Research Social Scientist And Team Leader
400 N. 34th St., Suite 201
Contact Dale Blahna
My research examines: (1) urban natural resources stewardship and governance in the Puget Sound area, (2) public and agency perceptions of cultural ecosystem services of the Deschutes National Forest, (3) use of ecosystem services and the forest planning rule in the forest plan revision process, and (4) plannning for sustainable human uses in Prince William Sound. I am also project lead for two PNW Station urban research partnership efforts: the Green Cities Research Alliance and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership for the Green-Duwamish Watershed. These are interdisciplinary efforts that focus on understanding the social and ecological co-benefits of trees and green infrastructure along the urban to wildland gradient in the Pacific Northwest.
My primary research interest is the application of social science data, concepts, and methods to natural resource and environmental planning and decisionmaking. I do this primarily through the study of visitor behavior and recreation management practices and the evaluation of agency land management planning, public involvement, social assessments, policies, and practices.
While I was at Utah State University (1991-2006), most of my reserach focused on recreation and the use of social science in planning for the Forest Service, BLM, National Park Service, and Utah State Parks. Some sample projects include: (1) Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument study of visitor uses, characteristics, and community expenditures, (2) Utah Rivers Study: visitor use, crowding, and preferences on eight whitewater rivers, (3) framework for estimating community-resource use linkages for National Forests in Utah, (4) Korean and Japanese visitors on the San Bernardino National Forest: Collection of nontimber forest products and their motivations and management preferences, (5) forest recreation participation and use barriers of urban ethnic minorities in Chicago, and (6) use of public involvement methods and data in national forest planning. After joining the Forest Service (2007), I worked on studies of the motivations and benefits of citizen based environmental stewardship activities and a national study of the use of recreation and other social science information in NEPA project analyses. I also led teams invovled in applying forest inventory (iTree-Eco) and health assessment tools (Forest Landscape Assessment Tool) in the Seattle area, and helped fund projects to understand urban foraging behavior in Seattle and Portland.
Why This Research is Important
Ecosystem management and sustainability requires blending data and methods from social, economic, and ecological sciences. Yet land management agencies focus much more heavily on biological and physical sciences than on important social and economic factors. This can lead to poor decisions (socially and ecologically), unnecessary levels of social conflict, and significant political fallout. My research applies concepts and methods of social science to better understand public values and uses of natural resources and evaluates processes and frameworks for integrating social, ecological, and economic factors in planning and decisionmaking.
- University of Michigan, Ph.D. Natural Resources 1985
- University of Wisconsin-Steven Point, M.S. Natural Resources 1979
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, B.A. Biological Aspects of Conservation 1976
Featured Publications & Products
- Endter-Wada, Joanna; Blahna, Dale J. 2011. Linkages To Public Land Framework: Toward Embedding Humans In Ecosystem Analyses By Using Inside-Out Social Assessment..
- Smith, Nikola; Deal, Robert; Kline, Jeff; Blahna, Dale; Patterson, Trista; Spies, Thomas A.; Bennett, Karen. 2011. Ecosystem Services As A Framework For Forest Stewardship: Deschutes National Forest Overview.
- Stern, Mac J.; Blahna, Dale J.; Cerveny, Lee K.; Mortimer, Michael J. 2009. Visions Of Success And Achievement In Recreation-Related Usda Forest Service Nepa Processes.
- Watson, Alan E.; Christensen, Neal A.; Blahna, Dale J.; Archibald, Kari S. 1998. Comparing Manager And Visitor Perceptions Of Llama Use In Wilderness.
- Blahna, Dale J. 1992. Comparing The Preferences Of Black, Asian, Hispanic, And White Fishermen At Moraine Hills State Park, Illinois.
- Alm, Janet E.; Blahna, Dale J.; Chavez, Deborah J. 2008. Management Assumptions And Program Realities: A Case Study Of Non-Commercial Fern Gathering.
- Freeman, James W.; Stern, Marc J.; Mortimer, Michael; Blahna, Dale J.; Cerveny, Lee K. 2011. Interdisciplinary Collaboration Within Project-Level Nepa Teams In The Us Forest Service.
- Svendsen, Erika S.; Campbell, Lindsay K.; Fisher, Dana R.; Connolly, James J.T.; Johnson, Michelle L.; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Locke, Dexter H.; Westphal, Lynne M.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc; Grove, Morgan; Romolini, Michele; Blahna, Dale J.; Wolf, Kathleen L. 2016. Stewardship Mapping And Assessment Project: A Framework For Understanding Community-Based Environmental Stewardship.
- Asah, Stanley T.; Lenetine, Miku M.; Blahna, Dale J. 2014. Benefits Of Urban Landscape Eco-Volunteerism: Mixed Methods Segmentation Analysis And Implications For Volunteer Retention.
- Asah, Stanley T.; Guerry, Anne D.; Blahna, Dale J.; Lawler, Joshua J. 2014. Perception, Acquisition And Use Of Ecosystem Services: Human Behavior, And Ecosystem Management And Policy Implications.
- Wolf, Kathleen L.; Blahna, Dale J.; Brinkley, Weston; Romolini, Michele. 2013. Environmental Stewardship Footprint Research: Linking Human Agency And Ecosystem Health In The Puget Sound Region.
- McLain, Rebecca; Poe, Melissa R.; Biedenweg, Kelly; Cerveny, Lee K.; Besser, Diane; Blahna, Dale J. 2013. Making Sense Of Human Ecology Mapping: An Overview Of Approaches To Integrating Socio-Spatial Data Into Environmental Planning.
- Asah, Stanley T.; Blahna, Dale J. 2013. Practical Implications Of Understanding The Influence Of Motivations On Commitment To Voluntary Urban Conservation Stewardship.
- Asah, Stanley T.; Blahna, Dale J.; Ryan, Clare M. 2012. Involving Forest Communities In Identifying And Constructing Ecosystems Services: Millennium Assessment And Place Specificity.
- Asah, Stanley T.; Blahna, Dale J. 2012. Motivational Functionalism And Urban Conservation Stewardship: Implications For Volunteer Involvement.
- Harris, Charles C.; Nielsen, Erik A.; Becker, Dennis R.; Blahna, Dale J.; McLaughlin, William J. 2012. Results Of Community Deliberation About Social Impacts Of Ecological Restoration: Comparing Public Input Of Self-Selected Versus Actively Engaged Community Members.
- Mortimer, Michael J.; Stern, Marc J.; Malmsheimer, Robert W.; Blahna, Dale J.; Cerveny, Lee K.; Seesholtz, David N. 2011. Environmental And Social Risks: Defensive National Environmental Policy Act In The Us Forest Service.
- Cerveny, Lee K.; Blahna, Dale J.; Stern, Marc J.; Mortimer, Michael J.; Freeman, James W. 2011. Forest Service Interdisciplinary Teams: Size, Composition, And Leader Characteristics.
- Cerveny, Lee K.; Blahna, Dale J.; Stern, Marc J.; Mortimer, Michael J.; Predmore, S. Andrew; Freeman, James. 2011. The Use Of Recreation Planning Tools In U.S. Forest Service Nepa Assessments.
- Jakus, Paul M.; Keith, John E.; Liu, Lu; Blahna, Dale. 2010. The Welfare Effects Of Restricting Off-Highway Vehicle Access To Public Lands.
- Burr, Steven W.; Blahna, Dale J.; Reiter, Douglas K.; Butkus, Michael. 2004. The Utah Trails Initiative: Partnerships, Research, And Action.
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The Green-Duwamish Urban Waters Federal Partnership focuses on salmon recovery and environmental justice initiatives, with the added goal of cr ...