Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Spring 2020 Seminar Series

"The Freedom to Make Mistakes": Parks, Recreation, and Tourism in the Anthropocene

Department of Human Movement Sciences, Old Dominion University

Monday, January 27, 2020
3:30 PM
Conference Center, Innovation Research Building II
4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508


The field of parks, recreation, and tourism is charged with the dual mandate of protecting natural and cultural resources while simultaneously providing for the continued enjoyment of these resources by outdoor recreationists and nature-based tourists. The Anthropocene presents additional challenges to this mandate. Guided by Aldo Leopold's The Flambeau, I review the multiple benefits of nature-based experiences for tourists, recreationists, and visitors to protected areas. Additionally, I present four broad and interrelated, social-ecological dimensions — record visitation, transboundary impacts, last-chance tourism, and volatility in governance — facing protected area managers, outdoor and environmental educators in the Anthropocene. I close by suggesting a youth agenda for parks, recreation, and tourism that continues to offer direct, primary experience in nature for youth to foster conservation caring and ecological literacy.


Dr. Chris Zajchowski is Assistant Professor of Park, Recreation, and Tourism Studies at Old Dominion University. His interdisciplinary research explores human dimensions of natural resource management, particularly in parks and protected areas which experience degraded air quality. Chris has conducted field research across diverse U.S. public lands, including but not limted to Shenandoah National Park, Uinta-Wasatch Cache National Forest, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Bonneville Salt Flats Special Recreation Management Area. Chris earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utah (2018) with a focus on air quality and visitor behavior in parks and protected areas.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

Old Dominion University Homepage CCPO
Innovation Research Park Building I
4111 Monarch Way, 3rd Floor
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23508
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