Who We Are
The Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) is an internationally recognized center for research and training in the varied facets of human-animal interaction across the lifespan and grounded in evidenced-based practice for implementing diverse and ethically responsible animal-supported educational and therapeutic interventions.
IHAC is a respected source of scientific and scholarly information on human-animal connections within the fields of social work and social sciences.
New Book By Dr. Sarah Bexell - University of Denver,
Institute for Human-Animal Connection, Scholar-in-Residence
A Chinese national treasure and a conservation icon the world over, giant pandas are arguably the most misunderstood animals on the planet. At once threatened by human encroachment and safeguarded by human ingenuity, these diffident creatures experience the best and worst of mankind.
They represent many things to many people: a living toy, an evolutionary cul-de-sac, a political pawn, to name just a few, but above all as the poster animal of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the panda represents the ongoing battle to save the world’s threatened species, the habitats they rely on, and the controversies that rage over their survival.
Through stunning photographs, taken by field specialists, of the animals in their natural habitat and in captivity as well as rarely seen historical images, conservation experts with unparalleled access to China’s preservation efforts Sarah Bexell and Zhang Zhihe take readers to the heart of the battle for the survival of the giant pandas by exploring their behavior, addressing the conservation issues that our planet faces and shattering the myths that surround these fascinating creatures. Giant Pandas: Born Survivors looks beyond the cute, cuddly exterior to reveal what is real and what isn’t, to remind us to confront the questions about our own role and responsibility towards the existence of all species, and to encourage us to engage with the natural environment which will be our legacy for future generations.
Dr Sarah M. Bexell is the director of conservation education and communications at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and a research scholar in residence at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver, U.S.A. Dr. Bexell has worked for the conservation of many endangered species including giant pandas and red pandas, golden lion tamarins and black-footed ferrets. Her focus is on fostering the human-animal bond to engender respect for all living beings and a conservation ethic.
Dr Zhang Zhihe is the director of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan, and a preeminent authority on pandas. A conservationist and biologist, Dr Zhang has worked in the conservation sphere for over twenty years, and presently sits on numerous national and provincial level conservation organisations in China. Dr Zhang is also widely recognised as a leading figure in developing collaborative research efforts on giant panda breeding projects between China, the US, and Japan.
Born Survivors By Zhang Zhihe and Sarah Bexell
Penguin Non-standard Paperback, ISBN 9780670080946
Available in November, 2012