Framing the Gap: An Examination of the Self-Efficacy, Public Outreach, and the Professional Development Needs of Wildlife Professionals
AuthorFoerster, Taylor Ann
AdvisorMars, Matthew M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractManagement and prevention of human-wildlife conflicts constitutes a substantial challenge for wildlife agencies. There has been vast amounts of research relating to risk perception, attitudes, beliefs, educational programs, and communication campaigns in regard to human-wildlife conflict. However, research focused on the public education and communication skills and techniques of wildlife professionals themselves is scant. The need for such skills and knowledge is critical, as wildlife professionals are often charged with the dissemination of important information pertaining to wildlife-human conflict prevention and management. The purpose of the study is twofold. The first goal is to develop new insights into the professional development needs of wildlife professionals specific to communicating with the public about human-wildlife conflict. The second goal is to use these insights to generate recommendations for future professional development initiatives and resources specific to public education and communication that are directly responsive to the perspectives and needs of wildlife professionals. This research focused on wildlife professionals in Arizona (AZ), Colorado (CO), New Mexico (NM), and Utah (UT) that conduct work relating to public education and communication within the context of human-wildlife conflict. Self-efficacy, which refers to the relationship between expected personal abilities and behavior (e.g., avoiding areas in which perceived ability is low), is the theoretical framework that guided the study (Bandura, 1977). A questionnaire based on the Borich (1980) needs assessment model was developed and disseminated to wildlife professionals across the four states (N = 27). Based on the self-efficacy patterns and themes specific to public education and communication revealed through the analysis of the resulting data, recommendations for professional development and future research are provided.
Degree ProgramGraduate College