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ERIC Number: ED554871
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 203
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-3173-8
Formative Life Experiences and the Recruitment of Natural Resource Conservation Professionals
Jackson, Marc
ProQuest LLC, D.M. Dissertation, University of Phoenix
Recruiting young people to serve as future leaders is a major concern for many organizations involved in natural resource conservation. One of the primary reasons for this concern is that youth are becoming less connected to the natural world because of the synergistic effects of urbanization, electronic media, and reduced opportunities to explore the outdoors. A qualitative, phenomenological study was conducted to explore the experiences of participants who applied for the Youth Conservation Corps program at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery. The central research question that guided this qualitative, phenomenological research study is "What are the formative life experiences of youth aged 15-19 that influenced them to pursue natural resource conservation jobs?" These data were analyzed to explore formative life experiences as they related to the outdoors, knowledge of environmental issues, methods of learning about natural resource conservation, and the factors that influenced the participants to apply for the Youth Conservation Corps program. The study used Moustakas' (1994) modified van Kaam's method of analyzing phenomenological data and NVIVO 9 to analyze the transcribed data from each study participant. The data analysis revealed five emerging themes. Formative outdoor and nature related experiences occur most often with family in the form of outdoor recreational activities, and family members are a positive influence concerning nature and the environment. A concern about exploitation and preservation of natural resources influences a desire to learn about and participate in natural resource conservation. Although none of the participants had participated in formal environmental education courses, all believed there should be both formal education in schools and informal education outside school to increase awareness and participation in conservation activities. Participants believed that not enough action has been taken to protect the environment and can suggest ways that it could better be protected. Participants applied for the Youth Conservation Corps program at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery because they wanted to learn about nature, gain experience, and work outdoors. As leadership in conservation organizations develops unique approaches to recruit and retain young people, these themes may significantly aid in addressing that challenge. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Dakota