Doctoral Student Jennifer Torpie-Sweterlitsch
Advisor: Dr. Jamon Halvaksz
Degrees: B.A. Anthropology, The Ohio State University (2011); M.A. Anthropology, University of Texas at San Antonio (2014)
Dissertation/Thesis Topic: Making of the American Gorilla: Exploring the Production of Endangered Nature and Neoliberal Conservation in America
Research Interests: In my research I focus on the ways in which human and environmental relationships are mediated in urban settings. In my thesis research and in my professional work as a program evaluator, I have explored the impacts of zoological institutions on visitor knowledge, attitudes, and conservation behaviors. My dissertation research explores the ways in which conservation networks, including zoological institutions and international conservation NGOs, produce knowledge and public understanding of animals and conservation. I am also interested in exploring the role these institutions play in global conservation movements and their impact on in situ environments and human/environment relationships.
Related interests include urban conservation and ecology, environmental policy, environmental education, ecotourism, science and technology studies, and multispecies ethnography.
Publications: Torpie-Sweterlitsch, J. R. (2014). Captive nature: Exploring the influence of zoos on visitor worldview, knowledge, and behavior. The University of Texas at San Antonio.