Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #236
CE Offered: BACB

Sustainability and Student Engagement at Fresno State

Sunday, May 28, 2017
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall D-G
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Criss Wilhite, None
Chair: Angela Sanguinetti (University of California, Davis)
CRISS WILHITE (Fresno State)
Criss Wilhite began teaching at Fresno State in 1986. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BACB) with degrees in Psychology, Philosophy and Art, all from Fresno State. With the help and support of the Psychology faculty, she developed the BACB-approved undergraduate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Program in 1998, the graduate program in ABA in 2005, and the Interdisciplinary ABA program in 2008. These programs, and the faculty hired to develop and direct them, have resulted in the Positive Parenting Program, The Autism Center at Fresno State, Focused Services, and Social Connections. Criss is former director of the undergraduate ABA program, the Positive Parenting Program and the IABA Program. She was Chair of the Archival Committee for the B. F. Skinner Foundation from 2007 to 2010 and has been an advisor to the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies since 2007. She received the Fresno State Psi Chi Instructor of the Year award 10 times.

Since 2009, behavior analysts around the world have, at an increasing rate, applied our science to the problem of sustainability. This work includes the efforts of the Fresno State Sustainability Project, an interdisciplinary attempt to coordinate all such activity on campus. We have had a number of positive outcomes, including the newly-formed Institute of Water and Sustainability. The focus of this talk is student activity that has grown out of the Project. Over the past four years, more than 400 students have had experiences in academic, research, and applied activities related to sustainability. One of these endeavors is the Fresno State Sustainability Club which has hosted four Earth Days, set up multiple talks by experts at Green Bag Lunches, coordinated with other campus clubs, and planted a water-wise garden and hundreds of trees in collaboration with Plant Operations. The College of Science and Math has offered the First Year Experience the past two years, in which freshman in the College take multiple sustainability courses in both basic science and applications. Graduate students do everything from building tiny houses to collecting data on practices. The Psychology and the Environment course has just been reestablished and the development of a minor is underway. Students lives have been substantially changed. The future generation is on its way to making a major positive impact on the health and welfare of the planet.

Target Audience:

Academic behavior analysts and graduate students

Learning Objectives: 1) Attendees will see examples for funding sustainability work within an academic institution2) Attendees will see examples of applied behavior analytic work on sustainability issues3) Attendees will learn about coursework to support the next generation of behavior analysts who will address sustainability issues in their work



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