Carena J. Van Riper

Carena J. Van Riper
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | UIUC · Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

PhD

About

100
Publications
31,529
Reads
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1,866
Citations
Introduction
I am an environmental social scientist focused on advancing knowledge of human behavior related to the sustainability of social-ecological systems. I am particularly interested in studying how values change and shape the reasons why people make decisions about the environment. My lab at UIUC conducts interdisciplinary and theoretically informed research to provide government agencies and community partners with the tools necessary to incorporate public viewpoints into decision-making.
Additional affiliations
August 2009 - May 2014
Texas A&M University
Position
  • PhD Student
August 2007 - May 2009
University of Vermont
Position
  • Master's Student
August 2006 - May 2007
Arizona State University
Position
  • B.A. Student

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Full-text available
The social-ecological systems framework has guided investigations of complex interactions among ecosystems, society, and economies. In recent years, academics and practitioners have taken steps to strengthen this framework by calling for more systematic engagement with the cognitive and affective bases of human behavior. We suggest research that en...
Article
Theoretical advances in research on the antecedents of human behavior have offered promising explanations for why people choose to undertake environmentally friendly action. This investigation provides further insight on the psychological processes driving self-reported behavioral engagement among visitors to Channel Islands National Park in the Un...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem-services scholarship has largely focused on monetary valuation and the material contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. Increasingly, research is calling for a deeper understanding of how less tangible, nonmaterial values shape management and stakeholder decisions. We propose a framework that characterizes a suite of sociocultura...
Article
Sense of place provides a strategy to identify qualities of landscape change in rural areas undergoing urban development, yet a scale to assess such qualities has not been developed. Research on place meanings tends to draw from either an interpretivist or positivist approach but does not integrate them. This research integrates the two approaches...
Article
Full-text available
Agroecosystems in the Midwestern United States are undergoing changes that pressure farmers to adapt their farming practices. Because farmers decide what practices to implement on their land, there are needs to understand how they adapt to competing demands of changes in global markets, technology, farm sizes, and decreasing rural populations. Incr...
Article
Full-text available
How scientists communicate can influence public viewpoints on invasive species. In the scientific literature , some invasion biologists adopt neutral language, while others use more loaded language, for example by emphasizing the devastating impacts of invasive species and outlining consequences for policy and practice. An evaluation of the use of...
Article
Since the end of the second World War, the landscapes of the U.S. Corn Belt have increasingly been dominated by large-scale, industrialized agricultural production. Although not without its benefits, industrial agriculture has been shown to be detrimental to the social and ecological fabric of rural communities and beyond. In response, state and fe...
Article
Decision-making processes to ensure sustainability of complex agro-ecosystems must simultaneously accommodate production goals, environmental soundness, and social relevancy. This means that besides environmental indicators and human activities, stakeholders' perceptions need to be considered in the decision-making process to enable the adoption of...
Article
Full-text available
The draft Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework commits to achievement of equity and justice outcomes and represents a “relational turn” in how we understand inclusive conservation. Although “inclusivity” is drawn on as a means to engage diverse stakeholders, widening the framing of inclusivity can create new tensions with regard to how to manage...
Preprint
Understanding the transactions that occur between humans and their environments requires research focused on phenomena that explain behavioral patterns, particularly values that serve as guiding principles in life. Mounting evidence has suggested that pro-environmental behavior is motivated by the long-term goal of living a meaningful life, as refl...
Article
Full-text available
1. The success of conservation initiatives often depends on the inclusion of diverse stakeholder interests in the decision-making process. Yet, there is a paucity of empirical knowledge concerning the factors that explain why stakeholders door do not-believe that they are meaningfully represented by government agencies. 2. Our study provides insi...
Article
A rich body of empirical research has posited the emotional concepts of pride and guilt are psychological forces that affect pro-environmental behavior, yet there is conflicting evidence about how each shapes pro-environmental behavior. We report on results from the first meta-analysis that has evaluated the associations of pride and guilt in relat...
