Canisius Introduces New Academic Programs

April 18, 2023
Anthrozoology, Informal Educaton and Interpretation

Buffalo, NY – Canisius University is introducing two new academic programs for the fall 2023 semester.  Undergraduate students will now be able to earn a bachelor of arts degree in anthrozoology.  Graduate students can pursue a master of arts degree in informal education and interpretation.  Both programs are housed within the College of Arts & Sciences.  

Undergraduate students who pursue a bachelor of arts degree in anthrozoology receive a broad education in the social sciences and explore the historical, cultural and ethical relationships between humans and non-human animals.  The interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes practical, real-world skills and research development.  

This new program addresses a growing need for animal advocates and service workers.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 29 percent increase in jobs in this area over the next decade (more than three times the average growth rate for all occupations).  The new BA in anthrozoology will help close this gap by preparing students for careers in any number of settings such as zoos, animal rescues and sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation centers.  Students will also graduate prepared to pursue advanced study in anthrozoology, as Canisius University is one of only a few higher education institutions in the nation to offer a master’s degree program in anthrozoology.  

The college’s new master of arts degree in informal education and interpretation is a unique program for graduate students who seek employment in education outside the formal K-12 system, and instead in areas such as environmental education, historical preservation or museum curation.  Key coursework includes foundations of informal and non-formal education; natural, cultural and historical interpretation; non-profit leadership; research methods; and grant writing.  The program culminates with a research-based or internship capstone experience.  

The MA in informal education and interpretation is designed for working professionals and is therefore conducted in an online format. Participation in a one-week, one credit residency is required in advance of students starting the program. Simon Bird, PhD, is director of the new graduate program.  He brings with him two decades of experience as a naturalist, conservation educator and professor.  Bird most recently served as an adjunct professor of geography at The George Washington University, DC.  He previously was director of urban sustainability at the University of the District of Columbia.  

Bird holds a doctorate degree in insect ecology from Texas A&M University and a bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Leeds in the U.K.  He has worked for Project Dragonfly, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the District of Columbia.  

For more information on these new academic programs within the College of Arts & Sciences, click here.

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities, and their service to humanity.