Matching Items (25)

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Loving them to Death?: Crowding and the National Park Experience After Desert Solitaire

Description

The national parks are often considered to be one of America’s greatest achievements. Through a rich and sometimes tumultuous history, the national parks have been shaped from unwanted swaths of land into some of the most famous landscapes in the

The national parks are often considered to be one of America’s greatest achievements. Through a rich and sometimes tumultuous history, the national parks have been shaped from unwanted swaths of land into some of the most famous landscapes in the country. There are ultimately two conflicting goals of the national parks: provide enjoyment for the American people and protect the land. In recent years, increased popularity of the parks has made achieving these dual goals particularly difficult. Crowding in the parks leads to both ecological and social problems that threaten both goals of the national parks. Crowding is a multifaceted issue that must be explored from multiple perspectives.

Using Zion as a case study, the problems of crowding are explored and evaluated. First the history of the national parks is described to determine how the parks were created and popularized. After exploring the history of the parks, crowding in the national parks will be
discussed, including an overview of some of the significant social science literature exploring
crowding and its impact on visitor experience. This analysis will conclude with an examination
of visitor management strategies and an examination of the park-specific literature about the specific problems and decisions confronting managers at Zion National Park. A personal account of a visit to Zion during the peak season will provide a personal narrative about the meaning and purpose of the park experience.

The final section of this thesis will consider a range of opposing views on the philosophy of national parks and the park experience, centering around the ideas of Abbey, to address the deeper questions surrounding the goals of park management as we likely more toward an even more crowded park future. Ultimately the paper concludes that the parks has shifted irrevocably away from the ideals of Abbey, although his voice still provides inspiration to generations of park lovers. Additionally, while hard limits must eventually be set, in an era of increasing human influence, the park experience will need to be redefined to be more expansive and inclusive of all who wish to visit and enjoy.

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2019-05

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The Effect of Park Educational Programs on Public Values, Knowledge of, and Attitudes toward Noncharismatic Species

Description

Current conservation practices are substantially biased towards large, charismatic animals and are influenced by public perceptions of different animals. Therefore, it is important to understand how these perceptions are formed and what factors influence them in order to promote equitable

Current conservation practices are substantially biased towards large, charismatic animals and are influenced by public perceptions of different animals. Therefore, it is important to understand how these perceptions are formed and what factors influence them in order to promote equitable conservation for all species. This study examines the effect of attending a park education program on public values, knowledge of, and attitudes towards a noncharismatic species. Data was collected from May through October 2016 at the Usery Mountain Regional Park "All About Scorpions" program. A four page, onsite, self-administered pre- and post-program survey was given to program attendees. An identical survey was given to hiking park visitors who had never attended the program as the control sample. Survey statements addressed participant's demographics, value of bugs, knowledge about scorpions, and attitudes toward scorpions. Data analysis was completed using paired t-tests to analyze any statistically significant changes in values, knowledge, and attitudes between pre- and post-participants. Independent sample t-tests were used to analyze the same between the control and pre-participants. The results showed no difference in the value of bugs for any of the survey participants. However, the program attendees had more positive attitudes and greater knowledge of scorpions than general park visitors, and attending the program further increased positive attitudes and knowledge. Contributions of the study are twofold: First, the results provide Usery with information regarding the influence of their public programs, along with how these programs can be improved to make a greater impact. Second, findings serve to extend the literature on what alters public perceptions and how educational programs can be used to change the current conservation mindset.

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Date Created
2016-12

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The paracultural imaginary: cultural appropriation, heterophily and the diffusion of religious/spiritual traditions in intercultural communication

Description

Buddhism is thriving in US-America, attracting many converts with college and post-graduate degrees as well as selling all forms of popular culture. Yet little is known about the communication dynamics behind the diffusion of Buddhist religious/spiritual traditions into the United

Buddhism is thriving in US-America, attracting many converts with college and post-graduate degrees as well as selling all forms of popular culture. Yet little is known about the communication dynamics behind the diffusion of Buddhist religious/spiritual traditions into the United States. Religion is an underexplored area of intercultural communication studies (Nakayama & Halualani, 2010) and this study meets the lacuna in critical intercultural communication scholarship by investigating the communication practices of US-Americans adopting Asian Buddhist religious/spiritual traditions. Ethnographic observations were conducted at events where US-Americans gathered to learn about and practice Buddhist religious/spiritual traditions. In addition, interviews were conducted with US-Americans who were both learning and teaching Buddhism. The grounded theory method was used for data analysis. The findings of this study describe an emerging theory of the paracultural imaginary -- the space of imagining that one could be better than who one was today by taking on the cultural vestments of (an)Other. The embodied communication dynamics of intercultural exchange that take place when individuals adopt the rituals and philosophies of a foreign culture are described. In addition, a self-reflexive narrative of my struggle with the silence of witnessing the paracultural imaginary is weaved into the analysis. The findings from this study extend critical theorizing on cultural identity, performativity, and cultural appropriation in the diffusion of traditions between cultural groups. In addition, the study addresses the complexity of speaking out against the subtle prejudices in encountered in intercultural communication.

