Author Archives: Nels Thompson

CENSHARE conducts study at the MN State Fair

CENSHARE collected data to study physical and mental quality of life associated with both pet and farm animal ownership in State Fair attendees from rural, suburban and urban Minnesota.  We also collected saliva samples (which were an interesting assortment of colors depending on food choices!) to measure oxytocin (bonding), cortisol, and alpha-amylase (chronic and short-term stress responses).

Dr. Schreiner Presents on HAI and Aging in Rochester

September 14-Companion animals can have a positive impact on health as people age. Today Dr. Schreiner gave a talk about human-animal interaction (HAI) at the Rochester Community and Technical College as part of the Learning is Forever (LIFE) program.  LIFE provides a diverse array of educational programs and encourages social and personal growth for life-long learners in our growing and diverse community.

The talk entitled “the Importance of Companion Animals in Aging Populations” focused on both positive and negative aspects of pet ownership in the elderly.

CENSHARE at U of M Mini-Medical School

November 17-Each semester, the Academic Health Center presents Mini Medical School, a unique perspective into the health sciences at the University of Minnesota and this semester Dr. Schreiner was invited to speak along with other internationally renowned experts from the U.

Dr. Schreiner’s lecture, “the Importance of Companion Animals for Aging Populations” highlighted the potential benefits and adverse aspects of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) in older populations.

Dr. Schreiner returns to OLLI to present MN State Fair Research data

September 20- This week, Dr. Schreiner returned to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) to present results from a recent study conducted at the Minnesota State Fair. Her talk was entitled “CENSHARE Goes to the State Fair: Animals and Human Health, from City to Silo” looked at mental and physical quality of life between humans and animals in both urban and rural environments.  In addition to traditional companion animals, Dr. Schreiner’s study also examined farm animals and how people relate to them.

Dr. Schreiner Joins HAI Leaders at Purdue Conference

Thursday-Friday, November 3-4–Human-animal interaction (HAI) leaders from across the country gathered to exchange ideas and methods at the first Purdue Center for the Human-Animal Bond (CHAB) conference in over a decade. The conference is a prestigious event with the goal of uniting leaders from university centers and institutes focused on research, teaching, and practice related to human-animal interaction, sponsored by the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation (HABRI) and the National Institute for Child Health and Development.


Dr. Schreiner entertains at Bell Museum’s Saturday with a Scientist

Saturday, April 12–Spirits were high at last weekend’s “Saturday with a Scientist” at the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum as people gathered to learn more about the furry friends we call pets and how they influence our lives. Dr. Schreiner was invited to the popular weekend event to share her knowledge about the impact of companion animals on human health.

Joined by scientists,  pet owners, and working dogs from the University of Minnesota’s police, Dr. Schreiner talked about the human-animal bond and its relation to heart disease.


Dr. Schreiner presents on the health benefits of pet ownership at OLLI

Friday, October 17–Today, Dr. Schreiner gave a talk, “Health Benefits of Pet Ownership: the importance of asking the right questions” as part continuing education offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Dr. Schreiner discussed the types of biases and issues to consider when trying to determine the validity of human-animal interaction studies.  Among the topics she discussed were number of people in the study, the comparison group involved, the duration of the study, and the timing of data collection.

Dr. Schreiner presents at Nature-Based Therapeutics Conference

Friday, September 26–Dr. Schreiner opened the afternoon session at the Nature-Based Therapeutics Conference-“SPEAK! The Quality of Interactions Between Humans and Animals” with a tribute to CENSHARE founder Dr. RK Anderson at the Minnesota Arboretum. Dr. Anderson’s contributions to the HAI field have left a tremendous legacy and you can listen to Dr. Schreiner’s talk here.

SPEAK! is a conference about human-animal interaction (HAI) and how interacting with animals increases individual health and community well-being. This conference offered a new understanding of how HAI can enhance the work of all people professionals within schools, non-profits, social services, healthcare, community groups, faith-based organizations, and families.