To learn more about our philosophy regarding conservation education, outreach and communication, see Martha Monroe’s great article, Two Avenues for Encouraging Conservation Behaviors. In this important article Martha defines two models for changing behaviors: cultivating environmental literacy (through education) and the use of social marketing (mostly outreach and communication). She compares the benefits and drawbacks of each.
I believe both models are important for guiding our efforts to change conservation behaviors — they shouldn’t be confused as the same, or one viewed as better than the other. Those of us working in the field need to be clear on what we’re trying to do and how. And don’t forget to evaluate your efforts and results. It’s the only way we can improve and make significant changes.