Ashley Dayer

Ashley Dayer
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | VT · Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

PhD

About

66
Publications
22,660
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Dr. Dayer is an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. She teaches an undergraduate/graduate level course in Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and is a Global Change Center affiliated faculty member. Her research program focuses on social science applied to wildlife, particularly bird, conservation. Dr. Dayer is actively engaged in bird conservation, serving on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative Private Lands Subcommittee and Human Dimensions Subcommittee. Additionally, her Lab is home to the National Bird Conservation Social Science Coordinator – a partner-sponsored position to serve the bird conservation community in meaningful integration of social science. Dayer also sits on the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative Human Activities committee.
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
July 2013 - May 2016
Cornell University
Position
  • Conservation Social Scientist
July 2009 - May 2013
Cornell University
Position
  • Land Grant Fellow / Graduate Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (66)
Article
Full-text available
Backyard bird feeding is one of the most common ways people engage with wildlife in many parts of the world. Given its scale, it can have profound consequences for the ecology of feeder birds and their behaviour. While previous work has primarily explored socio‐demographic factors associated with bird feeding, how observations of nature at backyard...
Article
Training undergraduate fisheries and wildlife students in human dimensions (HD) can prepare them to be part of interdisciplinary teams and apply human dimensions in their careers. We assessed the state of undergraduate HD coursework in the United States for the first time since 2001. The previous survey-based study found approximately 40% of respon...
Article
As the global human population increases, and many bird populations in the Neotropics and the rest of the world continue to decline, the study of the intersection of humans, birds, and conservation has become more relevant than ever. The field of conservation social science is an interdisciplinary field that applies the social sciences and humaniti...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species, both plants and animals, are a long-standing threat to the National Parks of the United States. For nearly two decades the National Park Service has implemented a service-wide invasive plant management program without a commensurate program focusing on invasive animals. While individual park units are struggling to sufficiently ad...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity is in precipitous decline globally across both terrestrial and marine environments. Therefore, conservation actions are needed everywhere on Earth, including in the biodiversity rich landscapes and seascapes where people live and work that cover much of the planet. Integrative landscape and seascape approaches to conservation fill this...
Article
Full-text available
Disturbance to shorebirds by domestic dogs can cause direct and indirect bird mortality. Dog regulations to minimize disturbance are only effective if people comply with them. Non‐compliance is a universal problem in biodiversity conservation, with an associated body of applicable social science from the field of conservation criminology. We apply...
Article
Despite the many challenges inherent in conducting high-quality evaluations in the field of environmental education (EE), there is a growing recognition of the importance of evaluation, not only to gauge program success, but also to use evaluation results to improve programming, support organizational learning, and ensure programs are meeting the n...
Article
Contributory citizen science projects (hereafter “contributory projects”) are a powerful tool for avian conservation science. Large-scale projects such as eBird have produced data that have advanced science and contributed to many conservation applications. These projects also provide a means to engage the public in scientific data collection. A co...
Article
Full-text available
The future viability of wildlife conservation in the United States hinges on the field's ability to adapt to changing social–ecological conditions including shifting societal values and mounting pressures to engage a greater diversity of voices in decision‐making. As wildlife agencies respond to calls to broaden their relevance amid such changes, t...
Article
Public involvement in conservation is driven by several factors, including individuals’ ecological awareness, sense of connection to landscapes, and wildlife recreation participation. Efforts to increase conservation involvement would benefit from a deeper understanding of the relative strength of these factors in specific landscapes. This study ex...
Article
Owners and managers of private lands make decisions that have implications well beyond the boundaries of their land, influencing species conservation, water quality, wildfire risk, and other environmental outcomes with important societal and ecological consequences. Understanding how these decisions are made is key for informing interventions to su...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Private land comprises over half the land mass of the United States—dominating certain ecosystems and hosting large numbers of threatened and endangered species. Understanding privately owned properties is thus critically important to conservation, yet these lands remain understudied by conservation biologists. A key factor in this lack of...
Article
Although birdwatchers comprise a large and growing proportion of the American public, there is a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the birdwatching community. Previous research suggests that this homogeneity is self-perpetuating, as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) are less likely to pursue activities in which no one they know...
Article
Full-text available
Insufficient funding is a major impediment to conservation efforts around the world. In the United States, a decline in hunting participation threatens sustainability of the “user‐pay, public benefit” model that has supported wildlife conservation for nearly 100 years, forcing wildlife management agencies to contemplate alternative funding strategi...
Article
Shifting social and ecological contexts for conservation in North America have highlighted that wildlife agencies must engage with broad constituencies to achieve their missions. Responding to limitations in practitioner capacity to find, understand, and plan for engagement with a broader array of stakeholders, we developed a web-based method for s...