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2013

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Examining the impact of media content, emotions, and mental imagery visualization on pre-trip place attachment

Description

Numerous studies have examined the attachments individuals have to the places they visit, and that those attachments are formed through experiencing a place in person. This study is unique in that it examines pre-trip place attachment formation via the use

Numerous studies have examined the attachments individuals have to the places they visit, and that those attachments are formed through experiencing a place in person. This study is unique in that it examines pre-trip place attachment formation via the use of mobile technology and social media. It proposes that media experienced through the use of a participant's smartphone can foster the development of positive emotions, which in turn, facilitates greater mental imagery processing that ultimately influences pre-trip place attachment formation. An experimental design was constructed to examine how text and video on a destination's Facebook page influences an individual's emotions, mental imagery, and subsequently attachment to that destination. Specifically, a 2 (narrative text vs. descriptive text) x 2 (short, fast-paced video vs. long, slow-paced video) between-subjects design was used. A total of 343 usable participant responses were included in the analysis. The data was then analyzed through a two-step process using structural equation modeling. Results revealed no significant influence of textual or video media on emotions although the choice in text has a greater influence on emotions than choice in video. Additionally, emotions had a significant impact on mental imagery. Finally, mental imagery processing had a significant impact on only the social bonding dimension of place attachment. In conclusion, while media had no significant impact on emotions, the effect of previous traveler's retelling of personal accounts on the emotions of potential travelers researching a destination should be examined more closely. Further, the study participants had no prior experience with the destination, yet emotions influenced mental imagery, which also influenced social bonding. Thus further research should be conducted to better understand how potential traveler's image of a destination can be affected by the stories or others.

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Date Created
2013

Ethnic, Familial, and Cultural Barriers Impacting non-White Representation in Environmental Programs

Description

Non-White minorities represent nearly half of the US population and strongly support environmental protection but are severely underrepresented in environmental careers and natural resource-related degree programs. What factors contribute to this disparity in environment career choice? Previous research has indicated

Non-White minorities represent nearly half of the US population and strongly support environmental protection but are severely underrepresented in environmental careers and natural resource-related degree programs. What factors contribute to this disparity in environment career choice? Previous research has indicated that students career decisions are influenced by family and culture as they related to self-efficacy beliefs and outcome expectations towards different occupation choices. In this paper, I explored the importance of familial and cultural factors in career choice decisions to understand the motivations of non-White minority students to enter and remain in college degree programs within environmental disciplines. I surveyed 122 students enrolled in both environmental and non-environmental degree programs at Arizona State University. I measured family and cultural influence using the “Family Influence Scale” and “Orthogonal Cultural Identification Scale” respectively. I hypothesized that non-White students in environmental degree programs are influenced less by their families and are more acculturated to the dominant Anglo culture compared to non-White students in non-environmental degree programs. I found no significant relationship between ethnicity, family influence, or acculturation on the degree choices of students. Interestingly, family influence on students’ career decisions was most influenced by home language, household income, and acculturation to the dominant culture. Students more acculturated to Anglo culture reported higher familial influence. Higher income and non-English speaking households also reported higher levels of family influence. Acculturation and language in particular are interesting factors related to family influence and warrant further analysis especially in relation to non-White student participation in environmental careers.

