College of Natural Resources Students and Gap Analysis Staff Present at George Wright Society Conference

Thursday, March 24 2011

Two natural resources students and two staff members from the National Gap Analysis Program (GAP) gained professional presentation skills and networking opportunities at the George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites held March 14-18 in New Orleans, La.

Two master’s students from the Department of Conservation Social Sciences presented their thesis research. Ariel Blotkamp presented “Day Hikers in Bear Country: A Study of Knowledge, Fear, and Protection Motivation,” based on her research at Grand Teton National Park. Andrea Davidson presented “Naturalness vs. Wildness: Visitor Support for Management Alternatives to Address Anthropogenic Changes in the Bridger Wilderness,” which replicated a foundational study conducted in the Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming in the late 1960s and extended the focus to include public opinions about management of invasive species and natural processes in wilderness.

Lisa Duarte and Mason Croft, GAP staff members, also attended. Duarte presented the results of an analysis focused on the conservation of ecological systems on federal lands. Croft presented a poster describing the importance of data produced by GAP to the management and conservation of protected areas. They also met with a representative from the United Nations Environment Program - World Conservation Monitoring Centre and representatives from the National Parks Service as well as other non-governmental agencies.