Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Community Engagement Division
In considering public participation in STEM topics, we focus on the guided “nature-based tourism” activities of whitewater rafting and its impact on the future environmentally conscious behaviors of activity participants. The role of rafting guides’ in curating a contextualized environmental outing experience is examined as well as their perceptions of their place in communicating ecological knowledge. Rafting guides are usually non-credentialed but passionate and intrinsically motivated to share their worldview and considerable experience. They have a place as citizen scientists sharing or brokering knowledge with interested participants during their outdoor activities. It is a unique way to conceptualize lifelong learning for people arguably receptive to learning in primed and structured learning situation.
Nature-based tourism does seem to play a role in increasing both the general environmental knowledge and the environment-related behavioral intentions and motivations of tourists, such as * personal choices in consumption, use, and disposal of consumer products; * social actions in policy advocacy, activism, and support; and * actions related directly to the tourist site (Ardoin et al., 2015).
Present research focuses specifically on whitewater rafting guides within the nature-based tourism industry. Prior work has largely centered around evaluating tourists and their behaviors (Powell et al., 2009), but there is a gap in the literature when it comes to more fully understanding the role of these tour leaders as informal teachers.
This study employs phenomenological semi-structured interviews to give voice to the whitewater river guides and leaders of the nature-based tourism industry, seeking their perceptions on how nature-based tourism may be used effectively to influence knowledge and behavioral change in their guests, and how nature-based tourism has affected their own knowledge and behaviors. This pilot study is scoped to whitewater rafting guides based out of [area], California.
1. Ardoin, N.M., Wheaton, M., Bowers, A.W., Hunt, C. A., & Durham, W.H. (2015). Nature-based tourism’s impact on environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behavior: A review and analysis of the literature and potential future research. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(6), 838-858.
2. Powell, R.B., Kellert, S.R., & Ham, S.H. (2009). Interactional theory and the sustainable nature-based tourism experience. Society and Natural Resources, 22(8), 761-776.
Bruhis, N., & Lande, M. (2018, June), Exploring Whitewater Rafting Guides’ Values of Learning and Teaching Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30504
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