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Park Studies Laboratory

Park Studies Laboratory

The Park Studies Laboratory is part of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. It is comprised of faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in research, planning, and management applied to national parks, wilderness, and related areas. Special focus is placed on outdoor recreation and related public uses of parks. The Laboratory conducts a program of research in the U.S. national park system and also conducts studies applied to national forests, national wildlife refuges, state parks, nonprofit institutions, and related areas and organizations.

Park Studies Laboratory research addresses the following issues:

  • Planning and management of outdoor recreation
  • Carrying capacity of parks, wilderness and related areas
  • Surveys of visitors to parks, wilderness and related areas
  • Surveys of community residents living in and around parks and related areas
  • Computer simulation of visitor use
  • Visual simulation and assessment of visitor-related impacts to parks and related areas
  • Integration of social and ecological dimensions of park and wilderness management
  • Analysis of the tradeoffs inherent in park and wilderness management
  • Public values of parks, wilderness and related areas
  • Public environmental ethics
  • Evaluation of parks, heritage areas, and Category V protected areas
  • Transportation in parks, outdoor recreation, and tourism
  • Outdoor recreation in the Northern Forest
  • Outdoor recreation on Lake Champlain
  • Understanding and managing soundscapes in parks and related areas
  • Diversity issues related to parks and outdoor recreation
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