Stephen Cain

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2016


Many shark populations globally are declining due to overfishing and other human stressors, thus underscoring the need for their conservation. Several studies in the field of environmental psychology suggest links between levels of knowledge and public concern for sharks. A larger body of research addresses the problem differently by examining the pathways to pro-environmental behavior. Informal environmental education programs, especially those that get students into the field, are found to generate knowledge and positive affect toward the environment, as well as foster student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In fulfillment of my M.P.S. degree I used the theory of planned behavior to analyze the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of secondary school students who participated in a one-day shark-tagging program. Because of the environmental education program’s location in multicultural Miami, and its interaction with thousands of students annually, analysis of its participants represented a unique opportunity to explore the efficacy of such programs in encouraging pro-shark attitudes and pro-environmental behaviors.


Department: MES

MPS Track: MCO

Location: Shark Research and Conservation

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