The Average Visitor

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11 posts · 9,537 views

The content of my blog focuses on recreation related research. Specifically research that occurs in National Parks and other protected areas. Many of the research topics are related to recreation ecology, social studies examining recreational activities or recreationists, and interdisciplinary studies in recreation.

Ashley D
11 posts

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  • December 19, 2013
  • 10:44 PM
  • 206 views

Social Media and Recreation Research

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Have you ever posted photos from a vacation to Flickr? Did you happen to geotag your photos? If so, then your vacation photos may have been part of a study that was recently published in Scientific Reports (an open access … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 7, 2013
  • 01:42 PM
  • 179 views

Oversimplification in Recreation Ecology? (Alternative title: ecologists care about recreation ecology!)

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Given that recreation ecology is an emerging field of study, the journals that we publish in – while good and important journals – do not usually have the highest impact factor or are the most widely read.  However, that may … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 6, 2013
  • 09:07 PM
  • 229 views

What triggers visitors to leave the designated trail?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

It’s spring in Utah!  I can still see snow in the mountains but my yard is looking lush and green. I am enjoying the rain while I can; I know that once summer rolls around these steady rain storms will … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 5, 2012
  • 10:53 PM
  • 276 views

Recreation Ecology Around the World: Part 1 – East Asia

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Yep, I have not posted in over a month. Whoops!  I feel like this is my busiest semester to date and what little free time I have has been devoted to trying to finish the A Song of Ice and Fire … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 13, 2012
  • 05:21 PM
  • 445 views

Does off-trail hiking affect elk?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Much of the work that I do is concerned about the impacts of off-trail hiking.  Specifically, I am most interested in impacts to vegetation and soil. However, when visitors leave the designated trail they have the potential to impact more … Continue reading →... Read more »

B.H. Becker, C.M. Moi, T.J. Maguire, R. Atkinson, & N.B. Gates. (2012) Effects of hikers and boats on tule elk behavior in a national park wilderness area. Human-Wildlife Interactions, 6(1). info:/

  • April 9, 2012
  • 07:51 PM
  • 604 views

Can Hiking Trail Disturbance Benefit Rare Species?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Now that I have been trained in recreation ecology, I am super sensitive to people hiking off-trail . Hiking with me can be no fun; if I see so much as a boot toe slip off the designated trail and hit … Continue reading →... Read more »

Paul M. Catling, & Brenda Kostiuk. (2012) Come Wild Canadian Orchids Benefit from Woodland Hiking Trails - and the Implications. The Canadian Field-Naturalist. info:/

  • February 15, 2012
  • 01:15 PM
  • 737 views

Does mountain biking always cause more impact?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Mountain biking is generally considered a recreational activity that causes more impact to the environment than non-mechanized activities like hiking. Mountain biking has become a very popular outdoor recreation activity in the United States and it’s popularity is increasing across the globe as well. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 13, 2011
  • 01:32 PM
  • 4,266 views

Ignored Invertebrates

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Most recreation ecology studies focus their efforts on how recreation may impact vertebrates or, most often, plants. Up until now, invertebrates were pretty much ignored in the field. However, the latest issue of Entomological Review contains an article by two Russian … Continue reading →... Read more »

V.F. Khabibullin, & A.F. Khabibullin. (2011) Mechanical Aspect of Recreation Load and Defensive Behavioral Strategies in Grass-Dwelling Insects . Entomological Review, 91(8). info:/

  • October 31, 2011
  • 03:03 PM
  • 714 views

Are women “afraid” to give birth on Halloween?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Happy Halloween! Halloween is associated with ghouls, death, witches, zombies, and all sorts of other “negative” images.  Although most Americans enjoy celebrating Halloween, it has a stereotype of being the creepiest and darkest of US holidays.  One might say that Valentine’s Day … Continue reading →... Read more »

Levy BR, Chung PH, & Slade MD. (2011) Influence of Valentine's Day and Halloween on Birth Timing. Social science , 73(8), 1246-8. PMID: 21880409  

  • October 18, 2011
  • 09:30 AM
  • 925 views

Does technology make people take more risks in wilderness?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Technology in wilderness areas is increasing. Does having technology influence how people perceive risk and rescue while recreating in the wilderness?... Read more »

Kristen Pope, & Steven R. Martin. (2011) Visitor Perceptions of Technology, Risk, and Rescue in Wilderness. International Journal of Wilderness, 17(2). info:/

  • October 6, 2011
  • 12:27 AM
  • 956 views

Does recreation impact birds?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

The impacts of non-motorized recreation on wildlife is a topic that is grossly understudied in the field of recreation ecology. However, of all wildlife species that can be influenced by non-motorized recreational activities, the most studied group (which is not saying … Continue reading →... Read more »

Steven, R., Pickering, C., & Guy Castley, J. (2011) A review of the impacts of nature based recreation on birds. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(10), 2287-2294. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.05.005  

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