Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Pokorny

Second Advisor

Dr. Joshua Plotnik

Academic Program Adviser

Martin Chodorow


Habitat fragmentation and human-elephant conflict (HEC) are two factors that have caused harm to both Asian elephants and humans in Thailand. Think Elephants International (TEI) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to educate children on these issues to encourage more interest in and knowledge about elephant conservation in the youth of Thailand. TEI has developed a systematic education initiative and established a method for assessing the program’s efficacy using a pre- and post-survey. The current study analyzes student responses from one open-ended question from this survey collected both before and after the students participated in the TEI program. This study analyzed whether there was a change in knowledge around Asian elephant conservation issues after participating in the program, as well as if students from urban and rural schools differ in their baseline knowledge of these issues. The results show that the program did impact the students’ knowledge about elephants. Fewer students responded with “I don’t know” and more students responded with details about methods to avoid or mend elephant habitat destruction after participating in the program. The findings reveal the need to further analyze the survey’s other open-ended questions to better understand the full impact of the TEI education program on Thai students’ knowledge about elephants. Continuing education around Asian elephant conservation issues could be essential to making sure that the youth of Thailand have the proper tools and knowledge to help the animals that play such an important role in their country.



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