Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations (ISHAR)

Canisius College affirms its strong commitment to the advancement of ethical thought as it pertains to mankind’s relationship with nature and the other species with which we share the planet. The Canisius College Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relationships (ISHAR) is at the forefront of Human-Animal Studies, engaging Canisius students and members of our community in dialogs on pressing issues.

ISHAR functions include:

  • It coordinates synergy among the graduate level Master's Program in Anthrozoology, the undergraduate Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation major, and for three undergraduate minors (Anthrozoology, Animal Behavior, and Zoo Biology).
  • Interdisciplinary coordination among the college's animal-related programs and our Philosophy and Religious Studies programs.
  • An Anthrozoology Speaker Series.
  • Biannual Anthrozoology symposia.
  • Advocacy of animal welfare and conservation via:
    • The Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation
    • The Canisius Zoological Society
    • Volunteers and Interns

Anthrozoology Speaker Series

The Canisius College Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations is proud to bring prestigious speakers to campus to make presentations on topics related to animal/wildlife advocacy.


Internships & Volunteer Opportunities

The ISHAR serves as a central clearinghouse for coordinating internships and volunteer opportunities in the community. It systematizes these various experiences and assures a measure of quality via a rigorous assessment process.

The ISHAR provides an easy-to-navigate process for students who seek ways to get involved in serving both domestic and wild animals. This process is also accessible to faculty and staff who wish to contribute positively as pro-animal volunteers.


Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation

It is the motto of the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation (CAC) that if we all work together, we really can make the world a better place. And it is the goal of the CAC program to instill that attitude in the next generation of citizens that are coming along behind us. The CAC program tries to inspire an approach that involves a positive attitude—that it is absolutely worthwhile to engage in pro-conservation efforts. 

The formula of the CAC program is one in which our college students are trained via intensive field studies, and then brought back to Western New York to promote conservation in the college’s local community. They do this by serving as public educators at local zoological institutions, by making presentations at local schools, by developing pro-conservation web pages, and by producing pro-conservation videos. It is a formula in which the enthusiasm of pro-conservation professionals spreads first to Canisius College students and then to others in the community. 

Locations of past CAC studies have included the Monterey Marine Reserve in California, Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia, Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica, Kadulla National Park in Sri Lanka, Gombee National Park in Tanzania, and Camp Leakey in Indonesia. To date, more than 11,000 middle school children have participated in the CAC’s day-long wetlands conservation programs, and 5,000 school children have been reached via in-school presentations. CAC video productions have been distributed to 1,000 public and school libraries throughout New York State. The CAC website has been accessed by more than 400,000 unique visitors. And enthusiastic CAC representatives have made live presentations before 700,000 audience members at the Buffalo Zoo, the Aquarium of Niagara, and Marineland of Canada.

Learn more about Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation.