Date of Award

Summer 7-1-2015

Document Type

Masters Plan B

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Science & Mathematics Teaching Center

Advisor

Ana Houseal, Chair

Second Advisor

Joy Johnson, Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Courtney Carlson, Member

Fourth Advisor

Doug Wachob, Outside Member

Abstract

Pura Vida is a program that aims to address the National Park Service vision to enhance stewardship and engagement by connecting Latino youth to Grand Teton National Park (GTNP). This study explores the impact of Pura Vida on participant environmental behavior and engagement in GTNP. A review of the literature indicates that there is a gap in current research connecting environmental behavior and youth engagement within a sociocultural context. Qualitative and quantitative data was gathered to enhance understanding of how and why Pura Vida has had an impact on participants. The data suggest that participants in this group demonstrated positive environmental behavior and enhanced engagement in Grand Teton National Park as a result of their participation in Pura Vida. This research is intended to provide the three institutes associated with Pura Vida, a) Teton Science Schools b) GTNP and c) Grand Teton National Park Foundation, with a resource to assess programmatic outcomes and future evaluations. In addition, the study provides the NPS with recommendations for potential pathways for building the community of diverse groups within national parks.

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