• Evaluating interpretive programs

      Pendergrast, Donald Cameron (1998)
      In the face of budgetary shortfalls there needs to be more, not less interpretive program evaluation. Direct evaluation includes the visitor in the evaluation process. Focus groups were tested to achieve direct evaluation for three types of evaluation: front-end, formative, and summative. These tests led to a simplified focus group technique that combines the evaluation objectives, questioning schedule, data recording, analysis, and reporting into one working document resulting in a more efficient and effective method. The Synthesized Model for integrating evaluation and the program development process is presented. The model links the three types of evaluation to appropriate program development stages. It is suggested that direct evaluation with focus groups would fit the model well.
    • Mapping impacts of education for wilderness management planning

      Foster, Frederick Anthony (1998)
      Wilderness education is considered a key response to abate physical impacts caused by wilderness recreationists, but education's impacts upon the psychological values of wilderness are unknown. This investigation used a wilderness purism scale to measure how minimum impact instruction affects the intensity and quality of a student's wilderness experience and the relation of these expectations and preferences to appreciation, knowledge, and concern for the environment as a whole, i.e., environmental literacy. A wilderness purism scale, a spatial scale, and wilderness management scale measured how wilderness education affects recreationists' limits of unacceptability in wilderness conditions. Effects of wilderness education on multiple perceptions of wilderness specific to particular groups, are explained. Methods of how these can be collected, organized, and mapped using a GIS approach are demonstrated and techniques to build a wilderness experience typology are outlined. The investigation determined that environmental literacy is correlated with wilderness purism. Student's expectations and ethical perspectives toward wilderness became stronger following wilderness leadership education courses, specifically, their perceptions of wildness, experiential factors, and ethical perspectives of the wilderness experience. Educational programs increased respondents' wilderness perceptions and their desired spatial buffer distances from unacceptable conditions in wilderness. Distances from sights and sounds were found to be critical to wildemess recreationists' wilderness experience relating to sensing unacceptable conditions inside wilderness boundaries and "knowing" that unacceptable (human-made) conditions do not exist. Educators may use the findings to better design and assess their program's effectiveness. Results of the methodology could aid Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) process for wilderness planning. Wilderness managers may use the protocol to plan for the maintenance of wilderness opportunities to meet increasing demands brought about by education. Management must be prepared to protect suitable conditions for this potentially growing population. If managers zone wilderness accordingly to wilderness purism groups, they can protect vast areas from bio/physical impacts by using the processes described in this study. It is a tool for managing wilderness areas for a range of wilderness experiences which will aid in insuring protection of wildlife, ecosystem integrity, and native biodiversity.