My research is largely an effort to bridge the gap between ecological research and social science research in the study of recreation and recreation related impacts in parks and protected areas.
My recreation ecology research has mostly consisted of mapping recreation resource impacts and highlighting areas of ground cover vegetation that may be susceptible to resource change from visitor use. Additionally, I am interested in further developing the use of vegetation photo-sampling techniques and GIS-based methodology to better understand resource susceptibility.
Social Science Research:
From a social science perspective, I am most interested in examining visitor perceptions of resource impacts, the visitor characteristics which influence visitor perceptions, and how resource impacts influence the overall visitor experience in a park or protected area.
Additionally, I am interested in using GPS-based tracking methods to understand visitor behavior on trail systems and in off-trail areas. I also use GPS-based tracking to understand how visitors are interacting with different levels of resource impacts.
By integrating the pieces of social science and ecological science from my research I hope to be able to model the overall visitor experience in a park and protected area and model how visitors interact with resource impacts. Additionally, I aim to highlight areas in a park or protected area where visitor use can potentially lead to undesirable levels of resource change.