Department or Program



Human activities negatively impact snakes around the world, causing populations to decline and threatening hundreds of snake species with extinction. Snakes serve a valuable role, benefitting both humans and their ecosystems as a whole, and widespread snake extinction would cause negative cascading effects on the rest of the biosphere. However, humans typically perceive snakes with fear and disgust, making it difficult to generate support for snake conservation efforts. Snake education programs can help change people’s attitudes towards snakes, especially if those programs allow people to physically interact with live snakes. Even people who claimed to be afraid of snakes experienced a decrease in fear and increase in positive emotions. The resulting change in attitude increases people’s willingness to conserve snake populations, a shift that will help protect the health of ecosystems around the globe. A snake-centered lesson plan targeted for high school biology teachers to implement in their classrooms can be the start to widespread snake education, enabling the next generation of students to grow up with compassion towards snakes and a willingness to protect them from the impacts of human activities.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Essenberg, Carla

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.