcast also includes an interactive round table discussion with the host and viewers asking the panel about their experiences with embracing diversity for conservation.

Presenters: Myron Floyd, PhD, NCSU, Prof./Director of Graduate Programs, Depart. of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Mgmt.; Iantha Gantt-Wright, MSA Founder and President of The Kenian Group; Lamar Gore, USFWS, NE RO, Chief, Diversity and Civil Rights.

Recorded:  December 2012

Duration:   63 minutes


Engaging with Urban Communities: Connecting People, Conservation & Public Land Agencies

Details:  This broadcast will focus on "place-based" urban conservation connections: who are some target audiences, why the environment matters to them and how we can become more involved with urban communities. In part one of the session, our presenters will introduce you to urban communities and how we can connect with them. Part two is an interactive round table discussion, with the host and viewers ( through email at broadcast@fws.go ) asking the panel specific questions about linking public lands programs with conservation and urban communities.

Presenters:  Flisa Stevenson, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Refuge Visitor Services; Gus Medina, Cornell University - Expanding Capacity in Environmental Education Project; Chantel Jimenez, San Diego NWR Complex.

Recorded:  May 24, 2012.

Duration:   69 minutes


Humans, Wildlife, and Their Shared Health

Details:  Human-wildlife interactions such as injuries and wildlife disease outbreaks can be economically, socially, medically, and environmentally costly. With the recognition that human, animal, and environmental health are interconnected, interdisciplinary fields and approaches like One Health have emerged to inform policy, expand scientific knowledge, and address sustainability challenges. In this broadcast, we will discuss some of the challenges for land management agencies to maintain wildlife health and manage human wildlife interactions and the social considerations that impact this work. The broadcast also includes an interactive round table discussion with the host and viewers asking the panel about their experiences.

Upon completion of this series, you will be able to:

  • Define human dimensions relative to maintaining wildlife health and managing human ildlife interactions;
  • Identify examples of social considerations that affect the management of human-wildlife,
  • interaction on public lands, such as on a National Wildlife Refuges, and
  • Locate resources related to human dimensions of natural resources conservation and for use in further research and application.

Presenters: Kirsten Leong, PhD, NPS, Human Dimensions Program Manger; Samantha Gibbs, DVM PhD, USFWS, Wildlife Veterinarian.

Recorded:  September 23, 2015

Duration:   46 minutes


Land Ethic Leaders: Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic for Today 

Details:  In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold set forth his most enduring idea, the “land ethic,” a moral responsibility of humans to the natural world. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic idea is extremely relevant in today’s society, but it can be difficult to define, discuss, and implement. As Leopold himself suggested, a land ethic must evolve by people considering and discussing what it means.

During the hour-long broadcast, we will introduce you to the “land ethic” and the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s Land Ethic Leaders program. We’ll explore Leopold’s ideas in greater depth and explain how environmental education containing observation, participation and reflection can lead to greater engagement in conservation. We will also provide an overview of the Land Ethic Leaders workshop and how you can participate in the future.

Presenters:  Jennifer Kobylecky, Education Coordinator, Aldo Leopold Foundation and Jeannine Richards, Communications Coordinator, Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Recorded:  October 23, 2013.

Duration:   78 minutes


Landscape Conservation Design: Conserving Sustainable Landscapes for Natural Resources and People

Details:  Conserving sustainable landscapes in the 21st century is a significant challenge that requires a fundamental shift in thinking and action, addressing both social and ecological systems. "Landscape conservation design" involves intentional human changes to landscape patterns to sustainably provide ecosystem services that meet societal needs and respect societal values. This paradigm is innately interdisciplinary and partner-driven, involving diverse stakeholders, who plan, identify and implement strategies across the landscape to achieve diverse goals. In this broadcast, we will explore the "why," the "what" and the "how" of landscape conservation design, focusing on addressing both the ecological and human dimensions needed to achieve sustainable landscapes. The broadcast also includes an interactive round table discussion with the host and viewers asking the panel about their experiences with landscape conservation design and conserving sustainable landscapes.

