Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Dr. Elizabeth Baldwin
Dr. Shari Rodriguez
Dr. Aby Lat Soukabe Sene Harper
University and school forests are managed for a unique set of multiple uses from research and teaching to recreation and forestry. Understanding how outreach is employed in these settings as a component of their land management strategy can offer insights to school forests generally as well as other complex land management efforts. Using outreach, a forest can facilitate communication as a dialogue, connecting to forest participants and stakeholders. This qualitative research study uses a multi-scale case study approach to examine a recent harvest and outreach efforts at the Clemson Experimental Forest, as well the outreach efforts at eight other university forests in the United States, in order to understand the nuances of outreach in a university forest system. The primary objective of this research was to gain specific knowledge regarding what is considered outreach, current evidence-based practices being used at university forests, and outcomes or perceived benefits of outreach experienced by forest representatives. Findings of this research study suggest that outreach is the connection of university forest with community, neighbors, stakeholders and forest participants. The four most commonly practiced connection activities found to facilitate effective outreach within a university forest are clear communication, signage, engagement and planning. From our data sample, we determined that outreach has perceived benefits across many university forest systems. We have learned that five perceived benefits are an increase in funding, advocacy, partnerships, understanding and influence. Finally, outreach can be an effective strategy for managers to create positive relationships through community collaboration, by partnering with forest participants, government agencies, NGOs, and private businesses, in order to achieve a forest’s mission.
Alvidrez, Kelly M., "Outreach as Dialogue: Lessons from University Forests" (2022). All Theses. 3721.