We need the social sciences. We don’t want them to stay hidden like this white-tailed deer. Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS
People sit at the heart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission. As public servants, we work with and for the American public to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. Yet despite our mission of “working with others,” we are not always as adept in understanding the hearts and minds of the people we serve and who influence our ability to succeed. For nearly a decade, a small and growing group of social science practitioners, allies, and champions within the Service have worked to better equip our workforce with the information, tools, and skills we need to grow the application of the conservation social sciences in our work.