Research Social Scientist
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 Research 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.
- The application of social science data, concepts, and methods to natural resource and environmental planning and decisionmaking
- Study of visitor behavior and recreation management practices
- 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 projects included: (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
- University of Washington, Affiliate Faculty (2007 - Current)
- U.S. Forest Service, Research Social Scientists And Team Leader (2007 - Current)
- Utah State University, Faculty-Assistant/Associate Professor (1991 - 2006)
- Utah State University, Director, Insitute For Outdoor Recreation & Tourism (1991 - 2004)
- Northeastern Illinois University, Faculty-Assistant Professor (1987 - 1990)
- University of Michigan, Postdoctoral Reserach Associate, Natural Resources Sociology Reserach Lab (1985 - 1986)
- U.S. Forest Service, Sociologist-Internship (1985 - 1986)
- University of Michigan, Graduate Teaching & Reserach Assistant (1979 - 1985)
Awards & Recognition
- Chief's Honor Award, US Forest Service, 2017
Urban Waters Federal Partnership for the Green-Duwamish Watershed.
- Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, People's Choice Award, 2017
National Urban Waters Federal Partnership for the Green-Duwamish Watershed
- Nominated for Robbins Award, Utah State University, 2017
For USU Professor of the Year
- Oustanding Service Award, USU Honors Program, 2017
For teaching and advising students in the USU Honors Program.
- Presidential Faculty Excellence Award, Northeastern Illinois University, 2017
Presented to faculty member of each college who is voted by students as the best teacher.
- Science Findings Award, PNW Reserach Station, 2016
For ecosystem service research, shared with Bob Deal, Jeff Kline, Nikola Smith.
- Certificate of Merit, PNW Reserach Station, 2014
For superior performance
- Engaging Urban America, PNW Reserach Station, 2011
Station Director's award for leadership of the Green Cities Research Alliance
- Certificate of Merit, PNW Reserach Station, 2010
For work to produce the Goods, Services, and Values Program Charter.
- Certificate of Appreciation, USGS Fort Collins Science Center, 2006
For keynote and summary addresses for symposium on public land planning for OHV management.
- Distinguished Leadership Award, Society for Human Ecology, 2005
For helping organize, fund, and conduct SHE annual conference.
- Valedictorian Commencement Escort, 2004
USU College of Natural Resources valedictorian picks their most influential faculty member to lead them in commencement parade.
- Faculty Book Award, USU Honors Program, 2000
For teaching courses and advising students in the USU Honors Program.
- Teacher of the Year, USU College of Natural Resoruces, 1999
Given annually to the teacher voted by students and faculty as the best teacher.
- Outstanding Service Award, USU Honors Program, 1994
Top annual award given for teaching and advising students in the USU Honors Program.
- Valedictorian Commencement Escort, 1994
USU College of Natural Resources valedictorian picks their most influential faculty member to lead them in commencement parade.
- Behavior & Environment Award, University of Michigan, 1981
Monetary award given each year to help support one graduate student project in each department of the College of Natural Resources.
Featured Publications & Products
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Asah, Stanley T.; Blahna, Dale J. 2012. Motivational functionalism and urban conservation stewardship: implications for volunteer involvement.
- Asah, Stanley T.; Blahna, Dale J. 2020. Involving stakeholders knowledge in co-designing social valuations of biodiversity and ecosystem services: Implications for decision-making.
- Blahna, Dale J.; Cerveny, Lee K.; Williams, Daniel R.; Kline, Jeffrey D.; Helmer, Matthew ; McCool, Stephen F.; Valenzuela, Francisco . 2020. Chapter 5: Rethinking outdoor recreation to account for the diversity of human experiences and connections to public lands.
- Blahna, Dale J.; Valenzuela, Francisco ; Selin, Steven ; Cerveny, Lee K.; Schlafmann, Mike ; McCool, Stephen F. 2020. Chapter 1: The shifting outdoor recreation paradigm: Time for change.
- Blahna, Dale J.; Kline, Jeffrey D.; Williams, Daniel R.; Rogers, Karla ; Miller, Anna B.; McCool, Stephen F.; Valenzuela, Francisco . 2020. Chapter 12: Integrating social, ecological, and economic factors in sustainable recreation planning and decisionmaking.
- Blahna, Dale J.; Poe, Aaron; Brown, Courtney; Ryan, Clare M.; Gimblett, H. Randy. 2017. Social and environmental sustainability in large-scale coastal zones: Taking an issue-based approach to the implementation of the Prince William Sound sustainable human use framework.
- McDaniel, Josh ; White, Eric M.; Derrien, Monika ; Blahna, Dale . 2021. Using social media as data to better understand recreation on public lands.
