Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Amanda Carrico

Second Advisor

Paul Lander

Third Advisor

Dale Miller

Fourth Advisor

N/A

Fifth Advisor

N/A

Abstract

My senior thesis research project seeks to successfully identify the origins of a unique culture of conservation in the Squam Lakes Watershed community. This project involves identifying the effects of that culture and examining how those effects influences pro-environmental behavior, with special concern for conservation actions. The objective in identifying those variables is to better inform professionals, policy makers, and local governments on how best to address changing negative environmental behavior and culture in their own communities to better cope with sustainability, conservation, and climate change dilemmas. The results of this project were obtained through qualitative research based in ethnography. I conducted semi-structured interviews to better understand the community, their culture, and pro-environmental behaviors. The results suggest the creation of a community conservation ethic or ethos, social values and pressure, community development, existing wealth, and family relationships are key to creating a culture of conservation in a similarly sized community. Recommendations for professionals, policy makers, and local governments include the development of a conservation action plan, a holistic conservation organization, educational and recreation programs, as well as a social forum surrounding the conservation organization.

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