Why Emotion Matters in Conservation Science

Earthwatch scientists and staff take to the stage at London's Royal Geographical Society     Dr. Wallace 'J' Nichols presents the subject of neuroconservation

It was a pleasure to meet and photograph two world-class scientists last week, at an Earthwatch lecture exploring the theme Why Emotion Matters in Conservation Science.

Earthwatch scientist Dr. Anastasia Steffen highlighted her work studying the landscape and historical use of the Valles Caldera in New Mexico.Her co-speaker Dr. Wallace ‘J’ Nichols, a marine biologist, is leading the emerging scientific field of ‘neuroconservation’.

J is investigating how natural environments could be essential for our well-being, helping reduce stress – a factor that can lead to disease, and encouraging creativity. He noted that every well-executed marketing brand uses neuroscience to create an emotional hook. Music, magic and meditation are just some of areas which have exploited neuroscience – so perhaps it’s time conservationists did the same, he said. To hear the lecture in full visit earthwatch.org.

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