Article
Understanding the relationships among social psychological drivers of pro-environmental behavior has been the focus of a long-standing body of research aimed at minimizing human impacts on the environment. Within public land management contexts, empirical evidence has suggested that place-based motivations and normative beliefs explain why people i...
Article
The behavioral patterns of recreational anglers are an increasingly common focus of fishery management agencies, particularly due to the unintentional spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Previous research in this area has focused on understanding stakeholder awareness, use patterns, and beliefs. Although informative, these drivers of behavior...
Article
Many cities have addressed urban population shrinkage by adopting strategies to re-purpose vacant lots in ways that leave them beautified and groomed. This study investigates leisure behavior resulting in beautified and groomed vacant lots that resist dominant discourses – referred to as green leisure. We applied a mixed-methods research design wit...
Article
Surveys of a general population have been a mainstay of leisure and recreation research methods. This study assesses the impact of two different pre-incentives on eliciting a survey response. Two counties with large federal prairie restoration projects and active municipal and county park districts were the study sites. Results show that residents...
Article
Values are the fundamental reasons why people engage in conservation behaviors. Recent research has called for a more refined approach to studying values in a way that accounts for the concept of eudaimonia. However, the empirical properties for a eudaimonic value scale have not been tested given that previous investigations have remained at the th...
Article
Full-text available
Most protected areas are managed based on objectives related to scientific ecological knowledge of species and ecosystems. However, a core principle of sustainability science is that understanding and including local ecological knowledge, perceptions of ecosystem service provision and landscape vulnerability will improve sustainability and resilien...
Article
Discrete choice experiments are playing an increasingly important role in environmental valuation given their potential to characterize the implicit tradeoffs that stakeholders are willing to make among competing future conditions. Yet, most choice models focus on specific populations and policy issues rather than examining landscape-level preferen...
Article
Understanding the myriad reasons why people value protected areas provides insight on how to align the decisions made by public land management agencies with diverse stakeholder interests. This study drew on survey data collected within the context of Denali National Park and Preserve to better understand the spatial dynamics of social values repor...
Article
Non-native grasses used as forage for domestic livestock can negatively impact ecosystem services provided by grasslands. In the U.S., most grazed grasslands are privately owned so the introduction and reduction of non-native grasses are both driven by landowner behavior. Yet, the social factors that shape non-native grass management are rarely exp...
Article
Knowledge of the relationships among psychological constructs such as values and motivations that influence proenvironmental behavior provides public land management agencies with guidance on how to minimize stakeholder impacts on the environment. A rich body of research has demonstrated that values form a tripartite structure underlying environmen...
Article
Ecological restoration projects in nature preserves are most likely to be effective when those holding different roles within park agencies share information in a complete and timely manner. However, when the information contains sensitive material the transfer of knowledge can become difficult. Anytime sensitive information on topics such as endan...
Article
Sustaining agricultural environments requires explicit recognition of the services provided by landscapes, particularly cultural ecosystem services that are contested and underrepresented in previous research. We assembled and engaged a panel of experts to identify and deliberate on the relationships among ecosystem services, threats and land manag...
Article
Sustaining agricultural environments requires explicit recognition of the services provided by landscapes, particularly cultural ecosystem services that are contested and underrepresented in previous research. We assembled and engaged a panel of experts to identify and deliberate on the relationships among ecosystem services , threats and land mana...
Article
An understanding of private landowner's perceptions can guide decisions about conservation in rural landscapes. However, mailed surveys that evaluate landowner views are increasingly plagued by falling response rates and nonresponse bias. Using survey data from research conducted in the Midwestern United States in 2007 and 2017, we adapted a framew...
Article
Full-text available
This study identifies and analyses the underlying assumptions of experts involved in the first author meeting (FAM) of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)’s Values Assessment, and how they shape understandings of the multiple values of nature. We draw from survey data collected from 94 expert...
