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Thursday, May 28, 2015

RSENR PhD Proposal Seminar & Defense: Elizabeth Perry

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Cityscape Connections: Assessing Relationships among Urban Populations and National Park Service Parks, Programs, and Partnerships

By Elizabeth E. Perry

Seminar: 1pm, Aiken 311
Defense: 2pm, Aiken 311

Committee
Robert Manning, Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Jennifer Jewiss, Research Assistant Professor, Education and Social Services, Chair
Clare Ginger, Associate Professor, RSENR
Daniel Krymkowski, Professor, Sociology

ABSTRACT
National parks protect vital natural, cultural, and recreational resources and use these resources to tell many of America’s most iconic stories. Although all national parks provide opportunities for people to engage with their lands and histories, the ability to engage large, diverse, and proximate communities is unique to national parks in urban areas. The National Park Service (NPS) has responded to this opportunity with innovative approaches to connect these communities to their local NPS units. Following up on a pledge made to the American people, the NPS initiated its landmark Urban Agenda in 2015. This program is an effort to enhance the relevance of national parks to all Americans, emphasize the entire NPS portfolio, and nurture a culture of collaboration. Community and intra-agency perceptions about NPS workings in urban areas, however, are currently unknown.

The proposed research will address this need by providing information about the effectiveness of NPS parks, programs, and partnerships in a variety of urban areas. The intent of this research is to understand: (1) NPS and community perspectives about parks; (2) NPS and community interactions with programs; (3) NPS-based partnership networks; and (4) areas where the Urban Agenda can positively impact park-people connections. This research will use a multi-methods approach, combining qualitative developmental evaluation and quantitative social network analysis. Research results will aid in site-specific and overall successful implementation of the Urban Agenda, contribute to enhanced management coordination of the NPS in urban areas, and highlight means by which park-people relevancy and resiliency may be strengthened.

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