Hurvis Center Staff Bios
Emily Kalnicky, Ph.D.
Education Research Manager
Ph.D. – Ecology, Utah State University
Dissertation: “A Coupled Human and Natural Systems Approach to Understanding an Invasive Frog, Eleutherodactylus Coqui, in Hawaii”
- M.S. – Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- B.S. – Zoology, Psychology and Spanish, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Areas of Expertise
- Coupled human and natural systems
- Conservation psychology
- Environmental education research
- Innovative programming models
- Invasive species
About Emily Kalnicky:
One of Emily’s greatest strengths is using her varied background to approach research from a unique view point. She developed a fondness for zoos and informal environmental education programs during her teens and twenties while spending summers volunteering at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. Besides her background in psychology and natural sciences, Emily evaluated the effectiveness of an informal environmental education program at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois, for her master’s research at University of Illinois. In this project she developed novel approaches and research methodologies to evaluate the effectiveness of a zoo-based, informal education program. Emily’s passion for conservation psychology drove her to focus her dissertation research on understanding a pressing conservation problem in Hawaii: the invasion of the coqui frog. Her novel approach involved examining both frog and human behavior to understand how human-environment interactions affect the coqui invasion process and ways to effectively manage it. Emily is interested in how new technology and innovative applications of existing technology can impact research and evaluation protocols for informal education programs. She believes zoos and museums offer a unique challenge and opportunity to develop educational programs that address gaps in public understanding of research, general science and conservation-oriented behaviors.