Dr. Kalnicky’s lifelong career interest and passion for developing programming and research focused on connecting youth and adults to nature began more than 20 years ago as a volunteer at the Henry Vilas Zoo in her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. She holds a doctorate in ecology from Utah State University, a master’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and bachelor of science degrees in zoology, psychology, and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kalnicky is an ecologist interested in using a social-ecological systems, environmental, and conservation psychology approach to better understand pressing environmental concerns including climate change, fostering environmentally responsible behavior, invasive species management, and species conservation and adaptation.
Kalnicky has spent her career in a variety of museum contexts, from zoos to botanical gardens and conservatories. She is presently the Evaluation and Research Specialist at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minnesota, where she oversees all social science research and evaluation efforts. Kalnicky was also nominated and invited to serve as a Fellow at the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota, which she has been doing since 2018.