Fellows in the News

Brian Johnson and Nicole Ardoin are co-authors of a chapter in the 2023 book, Zoos and Aquariums in the Public Mind, entitled  Their chapter, Evaluating the AZA Framework for Zoo and Aquarium Social Science Research: A Review and Analysis of Relevant Literature 2011–2019, reviews what progress has been made in in this field since the AZA published social science research recommendations in 2010. 

They find that “progress during these years has met with mixed success, with a few focal areas dominating the global zoo and aquarium social science research landscape. In particular, researchers have continued to focus heavily on the unique characteristics of learning in zoos and aquariums while also cultivating more behavior change research.”

Looking ahead, they argue that “the next zoo and aquarium social science research agenda should push research into new areas, including addressing some of the previous recommendations that received limited coverage between 2011 and 2019. The next research agenda should also account for emerging developments in the field, including the role of zoos and aquariums in community-based, in situ conservation. Regardless of the focus, developing an agreed-upon, visible, and monitored process for implementing a future research agenda will be critical to the success of the agenda. Additionally, engaging zoo and aquarium researchers globally would bring greater coherence and innovation to this effort.” 

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