Utah Public Radio Interview – Off-Trail Use

Last week, the first paper from my dissertation work was published in the Journal of Environmental Management. If you want some light reading, the paper is open access for the next month or so at this link.  

Utah Public Radio Science Intern, Andrew Durso, interviewed me about my research earlier this week and did a great job! If you would like to listen to/read about some of the key findings of my dissertation you can check out Andrew’s story here:



Guest Post at The Eco Tome Blog

I took a break from blogging this Fall while I have been working on another type of outdoor recreation/public lands outreach project with my knitting group. My next blog post will be about this project! I am so excited with how it has turned out.

But this week, I wrote a guest post over at The Eco Tome that is an introduction to recreation ecology and the types of basic questions that we ask in our field.

Go check it (and the other greats posts!) here: http://scifundchallenge.org/ecotome/2016/01/16/where-recreation-ecologists-spend-their-summer-vacation/

As a side note, this collaboration was inspired by a meeting Megan Litwhiler at ComSciCon  Applications for this year’s ComSciCon are being accepted until March 1st.

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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Recreation Ecology Around the World: Part 1 – East Asia

ResearchBlogging.org Yep, I have not posted in over a month. Whoops!  I feel like this is my busiest semester to date and what little free time I have has been devoted to trying to finish the A Song of Ice and Fire series or knitting.  Blogging has taken a back seat to research and other hobbies. However, recently a bunch of review papers have appeared in the literature summarizing the state of recreation ecology in various countries around the world (East Asia, Canada, Australia, and the United States).  As I work through reading these papers, I figured I could take write a series of blog posts that can serve as a tour of the world through the lens of a recreation ecologist (hopefully it will take less than 80 days…).

First stop – East Asia

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Another year of field work completed

On Friday, after a 9 hr drive and a two hour stop in Fort Collins, I returned to Logan from my summer field work in Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest. The field work went amazingly well but it was hard being gone for three weeks when I have so much data analysis to do this summer.  Doing “real work” after a day of field work was difficult and usually I spent my evenings making raw/paleo dessert with my field tech, reading the ” A Song of Ice and Fire” series, or trying to work on the sweater that I am knitting myself.  As my first post back, here is a pictorial summary of how I spent the past three weeks. Enjoy!

View from the Mt. Bierstadt trail

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Ignored Invertebrates

ResearchBlogging.orgMost recreation ecology studies focus their efforts on how recreation may impact vertebrates or, most often, plants. Up until now, invertebrates were pretty much ignored in the field. However, the latest issue of Entomological Review contains an article by two Russian scientists examining how “recreation load” might impact the behavior of hortophilous animals (invertebrates that live in the grass layer).  Specifically, Khabibullin and Khabibullin wanted to know (1) what types of responses do insects show when faced with stressors caused my the mechanical act of recreation? (2) Do different species show different tactics to cope with these stressors? (3) How effective are these strategies?

Beetle on a trail in Joshua Tree National Park

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Dogs and wildlife: How do wildlife respond?

Recreation ecologists are often concerned about how different recreational activities impact wildlife species.  However, little research has been conducted around this topic.  In 2001, Miller et al. examined how the presence of dogs (and hikers, since dogs are rarely on trails alone) influence wildlife in Boulder, Colorado.  Various characteristics of a recreational activity can influence the level of impact to wildlife; these include intensity, frequency, and locations of the recreational activity.  Recreation ecologists also refer to a concept called the “area of influence”.  The area of influence is defined by the probability that an animal will respond at a given perpendicular distance from the recreationist.  The greater the area of influence (or the greater the probability of response) the greater the impact is to the particular wildlife species in question.

Dog on a hiking trail in Park City, Utah

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