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2020-05

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TRAIL RUNNERS AND SAFETY: EXPLORING PERCEPTIONS OF RISK IN AN URBAN PARK SYSTEM OF THE DESERT SOUTHWEST

Description

Issues of visitor safety are a concern among park and recreation managers. As urban parks receive a variety of user groups, understanding perceptions of safety among specific groups becomes pertinent when managing for optimal experiences. This study examines trails runners

Issues of visitor safety are a concern among park and recreation managers. As urban parks receive a variety of user groups, understanding perceptions of safety among specific groups becomes pertinent when managing for optimal experiences. This study examines trails runners at two mountain parks in a large southwestern city. Data was collected in the fall of 2013 and the spring of 2014 using a five page, onsite, self-administered, exit survey in English. Questions addressed trail runner demographics, level of trail running experience, perceptions of safety, and support for safety related management actions. Of specific interest was how perceptions of safety varied by trail runner demographics and level of experience. 102 trail runners participated in the study. Data analysis was completed using an independent samples t-test to compare sample characteristics with perceptions of safety and safety related management actions. The results include mixed opposition and support for specific preventive management actions. Few significant differences in responses were found between gender, age and specialization. The findings also suggest trail runners primarily learned about these recreation areas through local knowledge and "word of mouth" and not through managers. Further implications of these finding is discussed. Contributions of the study are twofold. First, results provide managers with information regarding trail runners at the parks. Second, findings serve to extend the literature on visitor safety at park and recreation settings in urban areas.

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2014-05

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Stresses and distresses of professional Taiwanese tennis players and resources they use to cope

Description

Playing tennis professionally is a stressful profession. However, it has the potential to be even more stressful for players who must move from their home country in order to train. If not dealt with, these stresses have the potential of

Playing tennis professionally is a stressful profession. However, it has the potential to be even more stressful for players who must move from their home country in order to train. If not dealt with, these stresses have the potential of causing many negative outcomes, including increasing levels of distress, in these professional tennis players. It is known that resources play a role in reducing or buffering levels of stress and distress among individuals, but there are competing theories as to how this occurs. Using Ensel and Lin's models of stress processes, this is an exploratory study that identifies the stresses and distresses professional Taiwanese tennis players face and the resources they use to cope. Participants included in this study are professional Taiwanese tennis players (2 males and 2 females) who continuously attend national and international tennis competitions and have both domestic and world ranks. Results from the semi-structured interviews revealed that challenges, frustration, resources, and toughness were four general themes to describe stresses and distresses professional Taiwanese tennis players face and the resources they use to cope. Future research for professional tennis players is also discussed.

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Date Created
2011

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Exploring the influence of survey item order and personality traits on perceived-crowding and recreational-satisfaction in an urban park environment

Description

Crowding and satisfaction remain widely studied concepts among those seeking to understand quality visitor experiences. One area of interest in this study is how the order of crowding and satisfaction items on a survey affects their measurement levels. An additional

Crowding and satisfaction remain widely studied concepts among those seeking to understand quality visitor experiences. One area of interest in this study is how the order of crowding and satisfaction items on a survey affects their measurement levels. An additional area of interest is the influence of personality traits on experience-use-history, crowding, and satisfaction. This study used two versions of a survey: A) crowding measured prior to satisfaction and B) satisfaction measured prior to crowding, to explore the influence of item order on crowding and satisfaction levels. Additionally, the study explored the influence of personality traits (extraversion and neuroticism) and experience use history (EUH) on crowding and satisfaction. EUH was included as a variable of interest given previous empirical evidence of its influence on crowding and satisfaction. Data were obtained from an onsite self-administered questionnaire distributed to day use visitors at a 16,000 acre desert landscape municipal park in Arizona. A total of 619 completed questionnaires (equally distributed between the two survey versions) were obtained. The resulting response rate was 80%. One-way ANOVA's indicated significant differences in crowding and satisfaction levels with both crowding and satisfaction levels being higher for survey version B. Path analysis was used to test the influence of personality traits and EUH on crowding and satisfaction. Two models, one for each version of the survey were developed using AMOS 5. The first model was tested using data in which crowding was measured prior to satisfaction. The second model relied on data in which satisfaction was measured prior to crowding. Results indicated that personality traits influenced crowding and satisfaction. Specifically, in the first model, significant relationships were observed between neuroticism and crowding, neuroticism and EUH, EUH and crowding, and between crowding and satisfaction. In the second model, significant relationships were observed between extraversion and crowding, extraversion and satisfaction, and between EUH and satisfaction. Findings suggest crowding and satisfaction item order have a potential to influence their measurement. Additionally, results indicate that personality traits potentially influence visitor experience evaluation. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Date Created
2011

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Understanding housekeeper's perceived labor mobility and job satisfaction within the hospitality industry in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A

Description

The objective of this study was to understand domestic and foreign-born housekeeper's individual perceptions of labor mobility and job satisfaction related to their jobs within the hospitality industry. Literature regarding the bridging of tourism, immigration, and labor supply was addressed