Article
Full-text available
The recognized gap between research and implementation in avian conservation can be overcome with translational ecology, an intentional approach in which science producers and users from multiple disciplines work collaboratively to co-develop and deliver ecological research that addresses management and conservation issues. Avian conservation natur...
Article
The recognized gap between research and implementation in avian conservation can be overcome with translational ecology, an intentional approach in which science producers and users from multiple disciplines work collaboratively to co-develop and deliver ecological research that addresses management and conservation issues. Avian conservation natur...
Article
Declining participation in hunting, especially among young adult hunters, affects the ability of state and federal agencies to achieve goals for wildlife management and decreases revenue for conservation. For wildlife agencies hoping to engage diverse audiences in hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) efforts, university settings pro...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting the environment and conservation research in fundamental ways. Many conservation social scientists are now administering survey questionnaires online, but they must do so while ensuring rigor in data collection. Further, they must address a suite of unique challenges, such as the increasing use of mo...
Article
Full-text available
Though coffee was traditionally grown as an understory crop beneath mature trees (i.e. ‘shade‐grown’ coffee), most farms have been converted to full‐sun monocultures over time, which fail to support ecosystem services or biodiversity. The conversion from shade‐ to sun‐grown coffee has prompted the development of environmentally focused certificatio...
Article
Land trusts play an important role in private land conservation and afford some level of protection to 230,000 km² of land across the United States. In this study, we explored the potential for land trusts to contribute meaningfully to bird conservation. Based on survey responses of 626 land trusts, we found substantial regional variation in conser...
Article
Effective public engagement is necessary to reverse the decline of global shorebird populations. Despite recognition of the importance of social science for achieving conservation outcomes, there is limited social science research informing shorebird conservation communications. Strategic communication techniques exist that could support the shoreb...
Article
Recreation specialization is a framework that can be used to explain the variation among outdoor recreationists’ preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. Recreation specialization has been operationalized using several approaches, including summative indices, cluster analysis, and self-classification categorical measures. Although these approaches me...
Article
Conservation efforts are shaped by individual and collective human behaviors, cultural norms and values, economic pressures, and political and organizational structures. As such, the conservation social sciences—disciplines that draw on social science theories and approaches to improve conservation efforts—can play a vital role in advancing the sci...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation efforts are shaped by individual and collective human behaviors, cultural norms and values, economic pressures, and political and organizational structures. As such, the conservation social sciences—disciplines that draw on social science theories and approaches to improve conservation efforts—can play a vital role in advancing the sci...
Preprint
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting the environment and conservation research in fundamental ways. For conservation social scientists, the pandemic has necessitated swift changes to research methods, including shifting away from in-person data collection. Social survey data are key to integrating perspectives and knowledge from a varie...
Article
Full-text available
The temperate grasslands of North America remain one of the most modified and threatened ecosystems on the planet. In the United States, the conservation of grassland‐dependent wildlife continues to be challenged by the widespread conversion of privately owned grasslands to cropland. Recent analyses indicate that land exiting the Conservation Reser...
Article
Full-text available
Flood irrigation on western rangelands is important for diverse social and ecological reasons, providing forage for many agricultural operations and maintaining many critical wetlands across the region. However, recent debate over the efficiency of flood irrigation and resulting transition to other “more efficient” types of irrigation has put many...
Article
Full-text available
Shorebird researchers and land managers recognize human disturbance as a serious threat facing shorebirds. Yet, a common understanding of what defines human disturbance is lacking. To address this issue, we employed the Delphi technique, an iterative consensus-building social science method, to bring scientists and managers together to develop a sh...
Article
Participatory approaches to natural resource research have become increasingly popular, ensuring local knowledge is incorporated into conservation decisions while also benefitting community members. Understanding if and how different methods achieve participatory research goals is important and lacking. In this study, we investigated how one approa...
Article
Full-text available
Outdoor recreation facilitates important connections to nature and wildlife, but it is perceived differently across population segments. As such, we expected that socio-demographic characteristics of individuals would influence intention to participate in outdoor recreation. We solicited 5,000 U.S. residents (n = 1,030, 23% response rate) to descri...
Article
Full-text available
Facilitating voluntary conservation on private lands is a crucial element of policies that seek to mitigate forest habitat loss and fragmentation around the world. Previous research emphasizes the role of social factors (e.g., landowner characteristics, economics) in forest management, but environmental outcomes of past management can also affect l...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental conservation actions conducted by private landowners are critically important for conservation efforts worldwide. Incentive programs are used to engage landowners in voluntary conservation, but outcomes after landowners exit these programs are poorly understood. Previous research identified several pathways, including landowner motiva...
Article
Full-text available
