University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Poster Gallery



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Creation Date

Spring 3-26-2015


Master of Science in Recreation and Park Administration


Recreation and Park Administration




Michael J. Bradley

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


How humans treat the environment is an important aspect of outdoor recreation, as people continue their use of and in the natural environment. Research has shown higher levels of environmental ethics (“pro-environmental”) is related to increased appreciation of the natural environment (Ewart, Place, & Sibthorp, 2005), increased self-regulation behavior (Degenhardt & Buchecker, 2012), and a variety of other benefits.

In this research project, it is the goal of the researchers to assess and identify state park visitor’s levels of environmental ethics in western Kentucky. The state park research site was Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. Survey administrators contacted adult visitors for face-to-face interviews as they completed a “recreation visit,” emulating an exit survey of the recreation visitors. The data was compiled and analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).

Using a survey containing common demographic variables and fifteen Likert-style environmental ethics statements (Dunlap, 2008), survey participants were asked to rate their agreement of each environmental ethic statement, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The response rate was 83.7% (N=77) with a mean score for the environmental ethic statements of 3.1. Analysis suggests respondents in Western Kentucky are not pro-environmental, according to this exploratory study.

Results may indicate a possible lack of knowledge or concern regarding environmental ethics. It is possible that this could be due to the lack of available educational materials or appropriate environmental ethics training. The results of this research highlight the need for an increased environmental ethics awareness campaign in Kentucky.