Article
Full-text available
Nature exposure in virtual reality (VR) can provide emotional well-being benefits for people who cannot access the outdoors. Little is known about how these simulated experiences compare with real outdoor experiences. We conduct an experiment with healthy undergraduate students that tests the effects of six minutes of outdoor nature exposure with s...
Article
Full-text available
Human behavior is influenced by an array of psychological processes such as environmental values. Despite the importance of understanding the reasons why people engage in activities that minimize environmental degradation, empirical research rarely integrates different types of values simultaneously to provide more complete and multi-faceted insigh...
Article
Full-text available
This paper concludes a special feature of Sustainability Science that explores a broad range of social value theoretical traditions , such as religious studies, social psychology, indigenous knowledge, economics, sociology, and philosophy. We introduce a novel transdisciplinary conceptual framework that revolves around concepts of 'lenses' and 'ten...
Article
Full-text available
The role of social learning in deliberative processes is an emerging area of research in sustainability science. Functioning as a link between the individual and the collective, social learning has been envisioned as a process that can empower and give voice to a diverse set of stakeholder viewpoints, contribute to more adaptive and resilient manag...
Article
Full-text available
This paper concludes a special feature of Sustainability Science that explores a broad range of social value theoretical traditions, such as religious studies, social psychology, indigenous knowledge, economics, sociology, and philosophy. We introduce a novel transdisciplinary conceptual framework that revolves around concepts of ‘lenses’ and ‘tens...
Article
Full-text available
This special feature provides an impression of the plurality of social values for sustainability, taking into account theoretical traditions within mainstream and heterodox economics; positive, social and environmental psychology; human geography; anthropology; sociology; religious and indigenous studies and business management. Papers in this issu...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper concludes a special feature of Sustainability Science that explores a broad range of social value theoretical traditions, such as religious studies, social psychology, indigenous knowledge, economics, sociology, and philosophy. We introduce the concepts of 'lenses' and 'tensions' to help navigate value diversity. First, we consider the n...
Article
Increasing the capacity of communities on the rural-urban fringe to accommodate sustainable growth is a key concern among resource management agencies. Decisions about the future of these landscapes involve difficult tradeoffs that underscore the importance of incorporating diverse stakeholder values and preferences into planning efforts. We assess...
Article
Spatially explicit models for conservation planning often rely on environmental and economic indicators to prioritize management decisions. Consideration of social values in relation to landscape metrics is less common, especially across different biophysical contexts. In this paper, we compare social values mapped by outdoor recreationists who vis...
Article
This paper examined how the ecosystem services (ES) concept was employed as a tool for stakeholders from different social and professional worlds to deliberate about the management of Natura 2000 areas in Poland. Drawing from Framing Theory and discourse analysis, we analyzed public documents that were generated over a five-year period. We observed...
Article
Urban vacancy is a pressing issue in many cities across the U.S. and globally. A variety of greening strategies have been proposed and implemented for repurposing vacant lots, and their success depends upon the extent to which greening goals address the social needs of residents. The primary contribution of this paper is to explore the relationship...
Article
This paper concludes a special feature of Sustainability Science that explores a broad range of social value theoretical traditions, including religious studies, social psychology, indigenous knowledge, economics, sociology, and philosophy. We introduce the concepts of ‘lenses’ and ‘tensions’ to help navigate value diversity. First, we consider the...
Article
Full-text available
Human behaviors that contribute to the spread of aquatic invasive species are influenced by myriad social psychological factors that vary across contexts and populations. Understanding such behavior is crucial for forming successful management strategies that minimize environmental impacts while generating support and cooperation among stakeholders...
Article
This paper evaluates a model of the antecedents of place attachment reported by outdoor recreationists engaged in consumptive and non-consumptive activities. Using data collected from visitors to Hinchinbrook Island National Park, Australia, we hypothesized that reported levels of attachment would be shaped by concerns about a protected area settin...
Article
Landscapes on the rural–urban fringe are experiencing rapid change. Along with agriculture, additional fronts of landscape change are related to suburbanization, conservation, and tourism. Building a framework related to heritage narratives, this study analyzes stories told by stakeholders to make sense of landscape change and influence their persp...
