Public Attitudes Towards the Seals of Nantucket
MAPP 2016 Student Externship Summary
I worked as a graduate research assistant for a pilot study on public attitudes towards seals on Nantucket. We gathered stakeholders’ perceptions, trying to understand the source of their viewpoints, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the protections provided to seals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act will remain in place. Listening to community members, some of whom have very different feelings about seals than I do, has provided an opportunity to reflect on how to best advocate for animals in a way that engages the entire community. For my final project, I wrote a documentary film treatment that focuses on reframing seals in a more positive light, highlighting their role as ecosystem engineers and sentinels of health. The full-scale study of stakeholder attitudes along the Massachusetts coast will take place next summer, and I hope to move forward with the making of the documentary as well.
Photos from a-z-animals.com and yesterdaysisland.com
- Virginia Shugrue
MS in Animals and Public Policy
The MS in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) is an intensive, 12-to-16-month graduate degree program that focuses on human-animal relationships and their implications for policy and community action.
Center for Animals and Public Policy
The mission of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) is to conduct and encourage scholarly evaluation and understanding of the complex societal issues and public policy dimensions of the changing role and impact of animals in society. Work conducted by the Center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked, and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships.