Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


2012 Behavior Change for a Sustainable World Conference

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #31

Closing Keynote: Resurrecting the Environmental Movement

Sunday, August 5, 2012
12:30 PM–1:30 PM
US Bank Conference Theater
Area: CSE; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: William L. Heward (The Ohio State University)
PETER KAREIVA (The Nature Conservancy)
Peter Kareiva, Ph.D., is the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where he is responsible for developing and helping to implesent science-based conservation throughout the organization and for forging new links with partners. Dr. Kareiva received a master's of science degree in environmental biology from the University of California, Irvine, and his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. Dr. Kareiva joined The Nature Conservancy's staff in 2002 after more than 20 years in academics and work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he directed the Northwest Fisheries Science Center Conservation Biology Division. In addition to his duties as the Conservancy's chief scientist, his current projects emphasize the interplay of human land-use and biodiversity, resilience in the face of global change, and marine conservation. Dr. Kareiva has authored more than 100 scientific articles in such diverse fields as mathematical biology, fisheries science, insect ecology, risk analysis, genetically engineered organisms, agricultural ecology, population viability analysis, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology and global climate change. In 2007, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2011, he was named a member of the National Academy of Sciences for his excellence in original scientific research. He also has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the Society for Conservation Biology. In addition to conducting research, Dr. Kareiva believes that general communications and writing are essential in science, and has written (with Dr. Michelle Marvier, of Santa Clara University) the conservation textbook Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature (Roberts & Company 2010). He is co-founder (with Gretchen Daily and Taylor Ricketts) of the Natural Capital Project, a pioneering partnership among The Nature Conservancy, Stanford University, and World Wildlife Fund to develop credible tools that allow routine consideration of nature's assets (or ecosystem services) in a way that informs the choices we make every day at the scale of local communities and regions, all the way up to nations and global agreements.

Polls, presidential politics, and relentlessly increasing greenhouse gas emissions expose an environmental movement that is running on 20th Century metaphors in a 21st Century world. All of the land protection in the world will do little good if 7 billion people do not move to "green behavior." By dissecting past failures, we can learn where to go in the future with how we talk about and do conservation. We need to stop overstating doom and gloom, and recognize that opportunity, not despair, motivates people. Luckily, we have the science to support a new message of a resilient earth, which can then be a foundation for leaving behind worshipping at the false temple of pristine nature.

Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: Forthcoming.



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