Article
Understanding human movement and behavior in parks and protected areas is an integral part of managing social-ecological systems. In particular, spatial travel patterns of recreationists and their impacts on ecosystems have been studied in many protected area contexts. However, there is limited knowledge of recreation behavior in areas with little...
Article
Full-text available
The sustainability of recreational fisheries are, in part, dependent on anglers acting as stewards of the resource. However, the psychological attributes that underpin anglers’ adoption of voluntarily stewardship behaviors remain largely unknown. In this study, we test a model of the factors that influence stewardship in the recreational fisheries...
Article
Full-text available
The ecosystem services (ES) framework has potential to bring transdisciplinary teams together to achieve societal goals. Some label ES as “boundary objects” that help integrate diverse forms of knowledge across social groups and organizational scales. However, this classification masks complexities that arise from unique characteristics of ES types...
Article
Physical inactivity lies at the heart of the public health crisis in the United States (U.S.). Research on the factors that contribute to inactivity is vast and growing; however, most of this work focuses on individual rather than community-level dynamics such as socio-economics, access to resources, and features of the physical environment. Moreov...
Technical Report
Full-text available
• This study evaluated the values, behaviors, and on-ground travel patterns of visitors to Denali in the high use season of 2016. Survey and participatory mapping data were collected from the general population of visitors (N=667, 90.6% response rate) and GPS tracks were collected from backcountry users in the park (N=313). • The survey respondent...
Article
Full-text available
Management of aquatic invasive species (AIS) is widely recognized as a global conservation concern driven by myriad factors, particularly individual behaviors. A burgeoning literature focused on the human dimensions of AIS has begun to provide insight into the complexities of behavior change; however, most studies are bound to specific geographic l...
Article
Full-text available
Existing frameworks for analysing interactions between social and natural systems (e.g. Social-Ecological Systems framework, Ecosystem Services concept) do not sufficiently consider and operationalize the dynamic interactions between people's values, attitudes and understandings of the human-nature relationship at both individual and collective lev...
Article
The effects of gender on involvement in high-risk recreation have received limited research attention despite mounting evidence suggesting the learned interactions between people and places likely vary for men and women. The purpose of this study was to provide insights into how gender influenced the motivation-involvement relationship among whitew...
Article
Ecosystem-services scholarship has largely focused on monetary valuation and the material contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. Increasingly, research is calling for a deeper understanding of how less tangible, nonmaterial values shape management and stakeholder decisions. We propose a framework that characterizes a suite of sociocultura...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The NPS and NGS have been co-sponsoring a large-scale BioBlitz in a park near a large urban area annually since 2006. These BioBlitzes are compressed 24-hour events where teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The NPS and NGS have been co-sponsoring a large-scale BioBlitz in a park near a large urban area annually since 2006. These BioBlitzes are compressed 24-hour events where teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, an...
Article
We empirically tested relationships among the characteristics of trustworthiness, trust instilled in river guides, and risks perceived by whitewater recreationists that rafted a Wild and Scenic River in the Southern Sierra Nevada, CA. Drawing on a social exchange framework, we used survey data to address the following objectives: (1) investigate th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Successfully promoting and encouraging the adoption of environmental stewardship behavior is an important responsibility for public land management agencies. Although people increasingly report high levels of concern about environmental issues, widespread patterns of stewardship behavior have not followed suit (Moore 2002). One concept that can be...
Article
We empirically tested relationships among the characteristics of trustworthiness, trust instilled in river guides, and risks perceived by whitewater recreationists that rafted a Wild and Scenic River in the Southern Sierra Nevada, CA. Drawing on a social exchange framework, we used survey data to address the following objectives: 1) investigate thr...
Article
This article bridges managers’ place meanings and environmental governance to provide insight on the factors that shape decisions concerning the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park. Drawing on a thematic analysis and open coding of data from 34 semistructured interviews, we investigated the perspectives of managers from three agencies charged with...