The objective of this study was to understand domestic and foreign-born housekeeper's individual perceptions of labor mobility and job satisfaction related to their jobs within the hospitality industry. Literature regarding the bridging of tourism, immigration, and labor supply was addressed to expose broad conceptual frameworks that lead to the development of this study. More specifically, literature regarding labor mobility within tourism industries, migrant decision making, and barriers to mobility and immigration helped to construct a narrowed conceptual framework specific to hospitality labor in Phoenix, Arizona. Similar and previous studies focused on perceived labor mobility during significant economic or industry shifts. This study included the addition of a policy factor to help determine to what degree state policy change effected hospitality workers' perceived labor mobility. Arizona's recently passed and implemented legislative act SB1070 regards immigrant identification and employment, and enforcement of the act in the state of Arizona; this serves as the implicated policy change. Data were collected via on-site survey administered February to May 2011. An overall score was created for the five motivational dimensions: 1 — Status; 2 — Economic; 3 — Refugee; 4 — Entrepreneurial; and, 5 — Political using principle component factor analysis using a varimax rotation with Kaiser normalization. Theory and literature suggest that the economic advancement, status advancement, and the refugee orientation are effective explanatory variables for motivating a career move into the tourism industry. A total of 82 questionnaires were delivered and completed (N = 82), and none were eliminated. The statistically-determined Economic Dimension was characterized by eleven statements explained 51% of the variation and was the overwhelming motivational force. The average coded response for change in job satisfaction was very positive at .75. Ten features of changes in job satisfaction were used as the basis of the second measure of change in job satisfaction. The first Principle Component of the ten features of job satisfaction change explained 45% of the variation in these features and loadings were positive near or above 0.60 for all items. The relationship between variations in each of the measurements of change in job satisfaction and motivating factors was explored using regression analysis. The two dependent variables were Overall Change and First Principle Component, and the independent variables for both regressions included the four motivating factors as measured by the rotated factors scores to represent dimensions of Economic, Status, Refugee and Entrepreneurial. In addition to the motivational factors, four demographic variables were included as independent variables to account for personal and situational differences. None of the regression coefficients were significant at even the 10% level. Although this result was expected, the positive sign of regression coefficients suggest that expectations of working as a housekeepers results in a positive outcome. Understanding this relationship further is necessary, and seeking larger sample sizes over a longer period of time would be most beneficial to this field of research.

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Date Created
2011

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The role of environmental education for biodiversity conservation: a case study in the protected areas of Nepal

Description

Balancing conservation goals and needs of local residents is always challenging. While some believe protected areas are a safe paradise for wildlife, others suggest that it is shortsighted to ignore the social and economic challenges faced by people who live

Balancing conservation goals and needs of local residents is always challenging. While some believe protected areas are a safe paradise for wildlife, others suggest that it is shortsighted to ignore the social and economic challenges faced by people who live adjacent to protected areas when addressing conservation objectives. This dissertation explores the link between biodiversity conservation and environmental education programs (EEPs) administered to residents of buffer zones adjacent to three protected areas in the Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal. Using surveys and interviews, this study examined 1) the influence of EEPs on attitudes of local people toward biodiversity conservation; 2) the influence of EEPs on conservation behavior; 3) the responses toward biodiversity conservation of local people residing in buffer zones who have received different levels of EEPs; and 4) the effect of EEPs on wildlife populations within adjacent protected areas. Local people who had participated in EEPs and attended school were more likely to express a positive attitude toward conservation goals than participants who had not participated in EEPs or had the opportunity to attend school. Participation in EEPs and level of education favored expressed behavior toward conservation goals, such as making contributions for conservation or supporting anti-poaching patrols. However, EEP participants and non-participants were equally likely to engage in activities that were at odds with positive conservation behavior, such as collecting fuel wood or killing wildlife to protect their farm or feed their families. A direct comparison of EEPs given by schools versus non-government organizations showed that EEPs were largely ineffective in promoting positive conservation attitudes and behaviors. Despite heavy poaching of charismatic species such as the greater one-horned rhinoceros or tiger over past decades, Nepal recently celebrated ‘zero poaching years’ in 2011 and 2013, largely due to increased anti-poaching enforcement. The relationship between EEPs and the decline in poaching is unclear, although local officials all claimed that EEPs played an important role. These results indicate that current administration of EEPs in Terai buffer zone communities is inadequate, while also providing evidence that properly administrated EEPs may become a valuable investment for these protected areas to achieve long-term success.

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Date Created
2015