Research Social Scientist And Team Leader
My research examines several emphasis areas: (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) outdoor recreation planning and decisionmaking policies and practices (an evaluation of National Environmental Policy Act planning processes), (4) mapping uses, interests, and values for the public lands on the Olympic Peninsula, (5) using national forest permit data to estimate community-resource use linkages and to develop measures of community vulnerability and resilience in Alaska, and (6) factors that influence private landowner adoption of forest management practices that help mitigate the effects of climate change.
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.
(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.
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.
Publications & Products
- 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.
- 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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