Tara Teel is a professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Her work focuses on improving conservation decision-making through understanding human thought and behavior, and through building social science capacity among conservation professionals.
Much of her research has been devoted to examining human-wildlife relationships in the U.S. and globally, with a particular focus on employing concepts and methodologies from social psychology to study human values toward wildlife, attitudes and behaviors toward wildlife-related issues, and the social factors underlying human-wildlife conflict. She works closely with conservation agencies and organizations in the application of social science to inform their planning, management and communication efforts. She also served as president of the Social Science Working Group of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) from 2009 to 2014.
Teel teaches courses at CSU in human dimensions of natural resources, social aspects of human-wildlife conflict, and social science research methods and statistics. Additionally, she has organized a number of social science trainings for practitioners, including a human dimensions certification program for wildlife professionals in North America, social science short courses for 2007-2013 SCB annual meetings, and a training program emphasizing best practices in protected area management and conservation social science for forest service officers in India. She received her Ph.D. in human dimensions of natural resources from CSU, with emphasis in social psychology; and M.S. and B.S. degrees in fisheries and wildlife management from Utah State University.