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dc.contributor.advisorJohnston, Ross
dc.contributor.advisorLongnecker, Nancy
dc.contributor.authorHanisch, Emma Katherine Neff
dc.date.available2018-06-12T02:47:39Z
dc.date.copyright2018
dc.identifier.citationHanisch, E. K. N. (2018). Cameras for Conservation: How Photographing Wildlife Affects Engagement with Biodiversity (Thesis, Master of Science Communication). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/8089en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/8089
dc.description.abstractOne of the most pressing ecological problems we face is the loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity refers to the variety, abundance, composition, distribution, and interactions of life on Earth, at genetic, species, and ecosystem levels. Because of human activity and expansion, many species have disappeared, and if current extinction trends continue, we will face a new mass extinction event (75% of species lost) within 250 years, if not sooner. Conserving biodiversity on a global scale will require mass participation, so it is important to find ways of increasing people’s engagement with biodiversity and nature. One way to achieve this might be through photographing wildlife. Photography has become an extremely popular hobby recently, thanks to the availability of digital cameras, smartphones, and photo sharing services. The act of photographing something has been shown to increase one’s engagement with the subject. Wildlife photography, as opposed to more generic nature photography, could be particularly effective at increasing engagement because people can readily form strong emotional connections with animals. In the academic portion of this thesis, two research studies are presented. A survey of a general population indicated that there is a weak correlation between photographing wildlife and engagement with biodiversity in several categories, including emotional attachment to nature, awareness and knowledge of biodiversity, concern about biodiversity loss, interest in wildlife, interest in photography. Interviews conducted with established wildlife photographers supported the findings from the survey. As this is exploratory research, more study is needed on the specific aspects of this phenomenon – particularly regarding links between engagement and pro-environmental behaviour. However, even this preliminary data can help inform communication practices surrounding biodiversity, and the role of wildlife photography in aiding conservation. The creative creative component of this thesis is a website titled The Wild Focus Project, an online community and resource for wildlife photographers, conservationists, and nature lovers. The central theme of The Wild Focus Project is nature conservation through storytelling, with photography treated as a storytelling tool. The website (www.wildfocus.org) is permanent, accessible, and interactive. Hopefully, The Wild Focus Project will expand and continue for many years to come.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectphotography
dc.subjectwildlife photography
dc.subjectwildlife
dc.subjectnature conservation
dc.subjectengagement
dc.subjectemotional attachment
dc.subjectawareness
dc.subjectenvironmental concern
dc.subjectinformal learning
dc.titleCameras for Conservation: How Photographing Wildlife Affects Engagement with Biodiversity
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2018-06-12T02:26:23Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineScience Communication
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science Communication
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
otago.evidence.presentYes
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