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This project aims to improve the educational value of zoos and aquariums in teaching and engaging the public about conservation issues. Although zoos and aquariums claim their current education programs are effective in reaching and educating the public on conservation issues, research shows their influence on visitors’ environmental behaviour is limited. The project intends to investigate the influence of zoo and aquarium visitors’ values or broad life goals on their environmental learning outcomes; develop values-based conservation education strategies; and measure the impact of these on visitors’ adoption of conservation actions. The intended outcomes are guidelines that will replace the current ‘one size fits all’ conservation messages with tailored experiences that attract, engage and influence those for whom environmental care and protection are not necessarily of central concern.

Funding: $236,822

Project members

Researchers

Professor Roy Ballantyne (UQ Business School)

Dr Jan Packer (UQ Business School)

Dr Karen Hughes (UQ Business School)