Presenters:  Rob Campellone, Landscape Conservation Design Policy Advisor, USFWS, National Wildlife Refuge System; Thomas Miewald, Landscape Ecologist, USFWS, North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the National Wildlife Refuge System; and Charlie Pelizza, Refuge Manager, USFWS, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Host: Sarena Selbo, Chief, Branch of Conservation Planning and Design, USFWS, National Wildlife Refuge System.

Recorded:  February 12, 2014

Duration:  72 minutes


Nature-Based Tourism and Economic Benefits

Details:  This is the first program in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Conservation series.  Conservation addresses the relationship of people to the land and wildlife. Through understanding matters such as human values, cultural ecology, sense of place and economics, we are better prepared to effectively manage and conserve our natural resources. The Fish and Wildlife Service mission speaks to this as we strive to protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Presenters: Nancy Milar, Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau; Ted Eubanks, Fermata; Toni Westland, FWS. Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Recorded:  February 2, 2012

Duration:   85 minutes


The Nature of Americans: Disconnection and Reconnection

Details:  What is the state of Americans’ connection to nature? How do we overcome disconnection? The Nature of Americans National Report: Disconnection and Recommendations for Reconnection reveals important insights from a study of nearly 12,000 adults, children, and parents, and provides recommendations to open the outdoors for all. Findings show that Americans from all backgrounds increasingly face barriers to spending time outside. More than half of adults reported spending five hours or less in nature each week and feeling satisfied with this amount, but also lamenting that children today are growing up with limited opportunities to experience nature. There is a disconnect here: just because people recognize the importance of nature, they do not necessarily actively seek ways to incorporate it into their lives. The key is to identify opportunities to help Americans overcome this gap between interest in nature and action. This broadcast will feature experts in public affairs, outreach, and social science who will share the findings of the Nature of Americans study and provide actionable recommendations for how you can use this information to bridge the gap between Americans and nature. To learn more about the Nature of Americans study before the broadcast, go to

Presenters:  Dave Case, President, DJ Case and Associates;  Kristen Gilbert, Chief, Communications and Digital Services Branch, Division of Visitor Services and Communications, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: and Tylar Green, Public Affairs Specialist, Northeast Region, External Affairs, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Recorded:  August 17, 2017

Duration:   62 minutes


The Social Aspects of Natural Resource Conservation

Details:  Knowledge for effective conservation includes knowledge about organisms, knowledge about the environment and knowledge about humans. In this broadcast, we will more clearly define this human aspect, which includes the application of social psychology, economics, political science, communications and more. In part one of the session, the presenters will introduce the theory and practical application of this social aspect to our conservation work. We will also introduce you to the recently created Branch of Human Dimensions at the Natural Resource Program Center. Part two is an interactive round table discussion, with the host and viewers asking the panel specific questions about their experience linking the human dimension with conservation.

Presenter:  Shawn J. Riley, Michigan State University, Associate Professor, Fisheries and Wildlife, Scientist, Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management; Natalie Sexton, USFWS, Natural Resource Program Center, Chief, Branch of Human Dimensions; Aaron Mize, USFWS, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Acting Refuge Manager.

Host: Mike Carlo, USFWS, National Wildlife Refuge System.

Upon completion of this series, you will be able to: Define the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation; Identify examples of the application of the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation in the US Fish and Wildlife Service; and Locate Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation resources for use in further research and application.

Recorded:  August 2012

Duration:   70 minutes


The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program: Looking Back, Moving Forward 

Details:  The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program was launched in 2013 and formally established in Service policy in 2014. Simply stated, the policy tells us that all Service programs must 1) work to expand their efforts to increase the relevancy of conservation in urban areas, 2) create more opportunities for people in urban areas to engage in fish and wildlife conservation, and 3) establish methods for evaluating intended outcomes, and modify practices to ensure success.

