Social and ecological health: Leave No Trace Science

B. Derrick Taff

Pennsylvania State University

Derrick Taff, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management at Penn State. His research focuses upon communication as it pertains to visitor-use management, human behaviors, and social and ecological wellbeing in parks and protected areas. He is currently researching communication as it pertains to perceptions and behaviors regarding Leave No Trace in Rocky Mountain National Park, City of Boulder Colorado Open Space and Mountain Parks, Pennsylvania State Forests, and at Shaver’s Creek Outdoor School; examining social and ecological wellbeing through the Healthy Parks Healthy People Program in Gettysburg and Catoctin Mountain National Parks; exploring the role of nature-based recreation with military veteran populations; collaborating with recreation ecologists to examine use and monitor ecological heath in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument; and working with other social scientists and ecologists examining coupled human-natural systems through a National Science Foundation-funded soundscapes project at Muir Woods National Monument and Grand Teton National Park. Finally, I serve as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership.


Balancing resource protection with the provision of quality recreational opportunities is an ongoing challenge for protected area managers. Visitor use can negatively impact ecological wellbeing and visitor experience. In... [ view full abstract ]


  1. B. Derrick Taff (Pennsylvania State University)
  2. Forrest Schwartz (Pennsylvania State University)
  3. Ben Lawhon (Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics)
  4. Peter Newman (Pennsylvania State University)

Topic Areas

Topics: Social and Environmental Dimensions of Tourism , Topics: Protected Area Tourism , Topics: Health and Wellness Tourism


OS-C1 » Parks: Soundscapes and Tranquility (14:30 - Monday, 3rd October, Tavolara Room, Santa Chiara Complex)

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