Juliette Vélu

Université du Québec en Outaouais
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Katrine Turgeon
Start: 2020-09-01


Exploring and measuring socio-psychological variables of conservation actors: which factors determine pro environmental behavior towards freshwater turtles and their habitats in Quebec ?
Conservation practices and objectives are often contested for their lack of understanding of the dynamic relationship between humans and nature. How humans relate, use and occupy the land is profoundly cultural, social and psychological. Understanding how ecosystems works is not enough. The field of conservation needs to include people in order to meet the difficult challenge of ecosystems protection. In Quebec, with public lands being no longer sufficient to stop the degradation of natural habitats, private lands are at the center of all hopes but also of all conservation concerns. In the face of societal issues, there is a pressing need to explore and identify the variables that would induce proenvironmental behaviors towards threatened and vulnerable species and their habitats in Quebec. From a social ecology approach, this master project is multidisciplinary. It has two objectives: (1) determine which practices and behaviors threaten and induce a better resilience of freshwater turtles on private lands; and (2) explore, identify and quantitatively mesure the social and psychological variables (values, beliefs and norms) that encourage pro environmental behaviors towards endangered and threatened freshwater turtles populations on private lands in Quebec by various actors such as private landowners and local governmental actors. This project will allow to assess the socio-psychological antecedents towards the preservation of wildlife among the actors, and will allow the beginning of a (re)localization and a personalization of the objectives and practices of conservation according to the values, and beliefs of each of the group of actors. Methods: To this date, semi-structured interviews and a literature review are conducted with experts in order to identify relevant case-studies, and to meet the first objective of the project. Later this year, an online survey quantitatively measuring values, beliefs and norms will be broadcasted to every private owners and local governmental actors who will be willing to answer. This survey is founded on the application of the extended Values-Beliefs-Norms Theory. An appropriate networking, especially with local conservation organisms will be key to this second step of the project. If anyone is interested, please contact me.


Social ecology, Environmental psychology, Freshwater Turtles, Quebec, Extended VBN Theory