Matching Items (21)

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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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 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

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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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

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Measuring the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems: a multimethod approach

Description

This research assessed the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems in Nepal. The research was composed of three interrelated studies. The first study evaluated different approaches to protected area governance.

This research assessed the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems in Nepal. The research was composed of three interrelated studies. The first study evaluated different approaches to protected area governance. This was a multiple-case study research involving three protected areas in Nepal: the Annapurna Conservation Area, Chitwan National Park, and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Data were collected from various published and unpublished sources and supplemented with 55 face-to-face interviews. Results revealed that outcomes pertaining to biodiversity conservation, community livelihoods, and sustainable tourism vary across these protected areas. The study concluded that there is no institutional panacea for managing protected areas. The second study diagnosed the sustainability of tourism in two destination communities: Ghandruk and Sauraha, which are located within the Annapurna Conservation Area and Chitwan National Park, respectively. A systemic, holistic approach--the social-ecological system framework--was used to analyze the structures, processes, and outcomes of tourism development. Data collection involved 45 face-to-face semi-structured interviews and a review of published and unpublished documents. Results revealed that tourism has several positive and a few negative sociocultural, economic, and ecological outcomes in both communities. Overall, tourism has progressed towards sustainability in these destinations. The third study examined tourism stakeholders' perspectives regarding sustainable tourism outcomes in protected areas. The study compared the responses of residents with residents, as well as tourists with tourists, across the Annapurna Conservation Area and Chitwan National Park. Tourism sustainability was evaluated with six tourism impact subscales measuring negative and positive ecological, economic, and social impacts. Data were collected using the survey method. Respondents included 230 residents and 205 tourists in Annapurna, and 220 residents and 210 tourists in Chitwan. The findings revealed that the residents across these protected areas perceived positive and negative impacts differently, as did the tourists, suggesting that the form of tourism development affects the sustainability outcomes in protected areas. Overall, this research concluded that protected areas and tourism are intricately related, and sustainable management of a protected area-based tourism system requires a polycentric adaptive approach that warrants a broad participation of relevant stakeholders.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Effects of Self-Guided Displays and Associated Interactive Elements on Visitor Knowledge, Attitudes, and Values

Description

Free-choice learning environments provide visitors with unique opportunities to observe and learn voluntarily and can serve as valuable educational opportunities. Incorporating interactive elements into displays have been shown to increase

Free-choice learning environments provide visitors with unique opportunities to observe and learn voluntarily and can serve as valuable educational opportunities. Incorporating interactive elements into displays have been shown to increase visitor dwell time and, ultimately, enhance the displays’ impacts on visitor knowledge and positive attitudes. This is especially important in free-choice learning environments where the visitor controls what display to visit and for how long. Visitors may not benefit from the display if they are not engaged with some attention-holding component. Interactive elements can greatly benefit a display’s potential to strengthen a visitor’s conservation attitudes and values of non-charismatic species that are traditionally less engaging due to their lack of activity or their appearance. This study examined the effect of a self-guided display with or without the incorporation of interactive elements on a visitors knowledge, attitude, and value of rattlesnakes. In Spring 2019, university biology students took surveys before (pre-survey) and after (post-survey) visiting a live animal rattlesnake display on campus. This was repeated in the Fall 2019 except that eight interactive elements were incorporated into the rattlesnakes displays. The pre and post-surveys were designed to evaluate the effect of the displays on student knowledge, attitudes, and values towards rattlesnakes. Paired t-tests revealed that visiting the displays increased student knowledge, attitude, and value of rattlesnakes, but that this effect was not enhanced by adding the interactive elements to the display. The results also showed that visiting the displays increased visitor dwell time, positively influenced one’s interest in revisiting the displays, and, overall provided visitors with enjoyment. These results provide further evidence that self-guided, live animal displays are impactful on increasing visitor knowledge, attitude, and value. However, the results also demonstrate that interactive elements do not necessarily enhance a display’s value, so further research should be conducted to determine key traits of effective interactive elements. This data and that from future related studies can have powerful conservation implications by informing on how displays can be optimized to achieve desired objectives.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Evaluating the Social and Ecological Drivers of Invasive Plant Species Abundance in Sub-tropical Community Forests of Nepal

Description

Invasive plants harm the ecological properties of natural systems, human health,

and local economies. However, the negative impacts of invasive species are not always

immediately visible and may be disregarded

Invasive plants harm the ecological properties of natural systems, human health,

and local economies. However, the negative impacts of invasive species are not always

immediately visible and may be disregarded by local communities if social benefits of

control efforts are not clear. In this dissertation, I use a mixed-methods approach to

investigate the drivers of invasive plant distribution, potential financially feasible

management techniques to control invasion, and community forest user perceptions of

those techniques. In this work, I aim to incorporate the diverse perspectives of local

people and increase the long-term success of invasive species control activities in socio

economically vulnerable populations.

