Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Matthew TJ Brownlee
Robert B Powell
Elizabeth D Baldwin
Brenda B Bowen
This dissertation focuses on illuminating human perceptions in a social-ecological system (SES) through three studies: (1) revealing human perceptions of the influence of social network structure on social dynamics in an SES; (2) understanding human perceptions of biophysical and social change related to a SES, and (3) exploring how key stakeholder groups might perceive social-ecological reciprocities in an SES. To achieve these endeavors, this dissertation advances analytical tools that have yet to be widely used in natural resource management to understand stakeholders’ perceptions of social-ecological complexity: social network models, perceptions of change, and fuzzy logic cognitive mapping. These tools represent a combination of objective social analysis, inquiry into subjective perceptions, and subjective mental modeling, all of which may be useful for natural resource managers who need or desire to engage in SES thinking. The three studies herein thus apply these tools to the complex social-ecological system known as the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) in western Utah (USA).
Blacketer, Michael Patrick, "Illuminating Perceptions of Social-Ecological Complexity for More Holistic Management of Parks and Protected Areas" (2020). All Dissertations. 2612.