- Miller, Anna B.; Cerveny, Lee K.; Derrien, Monika M.; Selin, Steven ; Blahna, Dale J. 2020. A research strategy to ignite the science of outdoor recreation on public lands.
- Selin, Steven ; Cerveny, Lee K.; Blahna, Dale J.; Milnor, Adam ; Valenzuela, Francisco ; Schlafmann, Mike . 2020. Chapter 13: Organizational change and operationalizing sustainable recreation lessons learned from two natural resource governance cases.
- Selin, Steven ; Blahna, Dale J.; Cerveny, Lee K. 2020. Chapter 14: How can collaboration contribute to sustainable recreation management.
- Cerveny, Lee K.; Selin, Steven ; Blahna, Dale J.; Meier, Noelle ; Barborak, James R.; McCool, Stephen F. 2020. Chapter 2: Agency capacity for effective outdoor recreation and tourism management.
- Sanchez, Jose J.; Cerveny, Lee K.; Blahna, Dale J.; Valenzuela, Francisco ; Schlafmann, Mike . 2020. Chapter 3: Recreation opportunities and human connections on public lands: Constraints that limit recreation participation.
- Selin, Steven ; Cerveny, Lee K.; Blahna, Dale J.; Miller, Anna B., eds. 2020. Igniting research for outdoor recreation: linking science, policy, and action.
- Derrien, Monika M.; Zuidema, Christopher ; Jovan, Sarah ; Bidwell, Amanda ; Brinkley, Weston ; López, Paulina ; Barnhill, Roseann ; Blahna, Dale J. 2020. Toward environmental justice in civic science: Youth performance and experience measuring air pollution using moss as a bio-indicator in industrial-adjacent neighborhoods.
- Ryan, C. M.; Cerveny, L. K.; Robinson, T. L.; Blahna, D. J. 2018. Implementing the 2012 forest planning rule: Best available scientific information in forest planning assessments.
- Fisher, David M.; Wood, Spencer A.; White, Eric M.; Blahna, Dale J.; Lange, Sarah ; Weinberg, Alex ; Tomco, Michael ; Lia, Emilia . 2018. Recreational use in dispersed public lands measured using social media data and on-site counts.
- Poe, Aaron J.; Brown, Courtney; Blahna, Dale; Ryan, Clare M.; Gimblett, Randy. 2018. Toward sustainable human use management in Prince William Sound: A synthesis of data and management recommendations.
- Sheppard, Jacob C.; Ryan, Clare M.; Blahna, Dale J. 2017. Evaluating ecological monitoring of civic environmental stewardship in the Green-Duwamish watershed, Washington.
- Poe, Aaron J.; Gimblett, Randy; Blahna, Dale. 2017. Learning from the sound: Introducing this place and this volume.
- McLain, R.J.; Poe, Melissa R.; Urgenson, Lauren S.; Blahna, Dale J.; Buttolph, Lita P. 2017. Urban non-timber forest products stewardship practices among foragers in Seattle, Washington (USA).
- Poe, Aaron J.; Gimblett, Randy; Blahna, Dale. 2017. What we've learned from the sound: A broader perspective on sustainable human use of wildlands.
- Ciecko, Lisa; Kimmett, David; Saunders, Jesse; Katz, Rachael; Wolf, Kathleen L.; Bazinet, Oliver; Richardson, Jeffrey; Brinkley, Weston; Blahna, Dale J. 2016. Forest Landscape Assessment Tool (FLAT): rapid assessment for land management.
- 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.
- Oliver, Marie; Deal, Robert; Smith, Nikola; Blahna, Dale; Kline, Jeff. 2016. What people value: an ecosystem services approach to managing public lands.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Endter-Wada, Joanna; Blahna, Dale J. 2011. Linkages to Public Land Framework: toward embedding humans in ecosystem analyses by using inside-out social assessment..
- Jakus, Paul M.; Keith, John E.; Liu, Lu; Blahna, Dale. 2010. The welfare effects of restricting off-highway vehicle access to public lands.
- Mekbeb, E.T.; Lilieholm, R.J.; Blahna, D.J.; Kruger, L.E., Ph.D. 2009. Resource use, dependence and vulnerability: community-resource linkages on Alaska's Tongass National Forest.
- Alm, Janet E.; Blahna, Dale J.; Chavez, Deborah J. 2008. Management assumptions and program realities: a case study of non-commercial fern gathering.
- Burr, Steven W.; Blahna, Dale J.; Reiter, Douglas K.; Butkus, Michael. 2004. The Utah Trails Initiative: Partnerships, Research, and Action.
- 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.
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