During this broadcast, Danielle Ross-Winslow, Delissa Padilla, and Angelina Yost will share notable successes and challenges encountered over the past five years, along with plans for using what we have learned to inform the UWCP’s path for the future. Following these reflections, presenters will take questions from viewers.

Presenters:  Danielle Ross-Winslow, Social Scientist , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Delissa Padilla Nieves, Urban Wildlife Program Coordinator , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Angelina Yost, National Urban/Vision Coordinator , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Host: Emily Neidhardt, Social Science Project Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Who Should Attend the Series: Project managers, resource managers, visitor services professionals, park rangers, educators, outdoor recreational planners, and anyone whose resource management efforts would be enhanced or supported by learning about state-of-the art resources for environmental education and human dimensions of natural resource conservation.

Contacts: Nancy Zapotocki, Course Leader,  and Michelle Donlan, Course Leader,

Recorded:  December 4, 2018

Duration:   58 minutes

Visitor Estimation: Current Practices, Barriers, and Opportunities to Accurately Counting Your Visitors Broadcast 

Details: Accurately estimating the number of visitors to National Wildlife Refuges is important to the NWRS, yet a number of factors can make accurate and reliable estimation a challenge. Regions 2, 4 and 8, the Human Dimensions Branch, and the Division of Visitor Services and Communications, have partnered with Clemson University and the University of Washington on a study that examines both existing visitor estimation practices and innovative new approaches. This broadcast will feature findings from the first phase of the study, which included a literature review and interviews with visitor services staff. Researchers and Service staff will present key insights and discuss recommendations, which include a working list of different estimation methods and key attributes for FWS staff to consider in choosing between them. Presenters will also preview future research efforts and field questions from the audience.

Objectives: By the end of this broadcast, you will have a better understanding of:

  • The importance of visitor estimation to the NWRS and the entire Service;
  • Existing visitor estimation techniques, as well as innovative methods being researched in the literature;
  • Current barriers and opportunities to accurately estimating visitors;
  • Key recommendations for improving visitor estimation in the field.


Speakers: Michelle Reilly, USFWS, Chantel Jimenez and Kevin Lowry, USFWS; Matthew Brown and Danielle Dagan, Clemson University; Spencer Wood and Sama Winder, University of Washington

Recorded:  December 9, 2020

Duration:   59 minutes

Visitor Use Management: Balancing Societal Benefits with Resource Protection and Conservation 

Details:  Providing and managing visitor experiences in our parks, refuges and other natural areas can be both a challenge and an opportunity, as we strive to enhance the public's connection with the outdoors and balance it with conservation. In this broadcast we will explore the science and issues of visitor use management and how to integrate this with resource management. The broadcast also includes an interactive round table discussion with the host and viewers asking the panel about their involvement with visitor use management.

Host: Mike Carlo, USFWS, Nat'l Wildlife Refuge System

Presenters: Jeffrey Brooks, USFWS, Alaska Region; Jeffrey Marion, Natural Resource Recreation; and Bob Proudman, Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Recorded:  May 22, 2014

Duration:   78 minutes

What does it Matter? Attitudes and Values Make a Difference for Conservation 

Details:  How people think and feel about conservation holds clues for what people do about conservation. In this broadcast we will explore the science behind understanding the attitudes and values of stakeholders and how to integrate this knowledge into conservation. We will more systematically define these social influences and share methods to effectively measure them for use in natural resource management decisions. The broadcast also includes an interactive round table discussion with the host and viewers asking the panel about their experience working with attitudes and values for conservation.

Presents:  Jeremy T. Bruskotter, PhD, Ohio State University; Catherine E. Doyle-Capitman, Yale School; Michelle Potter and Natalie Sexton, USFWS.

Recorded:  April 11, 2013

Duration:   76 minutes