Social Media and Public Engagement in National Parks

My last post was about social media and how it has been used to catch vandals in US National Parks. But that is not the only way in which social media and national parks are converging these days. More and more, social media is being used by land management agencies (like the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, and the BLM) to engage with the public. Here I am going to highlight two social media campaigns that attempt to engage new audiences and bring those audiences out to experience public lands: The “Red Chair Experience” campaign from Parks Canada and the “Find Your Park” Campaign by the National Park Service.

Me "participating" in the #sharethechair campaign at the George Wright Society conference.

Me “participating” in the #sharethechair campaign at the George Wright Society conference.

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Recreation Ecology Around the World: Part 2 – Canada

A couple of years ago, when looking through proceedings from past Monitoring and Management of Visitor Flows in Recreational and Protected Areas (MMV) conferences, I came across an article about recreation ecology in Canada. The title of the proceedings paper was slightly perplexing so I tucked the article away in a folder on my desktop to read at a later date.  Today, I decided I was due for another installment of “Recreation Ecology Around the World” and pulled out the short proceedings paper from 2008; The future of recreation ecology in Canada: go big or go home? Since the paper is a few years old, I did a quick search to see if I could find any updates or new information but my search came up empty. So here is a short summary of the state of recreation ecology in Canada as described by Campbell and Walker from proceedings of the 4th MMV Conference (2008).

Macey hanging out on our Canada blanket.

Macey hanging out on our Canada blanket.

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Ever heard of Wapusk National Park?

It’s the time of the year for natural resources graduate students where everyone is scattered across the globe collecting data and conducting field work.  For my labmates and me, this means heading to national parks and other protected areas during the throes of tourist season. I recently returned from a trip to Yosemite and tomorrow I pack up my car with field gear and head to Colorado for the next few weeks of research. My roommate just returned from one national park in Alaska and is home for a brief time before heading back to conduct research in two other Alaskan national parks.  My labmates and I are not the only ones spending our summer in a national parks. My significant other, Dave, who studies wildlife science and population modeling, is also spending his summer in a national park. However, while most people have heard of the places where I spend my summers, very few people have heard of Wapusk National Park in Manitoba.

Wapusk National Park from Dave’s research camp (photo by Dave Iles)

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Field Notes: “Ah-oooo” says the eider

I had intended the “Note From The Field” posts to be about my work in the field. However, I will not be heading into the field for another month or so.  My boyfriend just left for the field (Wapusk National Park just north of Churchill, Manitoba) last week and therefore his research is on my mind. Therefore, this post will be about his study species: The common eider.

Hand knit common eider for Dave

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