University of Vermont

RSENR research - recreation

Rubenstein School Research Emphasis in
Recreation and Tourism

Faculty, staff, and students are involved in research, planning, and management applied to national parks, wilderness, other recreation areas, and natural resources and the sociology of recreation and leisure. Special focus is placed on outdoor recreation and related public uses of parks. The Park Studies 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.

Faculty Research Program Descriptions

Lisa Chase: Tourism and recreation in the working landscape

Sugar on Snow event. Photo provided by Catherine Stevens.Lisa's research focuses on the intersection of conservation and sustainable development. Current topics include recreation and trail use, agritourism and culinary tourism, and sustainable transportation. Lisa integrates recreation and tourism with food systems studies through her emphasis on the edible working landscape. As part of UVM Extension, Lisa's research connects directly with community development and applications on the ground. To learn more, visit the Vermont Tourism Research Center website.

Walter Kuentzel: Natural resource sociology, recreation and leisure behavior

Apostle Islands lakeshoreWalt’s research involves applying sociological concepts to natural resource issues, primarily related to recreation and tourism. His current work includes a study of public hunting, fishing and recreational access on private land and public understanding of liability laws and statutes, an ongoing project about the visitation and perceived crowing on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superior in Wisconsin, and holiday home development in Ireland. To learn more, see his recent news profile or view his faculty profile.

Robert Manning: Parks, wilderness, environmental ethics

Student conducts survey at a national parkBob Manning’s research focuses on two major topics, carried out through a broad range of studies in national parks and other federal land across the country. The first topic is carrying capacity, and his work within this area considers how much and what types of use can be accommodated in parks without unacceptable impacts to parks and people's experiences. The second topic is how to manage the parks, with emphasis on increasing quality experiences and protecting park resources. Examples of current and recent projects include a study in Olympic National Park, where he and his students helped the park prepare to develop a new Wildlife Management Plan by surveying visitors and examining how much use the Wilderness Management Area can accommodate, as well as how to manage that use; work at Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park in Vermont where he and his students are evaluating alternative transportation system; a project about soundscapes and night skies in Acadia National Park; studies on racial and ethnic diversity; and alternative models of parks. To learn more, visit the Park Studies Laboratory website.

Patricia Stokowski: Outdoor recreation, leisure and tourism sociology, natural resource planning

Old mining townPatricia conducts research about social, cultural, and discursive aspects of outdoor recreation behavior, environmental interpretation, and tourism development in rural and resource dependent communities. Her current research focuses on the place-making processes enacted by people in transitioning communities, the cultural meanings of forest landscapes, and community / agency discourses in natural resource management. Her work emphasizes interpretive research methods, and she is known for her longitudinal study of the development and impacts of gambling-based tourism in the former mining towns of Central City and Black Hawk, Colorado. For more information, visit Patricia's profile page.

Last modified April 18 2014 12:58 PM