People and Parks Lab

Parks and People Research Lab

UNCW’s Parks and People Research Lab is a collaborative effort between faculty and students in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences and the Department of Environmental Sciences. We specialize in advancing community health through the development, implementation, and evaluation of recreation, education, and tourism experiences in natural environments. Our approach works side-by-side with project developers and key stakeholders to support the obtainment of short and long-term goals. Students who engage in the Parks and People Research Lab collaborate with faculty in applying best practices in research development and implementation while serving the local and global community.

Areas of Exploration

Adventure Recreation & Tourism as a Tool for Human Growth

  • Participants’ transference of recreation & tourism experiences
  • Design and management of recreation & tourism destinations
  • Inclusion of under-represented populations

Protected Area Planning and Management

  • Managing human-wildlife interactions
  • Visitor use management
  • Stakeholder engagement and constructive collaborations
  • Community resilience and engagement in conservation

Environmental and Experiential Education as Conservation Tools

  • Access to environmental education
  • Impact of experiential learning experiences