Sustained management efforts by private landowners are crucial for the long-term success of private land natural resource conservation and related environmental benefits. Landowner outreach is a primary means of recruiting private landowners into voluntary conservation incentive programs, and could also help sustain conservation behaviors through t...
Data
Primary telephone survey questionnaire. (DOCX)
Article
The human aspects of conservation are often overlooked but will be critical for identifying strategies for biological conservation in the face of climate change. We surveyed the behavioral intentions of coastal landowners with respect to various conservation strategies aimed at facilitating ecosystem migration for tidal marshes. We found that sever...
Article
Recent literature has urged the conservation science community to distinguish between human–wildlife and human–human conflict. Mislabelling conflicts is thought to constrain problem definition and hinder appropriate solutions. New to this discussion, we studied how the media is framing conflict. The focus of our research was conflict surrounding co...
Article
Full-text available
Voluntary incentive programs are a keystone policy tool for increasing private landowner conservation behavior. Although landowner participation in conservation incentive programs is well studied, limited empirical research has focused on whether and why landowners continue to conduct conservation practices on their land after payments end, which w...
Article
Full-text available
In 2010, land trusts in the U.S. had protected nearly 50 million acres of land, with much of it providing habitat for wildlife. However, the extent to which land trusts explicitly focus on wildlife conservation remains largely unknown. We used content analysis to assess land trust involvement in wildlife and habitat conservation, as reflected in th...
Article
Limited funds for wildlife conservation require difficult choices about allocation of resources. One consideration is public preferences. While traditional attitudinal approaches can provide information about preferences for conservation efforts aimed at individual species, stated choice models offer a more suitable approach for exploring the compl...
Article
Full-text available
Ensuring that conservation decisions are informed by the best available data is a fundamental challenge in the face of rapid global environmental change. Too often, new science is not easily or quickly translated into conservation action. Traditional approaches to data collection and science delivery may be both inefficient and insufficient, as con...
Article
Full-text available
Early successional forest habitat (ESH) and associated wildlife species in the northeastern United States are in decline. One way to help create early successional forest conditions is engaging private forest landowners in even-aged forest management because their limited participation may have contributed to declines in ESH for wildlife species of...
Article
Full-text available
There is a widely held assumption that outdoor experiences are a key precursor to pro-environmental behavior (PEB). We tested the hypothesis that wildlife recreationists are more likely than non-recreationists to voluntarily engage in different types of PEB, grouped as conservation behaviors and environmental lifestyle behaviors. Via mail and web-b...
Article
Full-text available
Landowner typologies help researchers and practitioners understand similarities and differences among landowners, allowing more targeted education and communications. These typologies have rarely been rigorously assessed before recommended for use. We assessed three typologies created with one data set using three methods: reliability through split...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife organizations often engage landowners in habitat management. Landowner typology research can provide suggestions for how to work with diverse types of landowners. We explored how typologies can inform selection of tools to engage landowners in early successional habitat (ESH) management. Using a survey, effectiveness of three kinds of tool...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Early successional forest habitats and species reliant on this habitat are in decline in New York State and throughout the Northeast. Shrublands and early successional forest habitats (ESH) can be defined as those sites with persistent shrubs or seedling to sapling-sized trees that are typically a response to some form of disturbance (Litvaitis, 20...
Article
Full-text available
This article develops an approach for exploring the social and cultural aspects of human–wildlife conflict in a global context. The proposed micro-macro level model integrates the cognitive hierarchy theory of human behavior and materialist theory of culture. This model guides research of human behavior in these situations and yields information th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation "Our three nations of Canada, Mexico, and the continental United States are home to more than 1,150 species of birds, including 882 native landbird species. Conserving our shared birds will require a continental, and ultimately hemispheric, perspective and a commitment to internationa...
Article
Full-text available
The need for cross-cultural research to better understand the relationships between humans and wildlife was one of the driving factors in the instigation of the Wildlife Values Globally project. A fundamental challenge in fulfilling this need is developing appropriate methods that can elicit thoughts about wildlife from people in a variety of cultu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The primary purpose of this study was to determine wildlife value orientations among publics in the western United States and to identify factors influencing the presence of these orientations. Additional objectives were to determine public attitudes toward population-level management techniques, alternative funding and programming approaches, publ...
Article
Full-text available
Bird banding education programs are growing in number throughout North America. Past research reveals that many of these bird banding education programs share the primary goals of edu-cating about conservation, inspiring bird appreciation, and demonstrating the link between science and conservation. However, there has been limited evaluation of the...
Article
Using evaluation research in a practical application can help strengthen natural resource organizations in meeting their mission and goals. This paper demonstrates how to incorporate evaluation research and its concepts into practice. Evaluation research planning, implementation, and incorporation of results can help strengthen conservation educati...
Article
Thesis (M.S.)--Colorado State University, 2006. Includes bibliographical references.

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