Integrating a spatially and temporally diverse data set, I explore the social and

ecological drivers of invasive plant abundance across 21 buffer zone community forests

in the Western Chitwan Valley of Nepal. I evaluate to what extent forest user and

collective manager activities, the legacies of historic activities, and ecological properties

influence present-day invasive plant abundance. I built upon this study to identify areas

with critically high levels of invasion then initiated a three-year, community-based

management intervention to evaluate traditional and adaptive land management

approaches to control invasive plants. I found that both approaches reduced invasive

plant abundance relative to the surrounding, untreated forest. I then interviewed focus

groups to investigate their perceived efficacy of the various treatment types and found

that almost all forest users and managers preferred the adaptive approach over the

traditional management approach. Notably, forest users cited the importance of the

availability of forest resources and lack of harmful plants in the plots that had undergone

this method. Understanding how forest users relate to and experience invasive plants has

been relatively understudied but can influence forest user engagement in different

management approaches. For this reason, I performed in-depth ethnoecological

interviews to explore how forest users perceive, how they utilize, and to what extent they

value invasive plants. This mixed-methods approach contributes to a more holistic

understanding of the role that local people play in invasive plant management and

restoration activities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Former to future: preservation in the U.S. national parks

Description

For more than 100 years, the Unite States National Park Service (NPS) has been guided by a mandate to preserve parks and their resources for the enjoyment of present and

For more than 100 years, the Unite States National Park Service (NPS) has been guided by a mandate to preserve parks and their resources for the enjoyment of present and future generations. But all parks are subject to conditions that may frustrate preservation efforts. Climate change is melting the glaciers. Rising seas are sweeping away protected shorelines. Development projects, accompanied by air, water, light, and noise pollution, edge closer to parks and fragment habitats. The number of visitors and vested interests are swelling and diversifying. Resources for preservation, such as funds and staff, seem to be continuously shrinking, at least relative to demand.

Still, the NPS remains committed to the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage. Yet the practice of that promise is evolving, slowly and iteratively, but detectably. Through explorations of legal and scholarly literature, as well as interviews across the government, non-profit, and academic sectors, I’ve tracked the evolution of preservation in parks. How is preservation shifting to address socio-ecological change? How has preservation evolved before? How should the NPS preserve parks moving forward?

The practice of preservation has come to rely on science, including partnerships with academic researchers, as well as inventory and monitoring programs. That shift has in part been guided by goals that have also become more informed by science, like ecological integrity. While some interviewees see science as a solution to the NPS’s challenges, others wonder how applying science can get “gnarly,” due to uncertainty, lack of clear policies, and the diversity of parks and resources. “Gnarly” questions stem in part from the complexity of the NPS as a socio-ecological system, as well as from disputed, normative concepts that underpin the broader philosophy of preservation, including naturalness. What’s natural in the context of pervasive anthropogenic change? Further, I describe how parks hold deep, sometimes conflicting, cultural and symbolic significance for their local and historical communities and for our nation. Understanding and considering those values is part of the gnarly task park managers face in their mission to preserve parks. I explain why this type of conceptual and values-based uncertainty cannot be reduced through science.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Exploring the on-site behavior of attendees at community festivals: a social constructivist grounded theory approach

Description

Empirical and theoretical gaps exist on the subject matter of attendee experiential behavior at community festivals as this action occurs in real time. To acquire knowledge and begin to build

Empirical and theoretical gaps exist on the subject matter of attendee experiential behavior at community festivals as this action occurs in real time. To acquire knowledge and begin to build theory, attendee behavior was investigated through an interpretive lens to give rise to a socially constructed understanding of this phenomenon in contrast to typical positivist inquiry designs found in the field of event studies used to test theory and determine universal explanations. This ontology was deemed appropriate as human experience at community festivals is multifaceted, relative to social interactions, highly variable with complex meanings, and has a wide variety of consequential implications; all views representative of social constructivism. A grounded theory approach was used in conjunction with a participant observation method to collect data on attendee behavior during fieldwork undertaken at community festivals. Prior to fieldwork, literature was not reviewed nor specific theory pre-selected to serve as a basis for research, with the researcher's only intent to record attendee's on-site actions with an open mind. Fieldwork notes were systematically expanded into descriptive narratives that were broken down into initial codes to establish robust analytic directions, which were synthesized into categories and subcategories through focused coding. Relationships between categories and subcategories were reassembled with axial coding bringing into view a strong emergent theme on social capital bonding and bridging at community festivals and a second theme that considers the aspirations of event management to program festive experiences. To strengthen the second theme event manager interviews and content analysis of event association newsletters were conducted as theoretical sampling to move data towards saturation. From emergent themes it was theorized, while social capital bonding is profusely exhibited at community festivals, social capital bridging is minimally displayed unless augmented with programmed festivity to increase physical, emotional, and social engagement of attendees. Literature reviewed in relation to this theory revealed that spirituality, dance, music, the arts, and wild abandonment were important elements of festivity. An implication arising from this study indicates that if community festivals consciously enhance programmed festivity then correspondingly increased social capital impacts within community development might also be achieved.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013